FLC Writing Program / Writing and Research Process

FLC Writing Program / Writing and Research Process


There are many different ways to brainstorm. The following describes several different strategies for helping develop thoughts. Any combination may be used.

Freewriting—helps you figure out what you want to write about by simply writing everything you know about a subject. After you look over your readings and notes, sit down and write out all of your thoughts. Think about how the reading made you feel and why you felt that way.

Tip: Don’t worry about correctness/clarity, just write!

Outlining—helps you identify and organize your thoughts. An outline is often organized by numbers or letters. Always remember that you do not need complete sentences.

Working thesis: MLK’s speech effectively convinces his audience of needed change.

A. Physical conditions

1. explains people living together in the same communities

B. Spiritual conditions

1. justifies ideas based on Judeo-Christian beliefs (p. 45)

Clustering—helps you identify the keywords you want to write about and organize all of your thoughts within these categories. For example, clustering your ideas for a paper about feminism could fall under the following categories:

Reactions Actions Symbolism

FLC Writing Program / Writing and Research Process

joy bra burning freedom from society

frustration protest social change

power education knowledge

Journalism Questions— help you understand a topic in detail or in context by answering the 5 w’s of journalism

Who – what is the person’s ethnicity, background, religion, education, history, etc.?

What – what happens? what is the significance of the character or plot?

Where – what is the relevance of the location (local regional, international)?

When – during what time period did the subject/action take place?

Why – was the action/ story in reaction to something else?

Rivaling—helps you understand a topic from a different point of view. Rivaling means taking the opposite stance on a topic in order to better understand it. Try asking yourself what you’d want to know more about if you disagreed:

More examples – one isolated example doesn’t necessarily show a trend, though they make issues seem personal, important, or more interesting

Statistics – statistics can easily establish trends, though they’re not compelling or interesting as examples

Sympathy with your perspective – it’s tough to persuade someone to agree with you if you belittle their position or opinion.