Comparison webs are one of the most basic and powerful forms of analysis in any discipline. For example, in a social studies class, students may compare and contrast the characteristics of one culture with another. This type of analysis helps students better understand the groups being studied, as well as make unifying connections between them. For more examples of webbing, as wells as other graphic organizer examples, click here. Buy Now Free Trials. Teaching and Learning with Brainstorming Webs.
Introduction to Webbing Commonly used as a tool to help begin the writing process or a research assignment, webbing is a brainstorming method that provides structure for ideas and facts. Literary webs are a type of brainstorming web that helps students analyze stories or novels so that they can gain a better understanding of the literary elements at play, as well as the composition of the story.
A literary web helps students analyze the various literary elements plot, characterization, theme, etc. By dissecting characters, plots and sequence of events, literary webs help students learn about composition and get a better understanding of a story as a whole. Character webs are a type of brainstorming web that represents one of the ways in which visual learning can support reading comprehension.
In a character web, students identify the traits of a central character. This reinforces the concept of point of view and helps students understand a character's actions and motivation. When students are reading complex stories, a character web can also show how the character develops as the story proceeds. For example, teachers can instruct students to create a web after reading the first chapter of a story and then save that web.
While it can sometimes create more problems than it solves by encouraging social loafing and rewarding some personalities over others, there are times when your team has to get together and come up with ideas. In fact, I did a little solo brainstorming recently, for this very topic. As I looked through those 14 brainstorming techniques, I began to see three basic approaches to brainstorming that I thought would be useful to you.
When you come to a roadblock, take a detour. Brainstorming techniques can take a few basic approaches. Once you understand how they work, you can mix and match them for the best results. Association is a powerful way to get past typical thinking, and to get out of a rut. We generally come up with ideas that are obvious at first , and associative brainstorming is a good way to artificially force yourself past that point instead of hours of work.
You might start with a word or two based on your project, and begin writing down any word that comes to mind. These words are then grouped together according to how they are related to each other. There is a Word Storm website that can help you get started with word storm techniques. Start with a word or two, and write down the first words that come to mind. Using a mind map is a way to visually organize data and information.
Mind mapping has proven popular, particularly if you are better able to understand data visually instead of as lists or outlines. Organized around a central idea, a mind map works like the branch of a tree. Ideas and then sub ideas that are associated with the main idea branch off from the central idea. Word banks are collections of words based on the kind of word you need based on a specific topic or theme. This kind of brainstorming technique works well for copywriters who want to find a variety of words that suit a specific project without repeating themselves.
You can also use it to build a bank of words to keep on hand when writing your headlines. This is an example of power words we pulled together in a word bank to help you write more emotional headlines. You're invited to a 1-on-1 marketing demo of CoSchedule! In the meantime, get started with a FREE day trial! Start Your Free Trial. Talk To An Expert. Start Your Free Account. Using a word storm might be one way to start a collection of words for your word bank, though the two techniques are not the same.
Using visual association after a project is completed would make sure that what you've created doesn't raise negative associations in your audience. It is best done by people who weren't on the team so that their associations are honest and not tainted by being too familiar with the project. Think of a Rorschach test, in which you jot down whatever words or thoughts come to mind when you see an image.
The control for this method is what images you will use. I actually have a book where I collect images from magazines and other sources. You might do the same, or use a different image source. In some situations, you need to make decisions that are based on more than random associations. This is where problem solving brainstorming steps in, when you need something concrete.
You probably already use an on-the-fly method of pros and cons to make decisions in life. Writing down pros and cons in a structured manner with a few rules can make this a powerful tool.
Write down what you are trying to choose between. Then, list the pros and cons to tally up a total. The option with the most pros is the route to go. You have to be careful to not cheat, though, and purposefully stack the list the way you want it to go.
Let's look at an example of cheating. Cheating would look like this:. Team A will be upset. Jim will be happy. Todd will be happy. Erica will be happy. Three pros, one con, the pros have it! Pros and cons help you cut through the gray area where you either aren't sure what to do, or don't want to admit what you know you should do.
When done right, the numbers are convincing. There are times when some pros and cons outweigh others. In this case, you would need to weight the list because each item is not equally important. To do this, you'd need to start by listing your top goals, the things most important to you. Instead of each list item being counted as one, the more important items in your list of goals would have a higher weight. Pros and cons seem simple, but we have a tendency to cheat.
Often, there is a decision we want to be the right one and we try to validate it by loading the pros and cons either way. While associative brainstorming helps you find entirely new paths, and measurable brainstorming gives you confidence to make decisions, finding a new view works when you're on the right track but just not able to nail it down. Many fiction writers advocate asking yourself "what if" not only when you're stuck, but even when the writing is going well.
Wondering what might happen if something changed, and using your brainstorming prowess to run with it, is a good way to get a different view on the project or problem. My 7th grade English teacher did me a great service when she helped us understand prepositional phrases by visualizing a box.
Prepositional phrases generally tell where something was, and so she said that any time you saw a phrase in a sentence that could be used in relation to a box, you probably were dealing with a prepositional phrase. When it comes to brainstorming, it's not about writing prepositional phrases, but it's about imagining the problem or project you are working on to be like that box.
What if you took a swing at it from the other side?
What follows are great ideas on how to brainstorm—ideas from professional writers, novice writers, people who would rather avoid writing, and people who spend a lot of time brainstorming about well, how to brainstorm.
Brainstorming refers to quickly writing down or taking inventory of all your thoughts as fast as they come to you. In this sense, your ideas are like a gigantic storm swirling around in your brain, and it's your job to get them out of your head.
But before you start, remember the first rule of brainstorming: Enumerate, don’t evaluate. Just get the ideas down, and don’t judge them or organize them until the creative phase has wound down. 1. Brainstorming Prewriting and planning is a way of organizing your ideas and beginning to put the information you have on paper. It is best to do a prewriting activity before you actually begin writing .
I hardly ever write in complete sentences in the initial parts of brainstorming and then end my brainstorming sessions by completely writing out my topic sentences in their entirety. Once you have a couple good ideas written down in complete sentences, you have completely finished generating ideas. Test every headline before you publish. Try the free Headline Analyzer» When it comes to brainstorming, it's not about writing prepositional phrases, but it's about imagining the problem or project you are working on to be like that box. What if you took a swing at it from the other side? From under it? From ahead of it?