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5.3: Brainstorming

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    Brainstorming is like freewriting in that you write down whatever comes to mind without stopping, but it is different because it looks more like a list of words and phrases than a string of sentences.


    • It is easier to see the main ideas when “boiled down” in a brainstorm
    • It helps you summarize the main concepts in the reading
    • It helps you see the main ideas that captured your interest in the reading
    • It can make complex reading more accessible
    • You can see many choices of paper topics emerging
    • It is fast and easy


    Look back at your freewrite and capture the important concepts into words and phrases. Also, look back at the text and pull out the main ideas and concepts.

    Example: Brainstorming sample

    Here’s an example of brainstorming in response to Chapter VII in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass:

    forbidden to read and write impressive determination
    humans treated as beasts bread for knowledge—both feeding

    depravity of slave owners Christian country?
    abuse of power rights to freedom
    slavery turning good people bad emancipation—liberation
    reading and writing as dangerous slavery as indefensible
    education and slavery incompatible reading a curse or blessing?

    fear of rebellion wretched condition—no remedy
    dehumanization ignorance is bliss?
    used white boys as teachers building consciousness

    Practice: Brainstorming

    In response to the quote from Chapter VII in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (or your most recently assigned text), look at your freewrite and brainstorm the important concepts into words and phrases and then add to it.

    This page titled 5.3: Brainstorming is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Skyline English Department.

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