Generating Ideas for Your Paper

Introduction

Good writing requires good ideas—intriguing concepts and analysis that are clearly and compellingly arranged. But good ideas don’t just appear like magic. All writers struggle with figuring out what they are going to say. And while there is no set formula for generating ideas for your writing, there is a wide range of established techniques that can help you get started.

This page contains information about those techniques. Here you’ll find details about specific ways to develop thoughts and foster inspiration. While many writers employ one or two of these strategies at the beginning of their writing processes in order to come up with their overall topic or argument, these techniques can also be used any time you’re trying to figure out how to effectively achieve any of your writing goals or even just when you’re not sure what to say next.

Contents

What is Invention?

Where do ideas come from? This is a high-level question worthy of a fascinating TED Talk or a Smithsonian article, but it also represents one of the primary challenges of writing. How do we figure out WHAT to write?

Even hundreds of years ago, people knew that a text begins with an idea and that locating this idea and determining how to develop it requires work. According to classical understandings of rhetoric, the first step of building an argument is invention. As Roman thinker Cicero argued, people developing arguments “ought first to find out what [they] should say” (On Oratory and Orators 3.31). Two hundred years before Cicero, the Greek philosopher Aristotle detailed a list of more than two dozen ideas a rhetor might consider when figuring out what to say about a given topic (On Rhetoric, 2.23). For example, Aristotle suggested that a good place to start is to define your key concepts, to think about how your topic compares to other topics, or to identify its causes and effects. (For ideas about using Aristotle’s advice to generate ideas for your own papers, check out this recommended technique.)

More recently, composition scholar Joseph Harris has identified three values important for writers just starting a project. Writers at early stages in their writing process can benefit from being:

  • Receptive to unexpected connections
    You never know when something you read or need to write will remind you of that movie you watched last weekend or that anthropology theory you just heard a lecture about or that conversation you had with a member of your lab about some unexpected data you’ve encountered. Sometimes these connections will jump out at you in the moment or you’ll suddenly remember them while you’re vacuuming the living room. Harris validates the importance of “seizing hold of those ideas that do somehow come to you” (102). While you can’t count on these kinds of serendipities, be open to them when they occur. Be ready to stop and jot them down!
  • Patient
    Harris supports the value of patience and “the usefulness of boredom, of letting ideas percolate” (102). It can take time and long consideration to think of something new. When possible, give yourself plenty of time so that your development of ideas is not stifled by an immediate due date.
  • Compelled by the unknown
    According to Harris, “a writer often needs to start not from a moment of inspiration (eureka!) but from the need to work through a conceptual problem or roadblock. Indeed, I’d suggest that most academic writing begins with such questions rather than insights, with difficulties in understanding rather than moments of mastery” (102). Sometimes a very good place to begin is with what you don’t know, with the questions and curiosities that you genuinely want resolved.

In what follows, we describe ten techniques that you can select from and experiment with to help guide your invention processes. Depending on your writing preferences, context, and audience, you might find some more productive than others. Also, it might be useful to utilize various techniques for different purposes. For example, brainstorming might be great for generating a variety of possible ideas, but looped freewriting might help you develop those ideas. Think of this list as a collection of recommended possibilities to implement at your discretion. However, we think the first technique described below—“Analyzing the Assignment or Task”—is a great starting point for all writers.

Any of these strategies can be useful for generating ideas in connection to any writing assignment. Even if the paper you’re writing has a set structure (e.g., scientific reports’ IMRAD format or some philosophy assignments’ prescribed argumentative sequence), you still have to invent and organize concepts and supporting evidence within each section. Additionally, these techniques can be used at any stage in your writing process. Your ideas change and develop as you write, and sometimes when you’re in the middle of a draft or when you’re embarking on a major revision, you find yourself rethinking key elements of your paper. At these moments, it might be useful to turn to some of these invention techniques as a way to slow down and capture the ephemeral thoughts and possibilities swirling around your writing tasks. These practices can help guide you to new ideas, questions, and connections. No matter what you’re writing or where you are in the process, we encourage you to experiment with invention strategies you may not have tried before. Mix and match. Be as creative and adventurous with how you generate ideas just as you are creative and adventurous with what ideas you generate.

Some Invention Techniques

Analyzing the Assignment or Task

What do I do?
If you are writing a paper in response to a course instructor’s assignment, be sure to read the prompt carefully while paying particular attention to all of its requirements and expectations. It could be that the assignment is built around a primary question; if so, structure your initial thoughts around possible answers to that question. If it isn’t, use your close consideration of this assignment to recast the prompt as a question.

