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How to Teach Brainstorming: Step One of the Writing Process

October 19, 2017 by domywriting  

essay, writing, help, paper, essay help, paper help, college

What is a Brainstorm?

It actually sounds incredibly frightening: a brainstorm. I imagine a ton of words, pictures, and phrases swirling around, idea being blown in circles, a tornado whipping through my mind.

That image really isn't that far off.The brainstorming part of the type my essay online and Writing Process is the beginning of the piece of writing, where all the thoughts and ideas around the purpose or task come swirling around and are documented so that the writer doesn't lose them.These notes may not all be used, but that is the beauty of a brainstorm. It allows the writer to consider all aspects and approaches without nailing any one of them down immediately.

How to Teach Brainstorming

Teaching a thought process is a difficult task. We all learn in different ways just as we all think and prepare in different ways as well. Brainstorming is a preparation and the first step to teaching how to do it well is by acknowledging to your students that not every approach is going to work for every students. For this reason, it is a good idea to present a variety of options for brainstorming.

I begin by telling students how I personally brainstorm. If I am writing an assigned paper or if I have been presented for a task, my brainstorm process is pretty much the same as it is when I just feel like writing. I mull the ideas around in my head for days or weeks (depending on my time deadline) before I start writing. Once I've mulled my thoughts around, I sit down and type out a list of things that I would like to cover in my writing. Nothing is super specific at this point, just highlights of my thoughts that I would like to expand on. The product of my brainstorm is usually some sort of a list.

It is important to emphasize to students how "ugly" the brainstorm can look. For some, it is a list like mine. For others, it is a ton of ideas written down on scraps of paper, post-its, or notecards. Some people start to draw webs or create diagrams. Other brainstorms are pictures, doodles or drawings. The brainstorm isn't anything close to the final product so it shouldn't resemble the final product at all.

After the Brainstorm

Once the ideas are somehow wrestled from the mind and documented on paper, as a teacher you have a few options. Depending on the time constraints and level of ability of your writers, you may choose to review the brainstorm. This will allow you to do a quick formative assessment of the writers, to see if they are on track and to reteach any information regarding the task if necessary. It can be helpful to review students thoughts at this point so that they don't get too far into the writing process on the wrong track.

The other option would be to wait until the outlining step to review the students work. This option would allow you to view the student's directions during the outlining step, which would give you a clearer, more organized perception of the direction they are heading in their writing.

Regardless of what direction you choose, you should never give a grade for brainstorming based on how well the student did it. Students need to know it is OK to not be very organized and to have ideas written down that may or may not be used. Try to keep this step as authentic as possible for the writer and don't make them feel as though they are being assessed on their ability to think of ideas around their topic.

Once you feel confident that the students have finished the brainstorming step, it is time to move to the outline.

A Book Review:

October 9, 2017 by JohnBraswell   Comments (0)


Pay for homework assignments if you need "The Casual Vacancy" Review
This article was written by ToKnowInfo's daughter, OneToKnow

