Brainstorming & Outlining

Missouri S&T Writing Center Help Documents

Questions to Help You Get Started‌  Sometimes when you're having trouble generating ideas, it can be useful to look at your topic from a new perspective. These questions may help.

Brainstorming and Outlining Worksheet This handout walks you through two brainstorming techniques to help you generate ideas. It also provides instructions and a worksheet to help you develop an effective outline.

Links to Outside Resources

Close Reading  Most college essays are based, at least in part, on a variety of written sources. If you're not familiar with the process of close reading, however, you may have difficulty developing a strong essay. This page walks you through an example of close reading to help you understand how best to approach your own sources.

Brainstorming Techniques  This site describes a variety of approaches to brainstorming. Experiment to find out which ones you're comfortable with, or which ones are best suited to the writing task you face.

Organizing Your Argument  So you've read all your sources, and you have some ideas, but you're having trouble putting it all together? This site may help. It offers comprehensive information to help you develop your thoughts and outline your paper. This page can be helpful at any stage of the writing process, but it's especially useful as a tool to get you started.