The following list of questions are ones that you can ask of the assignment in order to understand its focus and purpose as well as to begin developing ideas for how to effectively respond to its intensions. You may want to underline key terms and record your answers to these questions:

  • When is this due?
  • How long is supposed to be?
  • What am I supposed to write about?
    • Is the topic given to me?
    • If I get to choose my topic, are there any stipulations about the kind of topic and I can choose?
  • What am I expected to do with this topic? Analyze it? Report about it? Make an argument about it? Compare it to something else?
  • Who is my audience and what does this audience know, believe, and value about my topic?
  • What is the genre of this writing (i.e., a lab report, a case study, a research paper, a reflection, a scholarship essay, an analysis of a work of literature or a painting, a summary and analysis of a reading, a literature review, etc.), and what does writing in this genre usually look like, consist of, or do?

Why is this technique useful?
Reading over the assignment prompt may sound like an obvious starting point, but it is very important that your invention strategies are informed by the expectations your readers have about your writing. For example, you might brainstorm a fascinating thesis about how Jules Verne served as a conceptual progenitor of the nuclear age, but if your assignment is asking you to describe the differences between fission and fusion and provide examples, this great idea won’t be very helpful. Before you let your ideas run free, make sure you fully understand the boundaries and possibilities provided by the assignment prompt.

Additionally, some assignments begin to do the work of invention for you. Instructors sometimes identify specifically what they want you to write about. Sometimes they invite you to choose from several guiding questions or a position to support or refute. Sometimes the genre of the text can help you identify how this kind of assignment should begin or the order your ideas should follow. Knowing this can help you develop your content. Before you start conjuring ideas from scratch, make sure you glean everything you can from the prompt.

Finally, just sitting with the assignment and thinking through its guidelines can sometimes provide inspiration for how to respond to its questions or approach its challenges.

Reading Again

What do I do?
When your writing task is centered around analyzing a primary source, information you collected, or another kind of text, start by rereading it. Perhaps you are supposed to develop an argument about an interview you conducted, an article or short story you read, an archived letter you located, or even a painting you viewed or a particular set of data. In order to develop ideas about how to approach this object of analysis, read and analyze this text again. Read it closely. Be prepared to take notes about its interesting features or the questions this second encounter raises. You can find more information about rereading literature to write about it here and specific tips about reading poetry here.

Why is this technique useful?
When you first read a text, you gain a general overview. You find out what is happening, why it’s happening, and what the argument is. But when you reread that same text, your attention is freed to attend to the details. Since you know where the text is heading, you can be alert to patterns and anomalies. You can see the broader significance of smaller elements. You can use your developing familiarity with this text to your advantage as you become something of a minor expert whose understanding of this object deepens with each re-read. This expertise and insight can help lead you towards original ideas about this text.

Brainstorming/Listing

What do I do?
First, consider your prompt, assignment, or writing concern (see “Analyzing the Assignment or Task”). Then start jotting down or listing all possible ideas for what you might write in response. The goal is to get as many options listed as possible. You may wish to develop sub-lists or put some of your ideas into different categories, but don’t censor or edit yourself. And don’t worry about writing in full sentences. Write down absolutely everything that comes to mind—even preposterous solutions or unrealistic notions. If you’re working on a collaborative project, this might be a process that you conduct with others, something that involves everyone meeting at the same time to call out ideas and write them down so everyone can see them. You might give yourself a set amount of time to develop your lists, or you might stretch out the process across a couple of days so that you can add new ideas to your lists whenever they occur to you.

Why is this technique useful?
The idea behind this strategy is to open yourself up to all possibilities because sometimes even the most seemingly off-the-wall idea has, at its core, some productive potential. And sometimes getting to that potential first involves recognizing the outlandish. There is time later in your writing process to think critically about the viability of your options as well as which possibilities effectively respond to the prompt and connect to your audience. But brainstorming or listing sets those considerations aside for a moment and invites you to open your imagination up to all options.

