Think Abouts and Other Writing Ideas


Think abouts act as thinking serum. They generate ideas, prompt writing, and make thinking visible so that it can be examined, reflected upon, and revised.
When we write, we discover meaning in the world around us and in our own lives. Think Abouts are a way to elicit thoughts, information, and opinions worth exploring. By getting ideas down quickly, we hopefully outrun our internal censors and critics and allow our own words to untangle our thoughts.



Think Abouts and Other Writing Ideas is available as four pdfs (100 Think Abouts, Think Abouts Prompted by Books, Quotes to Stimulate Thinking, and Other Writing Prompts) that range in price from $2.00-$6.00.  Or the entire collection can be purchased as a soft-cover 32-page book that includes a brief explanation for how Think Abouts and a Writer’s Notebook can support comprehension.  That rationale is followed by 100 Think About topics, in addition to twenty-three Think Abouts specifically prompted by books, thirty-three quotes to stimulate thinking, and various additional writing prompts.  These can be purchased and mailed for $17.50, plus USPS flat rate shipping.

Here is the protocol for doing a think about:

  • Write as quickly as you can for three to five minutes, capturing all that comes to mind in response to the work/topic as a whole, or
  • Borrow a line or part of a line (one of your own choosing or a particular line the teacher suggests) from the work and write off (or from) that line nonstop for three minutes, letting the line lead your thinking, or
  • Use a specific line or particular style as a model from which to write, doing an imitation or copy change of the original.


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