- Books, Literature, and Writing
Brainstorming Techniques - Brainstorming Ideas - Brainstorming Tools : Finding Topics To Write About
I've taken many english and writing courses. I am always writing papers and am confident that at this point, I could probably write about any topic that you throw at me. However, I used to struggle with this commonly known dilemma faced by millions of students. So how do you write about any topic?
Well, step number one is that you brainstorm. You can always find a topic within a topic that interests you. Always.
Let me elaborate.
The most difficult scenario that I have ever faced in regards to writing about a particular topic consisted of two major challenges. First off, I was required to pick a topic to write about within the confines of the environment. Secondly, after I chose my environmental topic, I was required to write 6 term papers throughout the semester, on the same topic. No changing topics! I felt like I was in a nightmare.
I care about the environment. I do. But I'm not exactly savvy when it comes to the “go green” culture.
Anyways, for my topic, I ended up with global warming. At the time, I knew absolutely nothing about global warming and didn't think it was that much of a pressing issue (this was several years ago).
After choosing a topic that I didn't know much about, I was now locked in to write 6 different papers on it. Panic starts to set in. How am I supposed to write 6 different papers about the (sort of boring) topic of global warming?
I opened up my trusty word processor and forced myself to type constant, random thoughts about the topic for 10 minutes straight. No stopping! At the end of the session, my screen might have looked something like this:
causes and effects
really hot and really cold extremes
the planet, the sun
reusable shopping bags
Obviously after 10 minutes of constant typing my list was much longer and a lot of my random thoughts didn't provide much. But from this list alone, I can easily find 6 topics that interest me. For instance, I can write a “beginner's guide” to global warming for an audience that knows very little about the topic. I can do a paper on the causes and the effects. I can research myths and truths and do a comparison and contrast of the two viewpoints. I can write about the political pressure that governments face to get involved with the 'war on global warming'. I can write about the Kyoto protocol and lastly, I can write about recycling and how consumers can reduce their impact on carbon gases.
Now I have to brainstorm again within each of these sub-topics to further develop my six “mini-topics”. I'll provide one more brainstorming example.
“ How to Recycle and Conserve
-reuseable shopping bags
-sorting plastic and bottles
-use those cfl lightbulbs.
-drive a hybrid
-plant some trees
-walk and bike more. drive less. “
Now, I'm ready to write my paper on global warming and how individuals can recycle and conserve to help reduce global warming's effect. From this sub-list of my topic, I can easily write a paragraph on each idea and if necessary, combine a few of them together. One paper down, five more to go. I had this assignment several years ago but just posted one of the papers online, if you'd like to read it, here is the link: What Your Household Can Do to Help Slow Down Global Warming.
So as you can see, you can write about any topic, even if it doesn't interest you that much. It is not an impossible task! Just make sure to research and write about an element within your topic that you find even somewhat partially interesting. You'll get through it and come out a much better and more informed writer.