Freewriting

What do I do?
Sit down and write about your topic without stopping for a set amount of time (i.e., 5-10 minutes). The goal is to generate a continuous, forward-moving flow of text, to track down all of your thoughts about this topic, as if you are thinking on the page. Even if all you can think is, “I don’t know what to write,” or, “Is this important?” write that down and keep on writing. Repeat the same word or phrase over again if you need to. If you’re writing about an unfamiliar topic, maybe start by writing down everything you know about it and then begin listing questions you have. Write in full sentences or in phrases, whatever helps keep your thoughts flowing. Through this process, don’t worry about errors of any kind or gaps in logic. Don’t stop to reread or revise what you wrote. Let your words follow your thought process wherever it takes you.

Why is this technique useful?
The purpose of this technique is to open yourself up to the possibilities of your ideas while establishing a record of what those ideas are. Through the unhindered nature of this open process, you are freed to stumble into interesting options you might not have previously considered.

Invisible Writing

What do I do?
In this variation of freewriting, you dim your computer screen so that you can’t see what you’ve written as you type out your thoughts.

Why is this technique useful?
This is a particularly useful technique if while you are freewriting you just can’t keep yourself from reviewing, adjusting, or correcting your writing. This technique removes that temptation to revise by eliminating the visual element. By temporarily limiting your ability to see what you’ve written, this forward-focused method can help you keep pursuing thoughts wherever they might go.

Looped Freewriting

What do I do?
This is another variation of freewriting. After an initial round of freewriting or invisible writing, go back through what you’ve written and locate one idea, phrase, or sentence that you think is really compelling. Make that the starting point for another round of timed freewriting and see where an uninterrupted stretch of writing starting from that point takes you. After this second round of freewriting, identify a particular part of this new text that stands out to you and make that the opening line for your third round of freewriting. Keep repeating this process as many times as you find productive.

Why is this technique useful?
Sometimes this technique is called “mining” because through it writers are able to drill into the productive bedrock of ideas as well as unearth and discover latent possibilities. By identifying and expanding on concepts that you find particularly intriguing, this technique lets you focus your attention on what feels most generative within your freewritten text, allowing you to first narrow in and then elaborate upon those ideas.

Talking with Someone

What do I do?
Find a generous and welcoming listener and talk through what you need to write and how you might go about writing it. Start by reading your assignment prompt aloud or just informally explaining what you are thinking about saying or arguing in your paper. Then be open to your listener’s reactions, curiosities, suggestions, and questions. Invite your listener to repeat in his or her own words what you’ve been saying so that you can hear how someone else is understanding your ideas. While a friend or classmate might be able to serve in this role, writing center tutors are also excellent interlocutors. If you are a currently enrolled UW-Madison student, you are welcome to make an appointment at our main writing center, stop by one of our satellite locations, or even Skype in to talk with a tutor about your assignment, ideas, and possible options for further exploration.

Why is this technique useful?
Sometimes it’s just useful to hear yourself talk through your ideas. Other times you can gain new insight by listening to someone else’s understanding of or interest in your assignment or topic. A genuinely curious listener can motivate you to think more deeply and to write more effectively.

Reading More

Sometimes course instructors specifically ask that you do your analysis on your own without consulting outside sources. When that is the case, skip this technique and consider implementing one of the others instead.

What do I do?
Who else has written about your topic, run the kind of experiments you’ve developed, or made an argument like the one you’re interested in? What did they say about this issue? Do some internet searches for well-cited articles on this concept. Locate a book in the library stacks about this topic and then look at the books that are shelved nearby. Read where your interests lead you. Take notes about things other authors say that you find intriguing, that you have questions about, or that you disagree with. You might be able to use any of these responses to guide your developing paper. (Make sure you also record bibliographic information for any texts you want to incorporate in your paper so that you can correctly cite those authors.)

Why is this technique useful?
Exploring what others have written about your topic can be a great way to help you understand this issue more fully. Through reading you can locate support for your ideas and discover arguments you want to refute. Reading about your topic can also be a way of figuring out what motivates you about this issue. Which texts do you want to read more of? Why? Capitalize on and expand upon these interests.

Visualizing Ideas

Mindmapping, Clustering, or Webbing

What do I do?
This technique is a form of brainstorming or listing that lets you visualize how your ideas function and relate. To make this work, you might want to locate a large space you can write on (like a whiteboard) or download software that lets you easily manipulate and group text, images, and shapes (like Coggle, FreeMind, or MindMapple). Write down a central idea then identify associated concepts, features, or questions around that idea. If some of those thoughts need expanding, continue this map, cluster, or web in whatever direction is productive. Make lines attaching various ideas. Add and rearrange individual elements or whole subsets as necessary. Use different shapes, sizes, or colors to indicate commonalities, sequences, or relative importance.

