Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

WAC / Engineering & Technology

Help with Brainstorming and Organizing Ideas

Brainstorming Templates

Brainstorming is a prewriting technique that allows you to quickly generate, develop, and organize ideas related to your topic.  Brainstorming works by allowing you to freely write down any information that comes to mind.  This technique may seem illogical and sporadic, but it allows you to freely bring out any unconscious information to the surface.

  • Step #1:  When brainstorming ideas, the trick is to simply write down anything that comes to mind.  Ideas can be in the form of words, phrases, drawing, graphs, a thesis statement, a topic sentence, or any other number of ways.  When brainstorming, don’t worry about neatness, grammar, spelling, or cohesion; just write as much as you can.
  • Step #2:  After you have brainstormed ideas, go back and look for any relevant or related ideas.  At this stage, you can circle, cross out, or connect ideas that might be useful for you assignment. 
  • Step #3:  Next, you can begin to organize, regroup, or link ideas on a separate sheet of paper.  At this stage, your ideas are beginning to take the form of an outline.  You can use a traditional outline format to group main ideas or topics, subtopics, a thesis statement, and so on.

Below are links to downloadable prewriting activity templates: