Writers, students, and anyone else will occasionally need an idea or two. While there may be times when ideas emerge with little or no effort, there will be times when the source of creativity will seem to have dried up. However, do not be afraid. Even if you don’t feel particularly creative, you can still think and reason. If you think clearly and use the following techniques, you will find endless ideas.

Free writing – Only write. Don’t worry about the format, theme, or anything else. Just write, about anything. It can be a description of your kitchen ceiling or a tirade about the lack of parking spaces at your local vet’s office. The important thing is that you start writing and keep writing. Let one thought lead to another, or just write about one thing, in greater and greater detail. Maybe you will write for a set period of time, or maybe your goal is to fill a page or several pages. Choose individual topics, ideas, names, or anything else. Whatever you do, you will soon have a lot of ideas to work with.

Breakdown – Take your initial topic and write it at the top of the page. Divide the topic into subtopics, questions, topics, and more, listing them below. Continue to drill down and list those subtopics as before.

List / bullets – List everything on the topic, then list the related phrases, keywords, questions, sources, etc. If it occurs to you, add it to the list. Then take each item on the list and do it again.

Cubes – Cube refers to taking your subject and examining it from six different sides, like the six sides of a cube. Consider the issue in the following six ways:

  1. Describe it
  2. Compare it
  3. Associate it
  4. Analyze it
  5. Apply it
  6. Argue for and against

Now, examine your answers. Is there a connection between them? Do any issues arise?

Similes – Complete the following sentence: [Blank] is / was / are / were like [Blank]. By comparing your topic to another seemingly unrelated word, you will start to see new ideas about your topic, gain a better understanding of the different aspects of it, and new ideas will emerge.

Grouping / mapping / straps – This technique allows you to expand a topic organically and freely. Write a keyword or words about your topic in the center of a blank page and draw a circle or box around it. Break up as many ideas as possible, visually connecting them to the topic. Then forks from there. Go as far as you can or want, branching out continuously.

Parties – Observe the relationships between the whole, the parts and the parts of the parts. Make the following lists on the opposite margins of a sheet of paper:

Whole ……………………… Parts

Part ………………………… Parts of Parts

Part ………………………… Parts of Parts

Part ………………………… Parts of Parts

Apply these tags to topics and subtopics, words, etc. Then draw conclusions about relationships, patterns, connections, etc.

Journalistic Questions (The Big 6) – Ask yourself the 6 important questions of journalism:

  1. who
  2. That
  3. When
  4. Where
  5. Why
  6. How

Make a list of related questions for each one, then look up the answers; repeat as many times as necessary.

Outside the Box – Try to approach your topic from a totally different angle. Ask questions from a seemingly unrelated point of view. You might think in terms of occupations, academic subjects, demographic groups, cultural groups, etc. Examine it completely from every new perspective, writing down every thought, question, comment, interpretation, etc.

Graphics / Shapes – Instead of words and phrases, think visually. Put things in terms of graphs, shapes, tables, and diagrams. If you can find photos related to the topic, use those too. List everything you see, the thoughts that come to mind, and the conclusions drawn from the images.

Tilt / re-tilt – Examine an idea or topic in terms of purpose and audience. If you’re stuck, think of a different purpose or a different audience. For example, if you are writing about married couples for the purpose of entertaining couples with at least five years of marriage, try looking at the topic of newlyweds.

Reference – If you have an idea or a basic theme, look it up. Go to the dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, an almanac, collection of citations, any other reference. List any information. If you don’t have a topic, open a random page, choose any topic, and continue from there.

Combination of techniques – Start with any technique and then apply another technique to the results. For example, after listing and bulleting your original topic, try referencing each item in the list.

Once you have used these techniques, you should have a list of the ideas produced. Then these ideas need to be organized in some way. You can start by carefully listing them and then categorizing them. Group them according to subtopics, put them in an outline, or try to sequence them in some way. The idea is simply to impose some sort of order on the disorganized results, giving you a clear collection of ideas to work with. Now equipped with these ideas and some related information, you will have a better idea of ​​what to work on in your writing.

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