Why is this technique useful?
This technique allows you to generate ideas while thinking visually about how they function together. As you follow lines of thought, you can see which ideas can be connected, where certain pathways lead, and what the scope of your project might look like. Additionally, by drawing out a map of you may be able to see what elements of your possible paper are underdeveloped and may benefit from more focused brainstorming.

The following sample mindmap illustrates how this invention technique might be used to generate ideas for an environmental science paper about Lake Mendota, the Wisconsin lake just north of UW-Madison. The different branches and connections show how your mind might travel from one idea to the next. It’s important to note, that not all of these ideas would appear in the final draft of this eventual paper. No one is likely to write a paper about all the different nodes and possibilities represented in a mindmap. The best papers focus on a tightly defined question. But this does provide many potential places to begin and refine a paper on this topic. This mindmap was created using shapes and formatting options available through PowerPoint.

Notecarding

What do I do?
This technique can be especially useful after you’ve identified a range of possibilities but aren’t sure how they might work together. On individual index cards, post-its, or scraps of paper, write out the ideas, questions, examples, and/or sources you’re interested in utilizing. Find somewhere that you can spread these out and begin organizing them in whatever way might make sense. Maybe group some of them together by subtopic or put them in a sequential order. Set some across from each other as conflicting opposites. Make the easiest organization decisions first so that the more difficult cards can be placed within an established framework. Take a picture or otherwise capture the resulting schemata. Of course, you can also do this same kind of work on a computer through software like Prezi or even on a PowerPoint slide.

Why is this technique useful?
This technique furthers the mindmapping/clustering/webbing practice of grouping and visualizing your thoughts. Once ideas have been generated, notecarding invites you to think and rethink about how these ideas relate. This invention strategy allows you to see the big picture of your writing. It also invites you to consider how the details of sections and subsections might connect to each other and the surrounding ideas while giving you a sense of possible sequencing options.

The following example shows what notecarding might look like for a paper being written on the Clean Lakes Alliance—a not-for-profit organization that promotes the improvement of water quality in the bodies of water around Madison, Wisconsin. Key topics, subtopics, and possible articles were brainstormed and written on pieces of paper. These elements were then arranged to identify possible relationships and general organizational structures.

Outlining

What do I do?
Take the ideas, possibilities, sources, and/or examples you’ve generated and write them out in the order of what you might address first, second, third, etc. Use subpoints to subordinate certain ideas under main points. Maybe you want to identify details about what examples or supporting evidence you might use. Maybe you just want to keep your outline elements general. Do whatever is most useful to help you think through the sequence of your ideas. Remember that outlines can and should be revised as you continue to develop and refine your paper’s argument.

Why is this technique useful?
This practice functions as a more linear form of notecarding. Additionally, outlines emphasize the sequence and hierarchy of ideas—your main points and subpoints. If you have settled on several key ideas, outlining can help you consider how to best guide your readers through these ideas and their supporting evidence. What do your readers need to understand first? Where might certain examples fit most naturally? These are the kinds of questions that an outline can clarify.

Asking Questions

Topoi Questions

In the introduction, we referenced the list that Aristotle developed of the more than two dozen ideas a person making an argument might use to locate the persuasive possibilities of that argument. Aristotle called these locations for argumentative potential “topoi.” Hundreds of years later, Cicero provided additional advice about the kinds of questions that provide useful fodder for developing arguments. The following list of questions is based on the topoi categories that Aristotle and Cicero recommended.

What do I do?
Ask yourself any of these questions regarding your topic and write out your answers as a way of identifying and considering possible venues for exploration.
Questions of definition:
What is ____?
How do we understand what ____ is?
What is ____ comprised of?

Questions of comparison:
What are other things that ____ is like?
What are things that are nothing like ____?

Questions of relationship:
What causes ____?
What effects does ____ have?
What are the consequences of ____?

Questions of circumstances:
What has happened with ____ in the past?
What has not happened with ____ in the past?
What might possibly happen with ____ in the future?
What is unlikely to happen with ____ in the future?

Questions of testimony:
Who are the experts on ____ and what do they say about it?
Who are people who have personal experience with ____ and what do they think about it?

If any of these questions initiates some interesting ideas, ask follow-up questions like, “Why is this the case? How do I know this? How might someone else answer this question differently?”

