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Essay and report writing skills
Essay and report writing skills

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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.


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