I am completely sure that you have heard of the concept “brainstorming” before and probably you have made use of it at some point. But, why is it so important and useful during your student life? With the aim of answering to all these questions, I will discuss some of the most relevant aspects of brainstorming. During my blog, I will also provide with some practical tips on how to take full advantage of this study technique to your favour.
What is it?
Brainstorming is a concept that is aimed at finding solutions or a conclusion to a problem by creating a list of spontaneous ideas of a specific topic. This concept has existed for already quite long time and has served to help individuals or groups of people to sort out work or study tasks. Originally, brainstorming always involved two or more people discussing ideas in order to arrive to a solution. Nowadays, brainstorming is a technique that is used by many individuals who need to clarify their heads before writing down an essay, for example.
At Karolinska Institutet, brainstorming is a very popular tool used by many teachers and students. This is because all study programmes at KI involve a lot of group work and individual assignments. Examples of the aforementioned include “Problem Based Learning” (PBL) activities and literature assignments such as essays. Therefore, it is not difficult to imagine that in order to make these tasks easier and smoother, the implementation of this technique at individual and group level is necessary.
Why is it so useful?
As I already mentioned in the previous section, brainstorming is a very common study technique. But, why is it so useful? The answer to this relies on its applicability and positive results. This means that it can be used in a wide range of tasks and topics.
For example, if you need to write a statement of intent for an application, it might be that you do not even know from where to start. For this reason, you should begin with a storm of all your ideas. In this brainstorm you want to portray everything related to your motivations and aspirations for the application. As soon as your ideas are written down in a piece of paper or in a word doc, you will realise that now the main idea of how to structure the statement is much clearer than before.
Another example of its utility relies on its application to the PBL dynamic. This is because in this group activity (to learn more about the PBL concept check-out my blog) we are given a problem which needs a solution. Clearly, the best way to start solving it is by brainstorming in group. During this time all members will contribute with different ideas that can give an outlook of possible solutions to the problem. Thus, when the time to write down comes, we will have a much clearer idea of how to proceed.
Why should you implement it as part of your study dynamics?
I have already been discussing a lot about brainstorming and its applications to your studies. But, why should you adopt it as part of your study routines? Simple! Because, brainstorming will make your homework, academic projects and other types of assignments much easier and lighter. Implementing this technique will also save you tons of time and will give better results than other methods.
For example, when I have to write a literature assignment from a scientific paper or an international report, the first thing I do after reading the document is writing down everything relevant I remember from it. This action will take me no longer than ten or twelve minutes. Afterwards, I just need to structure and style everything up in a final text and double check that I am not missing any important information. As you can read, this method truly turns the whole process of homework a lot simpler and faster. So now you know that the sooner you brainstorm your scholar works, the sooner you will improve your student life 🙂
Some practical tips
Next, I will provide with some useful and funny tips on how to improve your brainstorming technique and take all possible advantages form it:
- If the ideas are not coming immediately, do not push yourself and give it a break
- Take a deep breath and relax before you start writing down your ideas
- If the inspiration comes suddenly, take a piece of paper or whatever you have on hand and start to write everything down
- If you are not inspired at all, it could be that you need to distract your mind for a moment. Go for a walk or watch a chapter of your favourite series. The point of this is to rest and relax the mind.
- A glass of wine and some snacks are always nice to get some inspiration 😉
- While portraying your ideas, do not focus on the style of the writing or the order. Just let the ideas flow as they come (that is actually the point of brainstorm), eventually you will have time to style everything up
I hope this blog had been really useful and that it helps you to improve your brainstorming technique during your student life.
If you have questions about this topic don’t hesitate and contact me!
Aline Colonnello: firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Aline Colonnello Montero, I am twenty five years old and I come from the wonderful but busy Mexico City. I consider myself to be a perseverant person who works hard to meet all my goals and ambitions. I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology and I currently study the Master’s programme in Toxicology at Karolinska Institutet. My job as part of the digital ambassadors’ team consists on writing blogs