Why is this technique useful?
The questions listed above draw from what both Aristotle and Cicero said about ways to go about inventing ideas. Questions such as these are tried-and-true methods that have guided speakers and writers towards possible arguments for thousands of years.

Journalistic Questions

What do I do?
Identify your topic, then write out your answers in response to these questions:
     Who are the main stakeholders or figures connected to ____?
     What is ____?
     Where can we find ____? Where does this happen?
     When or under what circumstances does ____ occur?
     Why is ____ an issue? Why does it occur? Why is it important?
     How does ____ happen?

Why is this technique useful?
This line of questioning is designed to make sure that you understand all the basic information about your topic. Traditionally, these are the kinds of questions that journalists ask about an issue that they are preparing to report about. These questions also directly relate to the Dramatistic Pentad developed by literary and rhetorical scholar Kenneth Burke. According to Burke, we can analyze anyone’s motives by considering these five parts of a situation: Act (what), Scene (when and where), Agent (who), Agency (how), and Purpose (why). By using these questions to identify the key elements of a topic, you may recognize what you find to be most compelling about it, what attracts your interest, and what you want to know more about.

Particle, Wave, Field Questions

One way to start generating ideas is to ask questions about what you’re studying from a variety of perspectives. This particular strategy uses particles, waves, and fields as metaphorical categories through which to develop various questions by thinking of your topic as a static entity (particle), a dynamic process (wave), and an interrelated system (field).

What do I do?

Ask yourself these questions about your issue or topic and write down your responses:

  • In what ways can this issue be considered a particle, that is, a discrete thing or a static entity?
  • How is this issue a wave, that is, a moving process?
  • How is this issue a field, that is, a system of relationships related to other systems?

Why is this technique useful?

This way of looking at an issue was promoted by Young, Becker, and Pike in their classic text Rhetoric: Discovery and Change. The idea behind this heuristic is that anything can be considered a particle, a wave, and a field, and that by thinking of an issue in connection to each of these categories you’ll able to develop the kind of in-depth questions that experts ask about a topic. By identifying the way your topic is a thing in and of itself, an activity, and an interrelated network, you’ll be able to see what aspects of it are the most intriguing, uncertain, or conceptually rich.

The following example takes the previously considered topic—environmental concerns and Lake Mendota—and shows how this could be conceptualized as a particle, a wave, and a field as a way of generating possible writing ideas.

Particle: Consider Lake Mendota and its environmental concerns as they appear in a given moment. What are those concerns right now? What do they look like? Maybe it’s late spring and an unseasonably warm snap has caused a bunch of dead fish to wash up next to the Tenney Lock. Maybe it’s a summer weekend and no one can go swimming off the Terrace because phosphorous-boosted blue-green algae is too prevalent. Pick one, discrete environmental concern and describe it.

Wave: Consider environmental concerns related to Lake Mendota as processes that have changed and will change over time. When were the invasive spiny water fleas first discovered in Lake Mendota? Where did they come from? What has been done to respond to the damage they have caused? What else could be proposed to resolve this problem. How is this (or any other environmental concern) a dynamic process?

Field: Consider Lake Mendota’s environmental concerns as they relate to a range of disciplines, populations, and priorities. What recent limnology findings would be of interest to ice fishing anglers? How could the work being done on agricultural sustainability connect to the discoveries being made by chemists about the various compounds present in the water? What light could members of the Ho-Chunk nation shed on Lake Mendota’s significance? Think about how environmental and conservation concerns associated with this lake are interconnected across different community members and academic disciplines.

Moving Around

What do I do?

Get away from your desk and your computer screen and do whatever form of movement feels comfortable and natural for you. Get some fresh air, take a walk, go jogging, get on your bike, go for a swim, or do some yoga. There is no correct degree or intensity of movement in this process; just do what you can and what you’re most likely to enjoy. While you’re moving, you may want to zone out and give yourself a strategic break from your writing task. Or you might choose to mull your tentative ideas for your paper over in your mind. But whether you’re hoping to think of something other than your paper or you need to generate a specific idea or resolve a particular writing problem, be prepared to record quickly any ideas that come up. If bringing along paper or a small notebook and a pen is inconvenient, just texting yourself your new idea will do the trick. The objective with this technique is both to distance yourself from your writing concerns and to encourage your mind to build new connections through engaging in physical activity.

Why is this technique useful?

