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Techniques for getting started


Use brainstorming to clarify what it is that interests you most about your theme. Write down everything that you associate with your theme without any self-censoring. During brainstorming you will find that keywords and sentences emerge that you can develop further.

  • write words and sentences
  • draw diagrams
  • note titles of interesting books, reports and other types of data

Ideas can pop up at any time! Make sure you always have a pen and paper handy.
The result of your brainstorming will be a personal text that will inspire you to get writing.

Mind maps

How to make a mind map

Mind map about green marketing

Mind map about green marketing

  • Put a piece of paper sideways in front of you.
  • Write your main idea in the centre of the sheet.
  • Draw lines or branches leading out from your main idea and write a keyword at the end of each line.
  • Add smaller lines and sub-branches with more detailed words.
  • Write down your ideas as soon as you think of them – be spontaneous!
  • Look for connections and contexts. Mark these on your map.


  • Use colours to indicate themes and relationships and to highlight ideas.
  • Use images and symbols.
  • Write in lower case. Lower-case text is easier to read and remember than text written in CAPITALS.

Source: “Learning Support Services. Skills for Learning. CD-rom version “, 2004


Freewriting (literally, “think text” in Norwegian) aims to produce a personal and creative text that can help you get started with your writing process. Freewriting means writing to learn, to generate ideas, and to kindle your interest. By writing without thinking about the final product you may discover new possibilities in your chosen theme.

  • Write down everything you know about the topic in a single more-or-less continuous piece of text.
  • Focus on the content of your text.
  • Write without thinking about the structure of your text. The goal is to generate ideas and thoughts without thinking critically about what you are writing.

Speed writing

Speed writing is a method you can use for freewriting. .

  • Write without stopping for between 10 and 30 minutes without lifting the pen from the paper, or your hands from the keyboard.
  • Then read through what you have written and restructure it as proper sentences.
  • Write keywords in the margin and divide the text into sections.

Last updated: August 27, 2014

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