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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (December 6, 2009)

What is a "Brainstorm"?

Wikipedia puts it this way:

a group creativity technique designed to generate a large number of ideas for the solution of a problem. The method was first popularized in the late 1930s by Alex Faickney Osborn in a book called Applied Imagination. Osborn proposed that groups could double their creative output with brainstorming.

Basically, brainstorming is an idea generation tool that writers can use, either on their own or with others in order to come up with the largest number of possible ideas for a piece of writing. The most important step, however, is the “culling” of ideas that happens after successfully generating them. Not all ideas are equal, nor are they all useful.

And that’s the most difficult task of all: evaluation. As a teacher with 25 years of experience, I still find it a challenge to fairly and equitably assess the quality of a student’s ideas. But practice does make one better, so I encourage you to brainstorm and then evaluate and assess your ideas. Each time will be a little easier, a little more useful. Good luck!


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