Numerous medical studies have found that aerobic exercise increases your body’s concentration of the proteins that help nerves grow in the parts of your brain where learning and higher thinking happens (Huang et al.). Similarly, from their review of the literature about how yoga benefits the brain, Desei et al. conclude that yoga boosts overall brain activity. Which is to say that moving physiologically helps you think.

Dr. Bonnie Smith Whitehouse

Dr. Bonnie Smith Whitehouse, an associate professor of English at Belmont University and an alum of UW-Madison’s graduate program in Composition and Rhetoric Program and a former assistant director of Writing Across the Curriculum at UW-Madison, investigates the writerly benefits of walking. She provides a full treatment of how this particular form of movement can productively support writing in her book Afoot and Lighthearted: A Mindful Walking Log. In the following passage, she argues for a connection between creative processes and walking, but much of what she suggests is equally applicable to the beneficial value of other forms of movement.

A walk stimulates creativity after a ramble has concluded, when you find yourself back at your desk, before your easel, or in your studio. In 2014, Stanford University researchers Marily Opprezzo and Daniel L. Schwarz confirmed that walking increases creative ideation in real time (while the walker walkers) and shortly after (when the walker stops and sits down to create). Specifically, they found that walking led to an increase in “analogical creativity” or using analogies to develop creative relationships between things that may not immediately look connected. So when ancient Greek physician Hippocrates famously declared that walking is “the best medicine,” he seems to have had it right. When we walk, blood and oxygen circulate throughout the body’s organs and stimulate the brain. Walking’s magic is in fact threefold: it increases physical activity, boosts creativity, and brings you into the present moment.

Similarly, in her post about writing and jogging for the UW-Madison Writing Center’s blog, Literary Studies PhD student Jessie Gurd has explained:

What running allows me to do is clear my head and empty it of a grad student’s daily anxieties. Listening to music or cicadas or traffic, I can consider one thing at a time and turn it over in my mind. It’s a groove I hit after a couple of miles; I engage with the problem, question, or task I choose and roll with it until my run is over. In this physical-mental space, I sometimes feel like my own writing instructor as I tackle some stage of the writing process: brainstorming, outlining, drafting.

While Bonnie Smith Whitehouse walks as an important part of her writing process and Jessie Gurd runs to write, what intentional movement looks like for you can be adapted according to your interests, preferences, and abilities. Whether it’s strolling, jogging, doing yoga, or participating in some other form of movement, these physical activities allow you to take a purposeful break that can help you concentrate your mind and even generate new conceptual connections.

Conclusion

All aspects of writing require hard work. It takes work to develop organizational strategies, to sequence sentences, and to revise paragraphs. And it takes work to come up with the ideas that will fill these sentences and paragraphs in the first place. But if you feel burdened by the necessity to develop new concepts, the good news is that you’re not the first writer who’s had to begin responding to an assignment from scratch. You are backed by a vast history of other writers’ experiences, a history that has shaped a collective understanding of how to get started. So, use the experience of others to your advantage. Try a couple of these techniques and maybe even develop some other methods of your own and see what new ideas these old strategies can help you generate!

Works Cited

Aristotle. On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse. Edited and translated by George Kennedy, Oxford University Press, 1991.

Burke, Kenneth. A Grammar of Motives. University of California Press, 1969.

Cicero, Marcus Tullius. On Oratory and Orators. Edited and translated by J.S. Watson, Southern Illinois University Press, 1986.

Desai, Radhika, et al. “Effects of Yoga on Brain Waves an Structural activation: A review.” Complementary Therapies in clinical Practice,vol, 21, no, 2, 2015, pp. 112-118.

Gurd, Jessie. “Writing Offstage.” Another Word, The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 7 October 2013, https://writing.wisc.edu/blog/writing-offstage/. Accessed 5 July 2018.

Harris, Joseph. Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts. Utah State University Press, 2006.

Huang, T. et al. “The Effects of Physical Activity and Exercise on Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Healthy Humans: A Review.” Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, vol. 24, no. 1, 2013. Wiley Online Library, https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.12069.

Oppezzo, Marily, and Daniel L. Schwartz. “Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, vol. 40, no. 4, 2014, pp. 1142-52.

Smith Whitehouse, Bonnie, email message to author, 19 June 2018.

Young, Richard E., Alton L. Becker, and Kenneth L. Pike. Rhetoric: Discovery and Change. Harcourt College Publishing, 1970.