Brainstorming Techniques in Essay Writing

Essay writing can be a tricky section for many candidates solely due to the fact that students are not well adept in the craft of writing – especially one that involves structuring a logical flow of thoughts and ideas. Most students are dumbfounded when provided with a tough essay topic. In this article, we provide you techniques that will help you churn out ideas for essays during the GDPI stage of MBA colleges.
Technique-1: The SPHELTIR technique of brainstorming
This serves as an effective tool to control and brand the diversity of ideas which come to one's mind while brainstorming. This approach is a yardstick to evaluate the topic from multiple dimensions- Social, Political, Historical, Economic, Legal, Technological, International, and Religious. This method is more useful for brainstorming on factual topics.
Let’s use this technique and analyze one topic. This will help you understand how to use this approach in order to generate content.
Sample Topic: Should there be reservations?
  • Social inequalities in rural and urban India like untouchability
  • Reservations for socially and educationally backward classes (Art 15)
  • Caste-based vote-bank politics
  • Women Reservation Bill
  • Genesis of Caste System in India
  • Was there any timeline set by constitution?
  • Creamy Layer
  • Reservations in jobs and educational institutes
  • Indian Constitution - Right to equality (Art 14)
  • However, 'positive discrimination' allowed (Art 15)

  • Reservations in private sector like IT/ITES
  • Is Reservation in IITs / IIMs killing merit
  • Is Reservation making India less competitive in world?
  • Similar policy of affirmative action in USA too.
  • Reservations for Minorities?
  • Sachar Committee Report
Technique-2: The POPBEANS approach to brainstorming
This is also a useful tool to think about topics for both structure and diversity. The tool assesses the following aspects surrounding a given topic- People, Objects, Place, Behavior, Event, Action, Nature, and Society. This method is particularly useful for expanding abstract topics.
Let’s take up an example topic and see how we can use this technique.
Sample Topic: "Black"
As you can see, this single-letter is extremely abstract in nature and requires you to think outside of the box. Using the POPBEANS approach, you can think of the following pointers for this topic:
  • People - Corrupt/ dishonest people
  • Objects - Black hole, manipulated balance sheet (commerce point)
  • Place - Historical monuments, graveyard, South or North pole
  • Behavior - Rude and aggressive behavior 
  • Event - 26/11, other tragic events 
  • Actions - Honor killing, female foeticide, negligent behaviour
  • Nature - Environmental degradation, catastrophic events, 
  • Society - Decline in values, morals 
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