AfriGeneas Writers Forum
Try brainstorming on paper
In Response To: Writing Lab ()
Stuck? Try Brainstorming on Paper
If a blank screen or sheet of paper causes you to freeze, simply start writing your thoughts and ideas, suggests David R. Williams, author of Sin Boldly!: Dr. Dave's Guide to Writing the College Paper (Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books, current publisher Perseus Publishing, 2000)
11. "The very act of writing can itself somehow be liberating," he explains. "Ideas occur to the writer that would not occur if he or she were not already pouring words onto the page. One idea stimulates another in a stream of association that reaches deep into the subconscious."
Part of the choice you have to make when you choose a topic is the voice in which the paper is to be written. Voices are extensions of people, and, like people, they have different viewpoints and opinions. None is objective. Thus the topic of your paper will be closely related to the voice in which you choose to write. A paper denouncing the awful sexism of Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest will have a different voice from one analyzing the metaphors of flowers in Emily Dickinson. Too many students take for granted that any college paper has to be in a pompous professorial objective voice. This is a mistake. In an effort to prevent this horror, some professors go to great lengths to stress the importance of writing in your own voice. This is good advice, but it can be a bit simplistic. Most of us, after all, have several different voices. We speak one way to our peers, another way to our boyfriends or girlfriends, and a different way altogether to the cop who pulls us over on the highway. Which one is truly us? And in this paper, which audience are we trying to reach? "