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Research Process




Brainstorming is an effective way for you to generate ideas for your research paper. There are several brainstorming strategies you can use to help you during any point of the research process.


Tips for Brainstorming

Here are a few techniques you could use to help you brainstorm!


  • FREE WRITING- Set a timer for yourself (5-15 minutes) and using pen and paper or a computer, start writing whatever comes to mind until the time is up. Don’t stop until the timer does! Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or making sense. The point of this technique is to keep your brain working. Read back over what you have written and see if anything can be used. This is also a great way to clear your head and release any frustrations you may be having.


  • CLUSTERING- Also known as mind mapping or webbing, this is especially helpful for visual learners. In the center of a piece of paper, write your main topic in a circle (a word or two is plenty). Next, write related terms and/or phrases around the main topic and draw lines to connect them to the main topic. Continue to jot down as many terms and phrases as you can and use lines to connect them to related terms and phrases.


  • JOURNALING- For this strategy, you would answer the following questions using information about your main topic. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

YouTube Video for Brainstorming

Check out this video on Brainstorming!

Credo Mindmap

Credo's Mind Map

The Mind Map visually shows relationships between topics supporting pre-search and research.

Check out this how-to video!

Links for Additional Info

For more help with brainstorming visit:

Purdue University Writing Lab

Credit for Page

This page was created by Magen Nosworthy (Fall 2018 ENGL 489)