I am a child of the Harry Potter phenomena. As a fifth grader and an avid reader, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series appealed to my own avid imagination. As the series continued and years stretched between books,
I was apart of, what felt like, an exclusive group of people that grew up with Harry. We loved, we lost, we experienced teen angst and we had adventures that created memories that will last a lifetime. Some of my own adventures, though not as exciting as Harry's involve being first in line at midnight to buy the sixth Harry Potter book, theorizing with friends using minute details and clues to gauge anything about the upcoming book and going to a double feature for the two part seventh film.
Reading Harry Potter did not just satisfy my appetite for all things fantasy, as I got older it ignited and inspired a creativity in me that I have carried through college. I discovered writing and it's infinite possibilities and even ended up majoring in Creative Writing.
I'm not trying to be the next J.K. Rowling, I can only hope for luck like that to strike me in my career adventures. J.K. Rowling is something special to the literary community and rather one of a kind for her time. Harry Potter's story closed for good four years ago. The chapters have been read again and again but the story is definitely complete. Voldemort was defeated, Harry moved on and his fans grew up.
J.K. Rowling Writes Another Book
So when it was announced that J.K. Rowling was writing a new book, excitement rippled through the "Potterverse." The fact that this new novel had nothing to do with Harry Potter and was classified as adult fiction did not matter. All that mattered was that J.K. Rowling was writing another book. The expectations were high and the stakes were even higher. Could she write adult fiction? And could she write outside of the fantasy genre?
I never really understood why Harry Potter was considered children's literature, it seemed cruel and unusual to take us readers in, break down our guard, make us fall in love with a character and then rip them from us with almost as much reality as a real loss (I still cry when Dobby dies and I'm still completely in denial about Fred, I change his name to Percy when I get to that part) but after reading J.K. Rowling's new book I now understand what the difference between children's literature and adult fiction and categorizing a novel in either classification creates it's own stigma.
Children's literature is not all whimsy and fantasy and adult fiction is not all sex and reality. There is a happy mixture but I don't think one classification benefits from more fantasy or the inclusion of sex. My point is there is a stark difference between the J.K. Rowling who writes children's literature and the J.K. Rowling who writes adult fiction. I may be a bit biased but I think I prefer the former J.K.Rowling.
The Casual Vacancy came out on Tuesday September 27th 2012 at eight o'clock in the morning. I have no idea if there was a line outside the bookstore because unlike having to tote around a five hundred page tome I downloaded the book onto my iPad and had to wait until a break in my classes to be able to begin reading. By the end of that day I was a mere forty pages in and undecided on the overall plot.
I was trying to give the novel it's best shot I could. Yes, I had already started comparing it to Harry Potter (the first utterance of a curse word in The Casual Vacancy actually shocked me) but I thought perhaps this story was something I needed warming up to, the characters couldn't be all bad and there had to be a big mystery that would suck me in and tie everything together neatly at the end.
Unfortunately, my initial instinct went rather unchanged. The first time I had to accept that this was not the J.K. Rowling I knew and loved was when I found it easy to put the book down in pursuit of other more fun activities like my TV shows. The next was when I returned to social media after a short break in the hopes of not spoiling the book for myself. I realized no one was talking about it like that and I was missing out on talking about everything else with my friends. And the most obvious moment was when I finally finished the book. I felt nothing. No, I felt lost and nostalgic for the world of Hogwarts.
The Characters
The Casual Vacancy took place in our reality in a small town named Pagford. This little country town was at war with itself and when a prominent member of the community dies and "a casual vacancy" occurs for the council seat the underhanded, dirty secrets of various members of little Pagford come to light, which sets everything in the final pages into motion. I don't know if I would have read it if it wasn't by J.K. Rowling.
The plot was kept mostly secret and for any other author I do not think I would have taken the chance. The Casual Vacancy is definitely more real, more down to earth but I didn't find it nearly as funny as Harry Potter and I missed the whimsical absurdity. I think the fantastical universe of Harry Potter was one of the many aspects that made it so engaging.
The Casual Vacancy was very English, which was intriguing. I found myself looking up several words, this aspect is possibly the only positive attributes to the novel. I enjoyed getting a real feel for how the English speak and as a writer I appreciate being able to expand my musings and make my own work seem more authentic.
However, when delving into the nitty gritty of the novel The Casual Vacancy lacked solid characters, I liked the shifting points of view but there were a lot of characters to keep track of, none of which stood out to me too much or were extremely likable. I couldn't picture most of them, despite the distinct defining ways of speaking and physical descriptions. Throughout the novel I felt mostly indifferent, granted I didn't expect the ending but riding the climax of the novel was a bit of a let down.
I feel like the novel lacked a true point, perhaps it's over my head entirely but there was no underlying theme of love or good versus evil. Maybe it was trying to make some kind if commentary on the way people live and the dynamics of that but it wasn't clear. I think the novel attempted to show real life is hard for people of all ages but that's not a real plot and in any case a weak point.
And I don't feel like I gained anything by entering these people's lives for a short time, it wasn't fun it was annoying. I didn't really learn anything or take away any real wisdom or memorable quotes. I did take away that Pagford is a boring little country town that looks serene and pleasant but houses many secrets and ridiculous gossip. I also ended up with Rihanna's "Umbrella" stuck in my head for a day, shockingly this is a defining character point but to me the song is old and tired, quite like the town of Pagford and the people in it actually.
About the Book
All in all I think J.K. Rowling was trying too hard to distance herself from Harry Potter and it didn't really work. The crude language and the sex certainly achieved that but it was far removed from Harry. No characters resembled even minor Harry Potter characters, which I understand was purposeful but it would have been nice to see a little selflessness, a little unconditional love. Perhaps then this transition, for me, would have been easier if there was some sort of familiarity.
The Casual Vacancy just did not feel deep. There was no happy ending and I know Americans, typically cannot handle unhappy endings but this is not why I disliked the The Casual Vacancy.
The ending of the novel was just abrupt and I did not really care that it was over and Pagford was a mess. I don't even understand why it mattered that Barry Fairbrother, who is the main topic of most of the book and is the reason for the casual vacancy, died at all. Pagford is dull and I have no urge to return whereas even the sleepy houses on Privet Drive call to me! Maybe I'm missing something but overall I was completely underwhelmed.
I do respect the fact that this is J.K. Rowling's first attempt away from Harry Potter, and take that into account, so if she wrote another adult novel I'd be willing to give it a try. I will always be biased but it is more than that, she was not writing to her potential here and I think that's what disappointed me.

Successful Marriage Throughout The Years

June 12, 2017 by sylviasmith   Comments (0)

One of the best parts about marriage is growing old together. There’s something truly beautiful about staying together as the years pass and navigating the changing landscape of life as a team.

Like anything else in marriage, the secret to keeping your marriage healthy through the years lies in commitment and dedication. Making a conscious effort to stay connected lays a strong foundation now for a wonderful partnership in the coming years.

If you and your partner are ready for aging with attitude, take a look at these secrets to a successful marriage throughout the years.


Find new things to do together

No matter how old you are, there are always new things to explore and enjoy. Finding new things to do together keeps your mind and body active and gives you time to bond. Is there a hobby you’ve always talked about doing or a class you keep saying you’re going to take? Now is the time to do it!

