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College Success Skills 100: Brainstorming

This Research Guide is intended to help students taking CSS 100.

What you need to consider

Brainstorming Steps: 

  1. Think about what you want to learn or find out. 
  2. Make a list using these headings: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY (see below)
  3. Write down whatever comes to mind under these headings about your topic. 
  4. If you can’t think of anything, put down a question mark (this is where you need to find more information). 
  5. Circle or highlight the names, terms and ideas that interest you the most.
  6. Turn this into a list of keywords that you will use when you get ready to search online. 
  7. Don't worry if you don't use every category.

WHO - who is affected by your topic.  Don't just think of the focus of your topic but the people who are impacted in other ways.  For instance, family members and employers.

WHAT - what is caused or affected by your topic. For instance, how much sleep you get might affect your success in college or success in the workplace.

WHEN - are you interested in the present or the past?

WHERE- are you only interested in the United States?  Limiting your search to a geographic area is a powerful way to narrow your search.

WHY - why are you interested in this topic?  Why should your classmate (or instructor) be interested too?

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