The hardest thing about writing any work, be it an essay, a blog or a novel, is getting started. Often, one has ideas, but cannot make them make sense on paper the way that they do in our head. Strong writing should always start with a goal (i.e. finished paper) and then a plan should be developed to reach that goal.
There are a few different options on how to plan out a paper. Brainstorming and outlining are two different ways that you can orgaize your thoughts and prepare to write.
One of the most effective ways to organize the ideas in one's head and prepare them for use on paper is to brainstorm. Brainstorming is the process of writing down random thoughts on a topic on paper so that they can be categorized into logical groupings and then organized for writing.
The great thing about brainstorming is that there is no particular form to it. The individual can use whatever method that they feel comfortable with. Some are able to process lists easily and choose to brainstorm by forming different cascading lists. Others prefer the visual representation of a bubble/web chart where they can throw out ideas and connect them visually into groups.
Another effective tool in getting ideas from one's head onto paper is outlining. If you already have a flow of thoughts on a topic that you would like to turn in to some kind of writing, an outline will help you to make sure that the thoughts flow in a logical order and that you don't leave anything out. In outlining, the writer begins with the beginning of the paper (introduction) and writes down what they intend to accomplish at that point in the paper. They then move on to the body paragraghs and for each one list their intended points for those paragraphs, usually using bullets or Roman numerals to denote each subnote.
University of Richmond Writing Center. “Writer’s Web.” 1 Nov. 2013. <http://writing.richmond.edu/writing/wweb.html>.
University of North Carolina Writing Center. "Brainstorming". 1 Nov. 2013. <http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/brainstorming/>
Brown,Rita Mae. Starting From Stratch: A Different Kind Of Writer's ManualNew York,NewYork:Bantam Books 1988