Essay and report writing skills
Essay and report writing skills

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Essay and report writing skills

6.3.1 Stage 1 Brainstorm

To begin your planning, you need to generate ideas or brainstorm. At this stage, you are including everything that you think may be relevant. Nothing should be dismissed yet; this part is about gathering your resources and your thoughts.

For instance, using the essay title ‘There are advantages to studying as a mature student. Do you agree?’, we tried to brainstorm for ideas and produced this list (but, of course, it wasn't this tidy):

  • Gregory quote (steelworkers) – life experience

  • degree certificate – what does it say about you?

  • home commitments and comparison with younger students

  • government policy – numbers studying

  • changes in the workplace, need to retrain

  • need for family support

  • self-discipline and motivation

  • agree or disagree with statement

  • define mature? – no – too obvious.

This isn't everything, but it is a start and is helpful in understanding what the question requires.

Activity 15

Try to do the same for your next assignment. Brainstorm all your ideas and sources.

Discussion

The important thing to remember is that anything that comes to mind may be relevant, leave nothing out at this stage.

LDT_5

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus