Brainstorming is essential for writing excellent business documents. If you brainstorm properly, you will be able to quickly write whatever it is you need written. You will also be able to write well and on topic. One of the worse things about reading poor writing is lack of direction in the author. If you write wellI find this pre-writing phase forces me to be creative. It’s fun but also challenging. When faced with a blank page, I’m never sure how things are going to turn out. However, as we’ll see later, in this article when looking at short report writing, there is a standard model to follow.
First, when brainstorming, I sometimes use free association to let my mind mull over the subject. I often use free association when I’m running outdoors. I may even share ideas with my running partner. Afterwards, I’ll jot down the ideas that jumped to my mind.
Second, I may refer to a good book, article, or website related to the topic. Amazon books, especially the book reviews, and YouTube are great places to search using keywords. Of course, I take notes on what I’ve learned either the old-fashioned way - writing them down on paper - or typing them into a Google document. Be sure to note the source of the information if you need to cite it in the business document itself.
Third, when brainstorming for ideas, use the technique of mind mapping. This is a visual way to generate, structure and classify words, ideas, tasks or whatever relates to your topic.
Fourth, I often use an idea list. I just write down ideas in any order as they come to me. On the other hand, if you want to be more systematic, you can focus on some of these points when planning a short business report:
- cause and effect relationships
- solutions to the problem
- processes involved
- possible comparisons
- how the subject matter can be divided
- advantages and disadvantages
- warnings, tips or guidelines
- financial issues
- social, legal or other consequences
- possible recommendations or conclusions.
Finally, you could ask yourself questions about the topic. You might use the common information-gathering technique called the 5Ws:
- Who is it about?
- What happened?
- When did it occur?
- Where did it happen?
- Why did it happen?
There are many other questions you can ask yourself. I hope this helped.
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions, comments, or screams of angst.