Every successful creation starts with a great idea, which in many cases is the hardest part.

Brainstorming is simply the free process of coming up with ideas. In this process, you come up with a whole bunch of ideas without guilt or shame. Ideas can be out of the box, and nothing is considered too silly, too complicated, or impossible. The more creative and free the better.

The benefits of brainstorming may surprise you:

  • Increases your creativity: Brainstorming forces your mind to explore and come up with possibilities, even the unthinkable. Thus, it opens your mind to new ideas.
  • A valuable skill: Not just in high school or college, brainstorming is a lifelong skill in your work and in almost anything that requires a bit of thought.
  • Helps you organize your essay: At any point in the essay, you can stop to brainstorm ideas. This will help you structure your essay, making it coherent and logical.
  • It can calm you down: Much of the stress of writing comes from a lack of ideas or structure. You may feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information after the initial research. Brainstorming ideas can help organize your thoughts, which is a calming activity that will help you avoid stress.
  • Essay brainstorming works a little differently in an academic setting than it does in a team setting. You will be the only one brainstorming for your essay, which means that you will come up with and reduce ideas on your own.
  • I know that sometimes you honestly can have no ideas about an essay in your head and in this case you can always get help from any essay assistant you choose, these professionals will help you to choose the topic and give you loads of ideas on the main part of the essay.

Here are five ways to do it…

5 brainstorming ideas

Idea #1. Write ideas unconsciously

In Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell points out that our unconscious mind is many times more effective than our conscious mind at making decisions.

During brainstorming, our unconscious mind can distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information. in a split second. Our intuition is underestimated. It can often make more accurate judgments than deliberate and thoughtful analysis because it cuts out all irrelevant information and focuses only on key factors.

Even if the ideas you come up with during a brainstorming session seem insignificant, they may lead you to something great later. Trust yourself to put everything you think on paper; if you don’t focus on self-editing, you may come up with brilliant ideas.

That’s because free writing can actually derail the creative block and help your unconscious get out of control!

Idea #2 – Draw an intelligence map

Brains love visual communication and mind maps are just that.
Our thoughts rarely come in easily digestible chunks; they are more like networks of information and ideas that stretch forward at any given time. Keeping track of these ideas is difficult, but mapping them all out can help you get more ideas, and better understand and remember them.

To make an effective mind map, here are some tips:

Create a central idea: in the middle of your document, draw a central theme/idea that represents the starting point of your essay, and then branch out into different arguments. This central image will act as a visual stimulus to activate your brain and constantly remind you of the main idea.

Smart girl student studying at library, writing essay and drinking coffee, free space

Add keywords: when you add ramifications to your mind map, you will need to include the key idea. Keep these phrases as short as possible to trigger more associations and leave room for more detailed branches and thoughts.

Highlight the branches in different colors: A colored pen is your best friend. Apply different colors to each branch of the key idea above. This way, you can distinguish between the arguments.

Use visuals: As visuals and colors are the basis of the mental map, use them as often as possible. Drawing little doodles works well because it mimics the way our mind unconsciously comes up with ideas. Alternatively, if you use an online brainstorming tool, you can real images and paste them in.

Idea #3 – Get on Pinterest

Believe it or not, Pinterest is actually a pretty decent online brainstorming tool. You can use it to collect images and ideas from other people and put them all together to get a clearer idea of what your essay should be about.

For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of college, you could write something like “Does college matter?” in the search box. You might just find a bunch of interesting infographics and viewpoints that you haven’t even considered before.

Save this to your idea board and repeat the process a few more times. Before you know it, you’ll have a set of ideas that can really help you shape your essay!

Idea #4 – Try a Venn diagram

Are you trying to find similarities between the two topics? Then the famous Venn diagram technique could be the key, as it clearly visualizes the characteristics of any concept and shows which parts overlap.

This diagram, popularized by British mathematician John Venn in the 1880s, traditionally illustrates simple set relationships in probability theory, logic, statistics, linguistics, and computer science. You begin by drawing two (or more) intersecting circles and mark each one with the idea you are thinking of. Write the qualities of each idea in their own circles and the ideas they share in the middle where the circles intersect.

For example, in a student debate topic Marijuana should be legalized because alcohol is, you could have a circle listing the positives and negatives of marijuana, another circle doing the same with alcohol, and a middle plan listing the effects they share.

Idea #5 – Use a T-diagram

This brainstorming method is good for comparing and contrasting due to the fact that it is very simple.

All you have to do is write the title of the essay at the top of the sheet and divide the rest into two parts. On the left-hand side, you will write about the argument for, and on the right-hand side, you will write the argument against.

For example, in the topic Should plastic bags be banned? you could write the pros in the left-hand column and the cons in the right-hand column. Similarly, if you are writing about a character from fiction, you can use the left column for his positive qualities and the right column for his negative qualities. Just like that.

Thanks to technology, we no longer need to rely on just a piece of paper and a pen. There are many free tools to make your virtual brainstorming easier…

  • Freemind is a free downloadable mind mapping software. You can brainstorm essays using different colors to show which parts of the article you are referring to. Color-coded features track your essays as you write them.
  • Mind Genius is another app where you can create and customize your own mind map from a variety of templates.
  • AgaSlides is a free tool for brainstorming with others. If you’re working on a group essay, you can ask everyone to write down their ideas on the topic and then vote on what they like best.
  • Miro is a great tool for visualizing anything with lots of moving parts. It gives you an endless whiteboard and every form of the arrow under the sun to build and align parts of your essay.

One last word on brainstorming for essays

Honestly, the scariest part of writing an essay is before you start, but brainstorming for an essay before you really makes the process of writing an essay less scary. It’s a process that will help you tackle one of the most difficult parts of writing essays and letters and direct your creative energies to further content.

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