Answers will vary slightly. possible answers: brainstorming is a two step process. first, the writer lists all of the ideas that come to mind regarding his/her topic. In this process, all ideas are equally important; the goal is to list as many as possible. The second step involves going back over the list and crosses off some items, links items that are closely related, and may even order items of importance. Freewriting is when a writer just sits down and starts putting ideas into writing. the writer does not worry so much about the proper mechanics of writing or if the writing is right or wrong. This exercise is intended to generate ideas and is often used to help writers suffering from writers block. Listing involves making a list of all the items related to your topic. listing is most effective when you have already narrowed your topic down (whereas brainstorming will help you if you are undecided about a main idea). Clustering is when a writer uses a whole sheet of paper to create a mind-map. the writer writes the general subject of the essay in the middle of the paper and then rapidly writes down all ideas that come to mind around that topic. the writer then can link items that are related and visually see if any patterns emerge.