During this process, keeping a copy of your professor’s rubric next to you can be handy. Not only does this allow you to keep the essay’s requirements in mind while you brainstorm, but rereading the guidelines can spark new ideas and help you figure out how to best organize your thoughts. Once you have a few different ideas for your paper pinned down, try grouping together similar thoughts and then fleshing them out a little. Ask questions. Which ideas could you write a whole paragraph about? What evidence could you use to support these ideas? How are these ideas connected? This is also the time when you will want to figure out your main claim/argument, if you have not already. Once you have sketched out your main argument, and some ideas to support it, you can use that scrap document as a tentative roadmap for your actual paper. Freewriting like this can work as a great segue into starting your actual paper.