Whether you’re interested in French cooking, hiking new trails, or volunteering in your community, new activities are a fun way to breathe fresh air into your marriage.


Cultivate your own interests

On the other hand, some separate interests are healthy too. Having your own group of friends and your own independent interests is a good way to stay in touch with who you are outside of your marriage.

A healthy marriage needs plenty of bonding time, but after retirement you can end up spending a bit too much time together. Individual interests keep you from stagnating. Having your own hobbies and social life gives you plenty to talk about, too.


Check in with each other regularly

Emotional closeness is key to a long term healthy marriage. That means checking in with your partner regularly. Make time every day to catch up with each other, whether over dinner or morning coffee.

Keep track of what’s going on in your partner’s life, and how they’re feeling. What challenges are they facing? What is making them really happy right now? Make an effort to stay close emotionally so you can grow old together instead of growing apart.

Don’t take each other for granted

It’s all too easy to take each other for granted as the years pass. The more time you take to appreciate each other every day, the better your attitudes to each other will be as you age.

Take the time to appreciate all the things you love about your partner. Maybe they make you laugh, know how to pick you up when you’re down, or give the best shoulder rub you’ve ever had. Maybe you can’t get enough of their home baked bread! Whatever it is, notice it, and be sure to tell them about it too.

Learn to disagree healthily

The art of healthy arguing is one of the biggest secrets to a successful long term marriage. Learn to disagree healthily without hurting each other and your marriage is more likely to last.

Healthy disagreement means listening to your partner with respect and taking their concerns seriously. It also means talking about your own feelings and needs instead of throwing accusations. You’re a team – keep that in mind even when things get rough.

Create a home you both love

A 2016 survey by Retirement Move in the UK showed that for 60% of respondents love meant building a home together. Big occasions like birthdays or Christmas can be a lot of fun, but the secret to growing old together happily lies in appreciating all the good things in normal daily life. That includes your home.

Let your house be a sanctuary for both of you. Decorate it in a way you both like and furnish it in a way that feels comfortable and easy to be in. DIY and gardening can be fun activities to do together, too.

Let each other change

We all change as we grow older. Your aims and values will be different in your 60s than they were in your 20s. Your attitudes will change too, and that’s perfectly normal. Your partner will also change as they age.

Expecting each other to stay the same is a recipe for tension. Instead, get to know each other anew as you change. Spend time learning what matters to your partner now. Changing together doesn’t have to be scary. Your marriage can provide a safe haven where you can both grow and change as you need to.

Stay physically connected

Physical connection helps you stay intimate as the years pass. A good sex life is absolutely possible as you age, but staying physically connected is about more than just sex.

Make like high school sweethearts and rediscover the art of holding hands, walking with your arms round each other, cuddling and kissing. Regular moments of physical contact throughout the day keep you feeling close.

Aging with attitude is all about finding ways to stay close and appreciating the little things that make every day wonderful. Make a commitment to growing old together and your marriage will grow stronger as the years pass.


June 5, 2017 by naagar   Comments (0)

A calender is a series of hard pressure rollers used to form or smooth a sheet of material such as paper or plastic film. In a principal paper application

Words from a Jewish mother

February 10, 2017 by Rabbi Seth Castleman   Comments (0)

“Rabbi Castleman performed our son's very special Jewish wedding. The ceremony was universal in scope, yet personal and intimate, humorous and serious, and most of all memorable. Many guests remarked that it was
the most meaningful wedding they had ever attended.”

This is a topic of my interest.

December 24, 2016 by Iren Grand   Comments (0)

This is a topic of my interest. I love reading through your blog,I’ve read through a number of the articles in your website , and I love the way you blog. I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation.

At the risk of making

December 24, 2016 by Iren Grand   Comments (1)

At the risk of making a suggestion you probably already know, I also want to point out that you don't have to walk the journey alone. Having a strong and healthy support group, whether they be family, good friends, or counselors, can empower you along the way.

You do make

December 24, 2016 by Iren Grand   Comments (0)

You do make an excellent point. Being positive without any concrete action is wishful thinking. On the other hand, being negative with concerted action can be
self-defeating. Both healthy attitude (grounded in reality) and effective action are needed to maximize the possibility of good results.

Wonderful article,

December 24, 2016 by Iren Grand   Comments (0)

Wonderful article, a bunch of high-quality material. I’m going to point out to my girlftriend and ask them the things they think.
Hey – nice blog, just looking around some blogs, seems a pretty nice platform you are using.

Rabbi Available for Interfaith and Jewish Weddings

August 25, 2016 by Rabbi Gail F Nalven   Comments (0)

weddings, Interfaith Weddings, NYC, New York

Looking for a rabbi for your wedding? Check out the pictures and quotes on my website,

I am located in Manhattan, NY and will travel throughout the New York Tristate area. I work largely with interfaith couples, crafting a service that is warm and inviting to both partners and their families. I will perform weddings on Saturday before sundown.

I hope to hear from you.
Rabbi Gail