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Meeting Brainstorming Ideas For Essays

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Brainstorming for essay ideas

Brainstorming can help you choose a topic. What follows are great ideas on how to brainstorm—ideas from professional writers, novice writers. Brainstorming is a method students can use to generate ideas for writing a paper. In the process of brainstorming you should suspend any concerns about. Essay writing is a process which starts with coming up with an idea or topic, which can be very difficult. Here are some tips on brainstorming techniques Welcome to Purdue OWL Engagement. Purdue OWL; Writing. This resource covers methods of developing ideas for the essay you will be required to write. Brainstorming. College 101; Brainstorming and Outlining. This is just an easy way to organize your ideas, and to keep your essay at a length that will meet the Common App word. Home Student Online Writing Lab Process Brainstorming. and purpose, now it is time to begin deciding what main ideas/points will actually go into the essay. How to Brainstorm. Brainstorming is one of the most common types of informal idea invention. Brainstorming comes in handy in many situations where creative, cognitive. Before you can determine what points you want to make in your essay, you need to do some brainstorming and some research to make sure you have a good idea of all the. Brainstorming is a group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously. Brainstorming helps you develop creative solutions to a problem, and is particularly useful when you need to break out of stale thinking patterns. Includes a video.

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Team brainstorming - Game Development Stack Exchange

Brainstorming is sort of supposed to be loose and unstructured in order to facilitate a free flow of ideas. That said, it's usually possible to have an agreed-upon, firm guideline for what you're brainstorming about (game ideas, solutions to a technical problem, et cetera). Everybody should be aware of this guideline and do their part to ensure the meeting doesn't drift too far into the territory of brainstorming about things that are not germane to that guideline.

During the meeting you should encourage people to both propose new ideas and to build upon ideas others have proposed. Usually you'll want to avoid criticizing ideas too much, though. One way I've seen to do this (although I've never done it myself) is to do things in two phases, where people first propose ideas by writing them on sticky notes and quietly sticking them to a whiteboard and afterwards all the ideas are discussed and built upon.

Tools like whiteboards and sticky notes can be invaluable as means of expression in these sorts of sessions.

Almost as important as how you run the meeting is what you do afterwards: even the most haphazard meeting will probably produce at least one reasonably actionable idea, so it's important that you have somebody dedicated to capturing all of the decent ideas and recording them in some notes somewhere.

If you search Google for "brainstorming meetings" you get a lot of results. These two seem potentially interesting:

Here are a few things that help:

  • Brainstorming inherently goes slightly off topic so try to make each session about a fairly narrow topic area. Otherwise the sessions can drift into full tangent land, which is fun but not particularly productive.
  • Use a whiteboard, post-it notes or a projector to put the ideas up in front of everyone. Often a earlier idea can trigger a later one if you can see them all up in one place. Also this cuts down on the discussion recycling concepts since you can see they were already suggested.
  • When writing the ideas down try to give them a rough visual grouping. Doesn't have to be good but it will help later.

When you get towards the end of the session do basic pairing down. There are a few simple steps to help with this.

  1. Quickly attempt to group ideas in categories, either drawing circles around them on the whiteboard or moving the post-it notes. You should have been doing a bit of this while writing them down but now you can use the help of the group to collect them into more thoughtful categories.
  2. Have everyone indicate their top three ideas. You'll tend to get a clustering of the more popular ideas that will have more potential than others. It's important to limit the number of votes people have in this stage as it focuses them to the stuff they think will work, not just find amusing.

answered Mar 9 '11 at 2:19

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Brainstorming Ideas And Planning The Overall Quality Of An Essay


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  • Meeting brainstorming ideas for essays


    Brainstorming is a creativity technique of generating ideas to solve a problem. The main result of a brainstorm session may be a complete solution to the problem, a list of ideas for an approach to a subsequent solution, or a list of ideas resulting in a plan to find a solution. Brainstorming was originated in 1957 in a book called Applied Imagination by Alex F. Osborn, an advertising executive<ref> Osborn, A.F. (1963) Applied imagination: Principles and procedures of creative problem solving (Third Revised Edition). New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons.</ref>. Blue-Sky Thinking is similar to brainstorming. Other methods of generating ideas are individual ideation and the morphological analysis approach.

    Brainstorming has many applications but it is most often used in:

    • New product development - obtaining ideas for new products and improving existing products
    • Advertising - developing ideas for advertising campaigns
    • Problem solving - issues, root causes, alternative solutions, impact analysis, evaluation
    • Process management - finding ways of improving business and production processes
    • Project Management - identifying client objectives, risks, deliverables, work packages, resources, roles and responsibilities, tasks, issues
    • Team building - generates sharing and discussion of ideas while stimulating participants to think
    • Business planning – develop and improve the product idea.
    • Trial preparation by attorneys.
    [edit ] Approach

    Brainstorming can be done either individually or in a group. In group brainstorming, the participants are encouraged, and often expected, to share their ideas with one another as soon as they are generated. Complex problems or brainstorm sessions with a diversity of people may be prepared by a chairman. The chairman is the leader and facilitator of the brainstorm session.

