I vividly remember my dad writing back home to his mum. He would ask my mum, "Well, how do I start?" Mum would patiently reply, "Try a Dear Mum,". "OK. 'Done that. Now what do I write?"
True story. :-)
When time comes to write an essay, many of us freeze up. Blank paper stares back at us and we stare back - brain dead.
How about a couple of easy techniques to find dozens of good ideas within minutes? Here we go:
# Find a word - just one word related to the topic.
# Place that word in the center of that blank sheet. Draw a quick bubble round it.
# Draw several legs out of it. Like a spider's legs.
# Put a bubble on each "foot"
# What other words are related (in any way) to that central word?
# Now, should have at least a half dozen new words / ideas.
# Next level – draw more legs from those feet and see a couple of dozen new feet.
# Guess what? More words/ideas will appear to fill those new bubbles.
Voila! You have a few dozen thoughts to start building your essay.
The “WH” Technique
Lay out all the “wh” words and answer them. Dig for even more thoughts to elaborate and fill out with word pictures.
# when? last winter - just after New Year
# where? at home - down the street
# why? street was icy - she thought could slide better than me
# how? storm - she wobbled like a penguin
# who? my sis - dad laughed too
# what? happened? she fell and broke her arm - ambulance guy fell - broke his arm
# which? sis left - guy right
# whose? side was I on?