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Not everyone brainstorms in formal ways, but you may find brainstorming can help you get started with your papers, move you along when stuck, or allow you to clarify your ideas when forming your logic. Some brainstorming activities are better for each of these than others.
Many people like to bounce ideas off of other people to gain understanding and ideas. Sit and talk to someone about what direction you're thinking about going in.
This allows you to get all of your ideas out so you don't forget anything. Record your ideas on a recording device, or using a microphone on your computer.
Draw a picture about your topic and develop ideas based on the picture.