Developing Ideas

A picture of a person writing on paper.Writers need to have something to write about. In college, you’ll be expected to provide your own observations and ideas. Even in a research paper on an assigned topic, you’ll be expected to offer your own thinking about what your sources say. The purpose of writing in college is to show your own analysis and thought processes on the concepts that you’re learning about.

Writers develop ideas in many ways, including the following:

  • Using a journal to record observations and thoughts
  • Freewriting
  • Brainstorming
  • Mapping or diagramming
  • Listing
  • Asking defining questions
  • Noting pros and cons
  • Responding to a text

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