Brainstorming: Finding a Good Topic for your Essay or Term Paper


Writing papers is an essential part of any educational process. Despite the fact that students have been writing them all their lives but sometimes it becomes difficult. There is so much one can write about but choosing a topic becomes important due to many reasons. The research question must not be too general, to complete it properly or too narrow, so to find no prominent and authentic research work to quote and comment. The topic has to be such to help bring forth focused and authentic term paper.

There could be many ways of choosing a topic or going about a paper, but brainstorming might be a good option.

What is Brainstorming:

Brainstorming is a process of refinement of the ideas and thoughts running through the mind. Brainstorming is a kind of free-thinking course of development, sometimes the ideas presented seem immature and useless, but they yield some interesting results. It is rightly said brainstorming as a creative method; that is free of criticism and idea of any sort could be brought forward.

Brainstorming; a Good Way to Explore the Research Topic

There is quite an amalgam of student’s mind when he is assigned a report. For the report, he is running off to libraries, talking to teachers and professors, looking into the researches and books and what not. Also, he immediately wants to get down to work, along with all the ill-sorted thoughts in his mind of how to deal with the report and what would be the finest way of approaching it. Brainstorming at this stage is very helpful, its primary objective is to sort out the best.

The students may feel confident to write at this stage as he has been to many libraries gone through so many previously done researches and read books and met all the related people. However, still the cluttered knowledge may not bring the good results. Perhaps while writing the paper the student may feel revising the topic he has chosen to write and thus waste more time and energy in the process.

Brainstorming would prevent the student to finish the paper before it has all the essential knowledge and elements in it. It is to avoid completing the article too soon, before giving it the possible hundred percent of effort and information.

Brainstorming is not a complicated process at all. In fact, few minutes exercising brainstorming before starting the paper could bring good results. Especially, when there is no topic to open the paper with. It would be better to take out a pencil and paper rather than staring at a blank screen of your monitor to seek for the beginning.

The process would bring out amazing ideas for the topic. It helps to expand the imagination, thought processes, and open ways to search the subject.

Brainstorming is an easy way of bringing out a lot of ideas in a short span of time. It is a free thinking method, so it doesn’t burden the mind and most of the time it is fun to discover the issue this way.

The student could feel at ease since there is no one to criticize, or make a comment at him. The anxiety of being judged is much lower, and the ideas, however, childish, impractical and far-fetched can be written down on the paper.

The brainstorming is free of all structural protocols and relaxes the student to go his way. He now doesn’t have to follow rules and bind himself. The technique frees the mind to wander and roam around just about everywhere. The only structured aspect is that the student has to keep the focus on the topic in question.

How to Brainstorm for the Research Topic:

  1. Start as early as possible. As soon as you have been assigned the task. This will reduce the anxiety, and the mind would be able to concentrate on the job with the comfort of time at hand.
  2. Get yourself a pencil and paper to write on.
  3. Seat yourself at a peaceful quiet and comfortable place.
  4. Brainstorm; when you have not something pressing or urgent to do.
  5. Start writing whatever comes to your mind. Do not hesitate to write the unworkable ideas as well.
  6. Write the ideas in whatever manner. Do not look out for an order of any sort. General ideas or specific ideas can be jotted down in a diverse manner.
  7. Do not erase or cross the plans once they are written down.
  8. Do not intercept the flow of ideas by revisiting the thoughts on the paper.
  9. Allow yourself some time to brainstorm. Too much time or too little to brainstorm is not suggested. It is a creative process and needs sufficient time to work.
  10. You can arrange the ideas from broader or general to particular after finishing with writing down the ideas. This will give you an ordered and easy to follow list.
  11. Eliminate the duplications in the ideas list to make it more practical.
  12. Condense and reduce the ideas from the raw list.
  13. Locate the ideas you find new and unique in the list.
  14. You can prioritize the ideas according to your need and fancy.
  15. You can now further search on the topic you have chosen and begin with the paper consulting the libraries and researchers. If you do not find the related material according to the research question, you have selected. You can still go back to the same list and consult it again.
  16. Do not get frustrated if during the brainstorming exercises you do not come up with the ideas in a given time. Sometimes it takes time for the brain to unwind. At this stage, you might need to broaden your study on the subject and then repeat the process.

The brainstorming techniques could also be used in writing the whole research paper and is equally useful when it is used in a group as well. It is a simple but a highly functional process.