Use what you know

Everything you know about a topic can ultimately make your work more interesting for the person reading and marking it.

You may know a lot about the subject, or very little. Maybe you've discussed the topic at home, or seen information about it on TV or in a newspaper?

It's okay if you don't know anything about your topic when your start researching. One of the great things about brainstorming is that it helps you to work out what you need to find out.

Whatever the case may be, a really good way to sort out what you know about a topic is by brainstorming.


This is a great way to get ideas flowing. It allows you to think about the relationships between different concepts, and identify the gaps in your knowledge.

To make brainstorming quick and efficient, try following these rules:

  • give yourself a time limit – five minutes is usually enough

  • use a big piece of paper, coloured pens and pencils

  • don't think too much – get down as many ideas as you can (it doesn't matter if they're right or wrong), as fast as you can

  • don't worry about spelling or neatness.

Your research has to start somewhere, so all ideas are good ideas at this stage of the process.