The Art of ‘Brain Dumping’ – a starting point for effective writing


‘Writer’s block is something that happens while you’re actually writing, right?’ Wrong!

We’ve all faced the challenge of getting stuck writing before we actually start writing! The actual task of focussing and deciding where to actually start is sometimes a challenge in itself. A simple solution to this is to perform what is known as a ‘brain dump’.

In this post we’ll briefly take about what it is, how to do it and how exactly it can help you with starting writing whether it’s an essay, proposal or dissertation you need to get started on.

What is it?

A ‘brain dump’ or ‘brain dumping’ is the simple method of clearing out the clutter in your mind by writing out all your thoughts onto paper. One reason why it’s very hard to start writing is we don’t have a clear idea of what to or how to do it because of the overload of thoughts that clutter our minds.

A ‘brain dump’ will allow you to empty out these spiralling thoughts in order to organise them logically and pick a starting point for the task you have at hand. Think of it as simply pouring out your mind onto a plain sheet of paper so you can see your thoughts one by one.


How do you do it?

There is no magic trick to this. You simply get a plain piece of paper – preferably A4 size, and write the topic of focus. This could be the title of your essay or the task you’re going to do, i.e: my proposal, my dissertation, my thesis.

Once you’ve written the topic of focus, begin to freely write all the connected thoughts that rush to your mind. The key here is to allow the ideas to flow, uninterrupted. You should write down everything connected to the topic that comes to your mind.

Style

There are several ways to write out your thoughts. You can simply:

  • list them: one after the other, thought after thought;
  • create thought bubbles: each thought contained in its own capsule;
  • make a spider diagram: write the topic at the centre of the page and work your way from the centre outwards by writing thoughts connected to the topic;
  • make a mind map: start from the topic and list your thoughts as they branch out, taking each thought in a separate direction so you have branches of similar, connected thoughts
  • create a flow chart: start with the topic at the stop of the page followed by your thoughts in the order they appear, use arrows to connect the order


What are the benefits?

Besides the obvious benefit of helping you avoid serious procrastination by getting started on writing, a brain dump will help you:

  • clear you mind of clutter and focus on the task at hand;
  • visualise your ideas in order to help you organise them;
  • prepare a plan for the writing task at hand;
  • create a timetable or make a realistic to-do list;
  • work out what resources you need i.e.: books, articles, journals, websites or equipment such as stationery supplies

I hope you’ve found this post helpful in getting started on writing by planning and organising your thoughts. I will be posting new content on effective writing strategies, so make sure you sign up to my mailing list for instant notification on more study and academic writing tips.

Happy brain dumping!

~Nafisa

An-Easy-Guide-To-Writing-Essays by Nafisa Ahmedi
Buy now – ‘An Easy Guide To Writing Essays’ by Nafisa Ahmedi available on Amazon.com

My New Book: ‘An Easy Guide To Creating POWERFUL PRESENTATIONS’

Happy 1st of May! I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since the book signing event of my first publication. I’m extremely pleased again to finally be able to share my latest book, ‘An Easy Guide To Creating Powerful Presentations’.


Just like my previous academic books, ‘An Easy Guide To Creating Powerful Presentations’ is a reader-centred step-by-step guide which includes planning and organisational worksheets to guide you through and help you create powerful presentations that will have a long lasting impact on your audience. This book focuses on each crucial stage and concept that is essential in creating effective and impactful presentations.

 ‘An Easy Guide To Creating Powerful Presentationscovers all the essential of good presentation and communication skills including signpost language and body language to help develop your confidence and public speaking skills.

For the contents page of ‘An Easy Guide To Creating Powerful Presentations’, click here.

‘An Easy Guide To Creating Powerful Presentations’ is available in paperback on Amazon (RRP £12.95) free UK delivery, T&Cs apply.

For the eBook version, you can purchase and download from my shop MissPhDiva & Co

5 Basic Elements of Good Academic Writing


There is no magic wand for learning good academic writing, however, there are ways to make it easier, more manageable and fun. Here are my 5 simple tips for good academic writing:


♦ Remember, you can download your free PDF copy of these 5 basic elements of academic writing here. Print and use it to help you study.

Enjoy,

~ Nafisa



 

 

Using Word Tables for Learning Academic Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives & Adverbs


There are many words in English that have forms of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. For example; beauty (noun), beautify (verb), beautiful (adjective), beautifully (adverb).  It is very useful to learn as many of these common words used in academic writing in their noun/verb/adjective/adverb forms. However, there are also some words that do not always have all 4 forms.

Here is a list of common words with their noun/verb/adjective/adverb forms and academic word table to organise other words you learn.

Here is an academic vocabulary worksheet with activities to check your understanding.

You can also check your answers to these activities using the answer key here.

Academic word table, exercises and answer key available to download and print, click the links above this photographs to download yours.

Enjoy,

~ Nafisa