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EN 101 First Year Writing: Brainstorming

Welcome to the course guide for EN 101! Filled with lots of videos and links, this guide will help you identify tools and learn skills so that you can write successful academic papers!

Brainstorming

After you decide what you are interested in writing about, your first step in actually writing your paper is defining your topic. This step involves doing some background investigating using a dictionary or encyclopedia, and also brainstorming your topic to identify all of it's aspects!

 

Some people find that Mind Mapping is a good brainstorming activity. There are many computer applications that support mind mapping, so feel free to use any of them!

Dictionaries

Once you decide what topic you want to write about, the dictionary is a great place to start your research. It's possible that you already have a good idea what the words in your research question mean, but you'll be surprised what you can learn about the rhetorical significance of a word when you look it up in the Oxford English Dictionary or the Thematic Dictionary of American Slang!

Encyclopedias