    The key to brainstorming is to not interrupt the thought process. As ideas come to mind, they are captured and stimulate the development of better ideas. Thus a group brainstorm session is best conducted in a moderate-sized room, and participants sit so that they can all look at each-other. A flip chart, blackboard, or overhead projector is placed in a prominent location. The room is free of telephones, clocks, or any other distractions.

    In order to enhance creativity a brainstorm session has four basic rules:

    Focus on quantity This rule is a means of enhancing divergent production. aiming to facilitate problem solving through the maxim quantity breeds quality. The greater the number of ideas generated, the greater the chance of producing a radical and effective solution. An individual may revisit a brainstorm, done alone, and approach it with a slightly new perspective. This process can be repeated without limit. The result is collaboration with your past, present and future selves. No criticism It is often emphasized that in group brainstorming, criticism should be put 'on hold'. Instead of immediately stating what might be wrong with an idea, the participants focus on extending or adding to it, reserving criticism for a later 'critical stage' of the process. By suspending judgment, you create a supportive atmosphere where participants feel free to generate unusual ideas. However, persistent, respectful criticism of ideas by a minority dissenter can reduce groupthink. leading to more and better ideas. Unusual ideas are welcome To get a good and long list of ideas, unusual ideas are welcomed. They may open new ways of thinking and provide better solutions than regular ideas. They can be generated by looking from another perspective or setting aside assumptions. If an idea is too "wild" to be feasible, it can be tamed down to a more appropriate idea more easily than think up an idea. Combine and improve ideas Good ideas can be combined to form a very good idea, as suggested by the slogan "1+1=3". Also, existing ideas should be improved. This approach leads to better and more complete ideas than just generation of new ideas, and increases the generation of ideas, by a process of association.

    The main reasons why brainstorming does not yield the expected results are faulty operation and exaggerated expectations. When the basic rules and best practices are not followed, or when the group expects miracles, the session will not give the optimal result.

    [edit ] A short brainstorm session

    Brainstorming is very well suited for ad-hoc problem solving. A short brainstorm session can be applied in many occasions where a quick solution is needed. For example: students working on a project, a support team looking for a quick solution for their customer or a project team who have to deal with the illness of one of its members.

    The session contains, as depicted in Figure 1, three phases:

    Figure 1: Activities of a short brainstorm session

    [edit ] Set the problem

    Determine and specify the problem which needs a solution. Every participant must know the problem.

    [edit ] Generate ideas

    Generate as many ideas as possible. Keep in mind the four basic brainstorm rules and record the good ideas. Continue for five to fifteen minutes.

    [edit ] Select best idea

    Select the most appropriated idea from the suggested ideas.

    [edit ] A complex brainstorm session [edit ] Preparation

    The preparation described here contains the basic activities, but depending on the situation more activities can be added. Figure 2 depicts the preparation activities in an activity diagram.

    Figure 2: Activity diagram of preparing of a brainstorm session

    [edit ] Set the problem

    One of the most important things to do before a session is to define the problem. The problem must be clear, small enough, and captured in a perfectly definite question such as “What service for mobile phones is not available now, but needed?“. If the problem is too big, the chairman should split it up into smaller components, each with its own question. Some problems seem to be multi-dimensional and non-quantified, for example “What are the aspects involved in being a successful entrepreneur”. Finding solutions for this those can better be done with morphological analysis.

    [edit ] Create a background memo

    The background memo is the invitation and information letter for the participants, containing the session name, time, date and place and the problem. The problem is described with its question, and some example ideas are given. The ideas are solutions to the problem, and used when the session slows down or goes off-track. The example ideas also give the participants an idea of the direction upfront. The memo is sent to the participants at least two days in advance, so that they can think about the problem beforehand.

    [edit ] Select participants

    The chairman composes the brainstorm panel, consisting of the participants and an idea collector. Many variations are possible but the following composition is advised:

    • Five core members of the project who have proved themselves.
    • Five guests from outside the project, with affinity to the problem.
    • One idea collector who records the suggested ideas.
    [edit ] Create a list of lead questions

    During the brainstorm session the creativity may decrease. At this moment, the chairman should boost creativity by suggesting a lead question to an answer, such as "Can we combine those ideas?" or "How about a look from another perspective?". It is advised to prepare a list of such leads before the session.

