Listing out ideas is the first step in writing a good composition. The more original the idea, the more different and interesting would be your composition, from the general run of the mill stuff.
This however requires extensive reading of books and newspapers. You should therefore inculcate this good habit of reading, so that besides putting across new ideas, you also improve your expression.
How to Generate Ideas?
In order to help you to generate new ideas, you can use the following basic techniques. Just as one cannot take the same medicine for different ailments similarly for different types of composition different techniques or a combination of them can be used
1. Question Technique:
Here you ask yourself a series of questions like HOW, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, WHO etc. related to the title of the composition. The answers to some of these questions will generate ideas, that you can use in your composition. Thus for example if you were to write an essay on ‘Journey by train’ you could build your composition by answering the following questions.
The question technique can be very useful for generating ideas for a narrative or descriptive composition.
2. Use of Senses Technique:
Here we use some or all our five senses. We should however ensure that the particular sense can be applied to the subject of our composition. This technique is specially useful in a descriptive composition. Thus in the above composition, ‘Journey by train’ we can also use this technique in the body of the composition to make it more appealing and different.
3. Knowledge Techniques:
This is specially useful in argumentative or topical composition. Here we use our knowledge on various aspect of the subject to produce ideas which can be developed further. Thus for example if you have to write an essay entitled ‘Prohibition’, you can use this approach by dwelling on the following aspects
Organising Your Composition:
Having listed down all the ideas that come to mind based on the above technique. The next step is to organize them in a proper sequence. In this process some ideas may have to be discarded, as they do not fit in the sequence. In order to enable you to organize them, you can use any of the following sequence, depending on the subject of the composition. Let us again take the above topic ‘ journey by train’. You can use any one of the first two sequence given below or a combination of them, for this is a narrative composition.
1. Time Span Related Sequence of events:
By dwelling on the sequence in a chronological order as they happened. You can begin the composition, from the time you boarded the train, till the end of your journey. You can also write about what you saw and did in the course of your journey.
2. People Related Sequence:
Here your approach would be in describing the various types of people you came in contact with, during the course of your journey. The co-passengers, hawkers, beggars etc. Their dress, behaviour, attitude, language and anything that caught your attention.
3. Logic Related Sequence:
This is appropriate for an argumentative and a topical composition where you are required to state your ideas in a logical sequence. This ensures that you put across your views clearly and forcefully. Suppose you are to write an essay on ‘Prohibition’. Since this is topical composition, you can use the knowledge technique to list out the ideas on the subject. Thereafter, you can arrange the ideas in a logic sequence, which could be like.
Planning Your Composition:
After organizing your ideas you now need to plan your composition so as to make it appealing and forceful.
1. In Narrative or Descriptive composition you can arrange the ideas in a time span sequence, or a people sequence or a combination of both. You should however bear the following in mind
a. In describing a person first dwell on his unique features, then his appearance, dress, his style or character etc.
b. In describing a place or a scene start from the perimeter to the center, or from the most prominent part to the least prominent.
2. In Argumentative or a Topical composition dwell first on the strong aspects and counter the weak aspects with logical arguments in support of your stand.