    [edit ] Session conduct

    The chairman ; leads the brainstorm session and ensures that the basic brainstorm rules are followed. The activities of a typical session are:

    1. A warm-up session, to expose novice participants to the criticism-free environment. A simple problem is brainstormed, for example "What should be the next corporate Christmas present?" or "What can be improved in Microsoft Windows?".
    2. The chairman presents the problem and gives a further explanation if needed.
    3. The chairman asks the brainstorm panel for their ideas.
    4. If no ideas are coming out, the chairman suggests a lead to encourage creativity.
    5. Every participant presents his or her idea, and the idea collector writes down the idea.
    6. If more than one participant has ideas, the chairman lets the most associated idea be presented first. This selection can be done by looking at the body language of the participants, or just by asking for the most associated idea.
    7. The participants try to elaborate on the idea, to improve the quality.
    8. When time is up, the chairman organizes the ideas based on the topic goal and encourages discussion. Additional ideas may be generated.
    9. Ideas are categorized.
    10. The whole list is reviewed to ensure that everyone understands the ideas. Duplicate ideas and obviously infeasible solutions are removed.
    11. The chairman thanks all participants and gives each a token of appreciation.
    [edit ] Best practices
    • Participants who have an idea but no possibility to present it should write down their idea and present it later.
    • The idea collector should number the ideas, so that the chairman can use the number to encourage quantitative idea generation, for example: "We have 44 ideas now, let’s get it to 50!".
    • The idea collector should repeat the idea in the words she has written it, to confirm that it expresses the meaning intended by the originator.
    • When more participants are having ideas, the one with the most associated idea should have priority. This to encourage elaboration on previous ideas.
    • During the brainstorm session the attendance of managers and superiors is strongly discouraged, as it may radically reduce the effect of the four basic rules, especially the generation of unusual ideas.

    The process of conducting a brainstorm session is depicted in Figure 3.

    Figure 3: Activity diagram of conducting a brainstorm session

    [edit ] Uses

    Brainstorming can be used as a supplement for:

    • Individual ideation for quickly generating many potentially useful ideas
    • A business conference to stimulate creative thinking in a judicial and relatively unproductive atmosphere.
    • Creative training: brainstorming improves the creative attitude towards solving problems and improves the creative ability in groups and individuals.

    Although the main purpose of brainstorming is to generate ideas, it has additional benefits:

    • Improves initiative that can last after the session, as participants are encouraged to constantly throw in their ideas, to take initiative all the time.
    • Improves creative thinking. participants learn to approach problems creatively and use association to create ideas, which they can use after the session.
    • Improves morale. Participants work together to find a solution to a problem and every participant is encouraged to take initiative. This can improve the morale of the team and its members.
    • Enjoyment. participants usually like the interactive and creative atmosphere.
    [edit ] Variations [edit ] Nominal group technique

    Nominal group technique is a type of brainstorming that introduces structure to the process. It is useful in ensuring that all participants have an equal say and can be used to generate a ranked list of ideas.

    Typically each participant is asked to write down their ideas. Then the moderator asks each participant in turn to express one of their ideas. The moderator writes down each idea on the flip chart. Then each participant copies the group's final list on a blank page giving each idea a score. The pages are collected from each participant and the scores summed, providing a rank-ordered list.

    [edit ] Group passing technique

    Each person in a circular group writes down one idea, and then passes their piece of paper to the next person in a clockwise direction, who adds some thoughts. This is repeated until everybody gets their original piece of paper back. By this time, it is likely that the group will have created some powerful ideas.

    A popular alternative to this technique is to create an "Idea Book" and post a distribution list or routing slip to the front of the book. On the inside cover (or first page) is the problem definition statement. The first person to receive the book lists his/her ideas and then routes the book to the next person on the distribution list. The second person can log new ideas or add to the ideas of the previous person. This continues until the distribution list is exhausted. A follow-up "read out" meeting is then held to discuss the ideas logged in the book. This technique does take longer, but allows individual thought whenever the person has a spare minute to think deeply about the problem.

    [edit ] Team Idea Mapping Method

    This method of brainstorming leverages the natural associative process of the brain. It improves collaboration, increases the quantity of ideas, and is designed so that all attendees participate and no ideas are rejected.

    The process starts with a well-defined topic. Each participant creates an individual brainstorm around the topic. All ideas are then merged into one large idea map. During this consolidation phase the participants discover a common understanding of the issues as they share the meanings behind their ideas. As the sharing takes place, the brain will naturally think of additional ideas based on the conversations. Those ideas are added to the large map as well. Now ideas are generated on both the individual and group levels. Once all ideas are captured, the group can prioritize and/or take action.

    [edit ] Term controversy

    The story that an organization has banned the word 'brainstorm', in favor of 'thought shower', due to its connection with epilepsy. appears regularly in British newspapers. Invariably, it is given as an example of 'political correctness gone mad'. One example can be found in the Observer, 26 June 2005 regarding the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Belfast. Another example is the Telegraph, 26 April 2003 regarding trainee teachers.

    A survey in 2005 by the UK charity National Society for Epilepsy found that 93 per cent of people with the condition do not find the word brainstorm offensive.

    Another UK epilepsy charity, Epilepsy Action, discussed this in their Epilepsy Facts, Figures and Terminology web page. An informal survey by Epilepsy Action in their journal Epilepsy Today (Issue 73, October 2005) confirmed the NSE findings.

    [edit ] See also [edit ] External links [edit ] References
    • Nast, J. (2006). Idea Mapping. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons