VII. Thinking tools

Use tools to help you to use different parts of your brain at different stages.

A. Brainstorm, Sketch, Craft, and Check

Different tasks use different parts of the brain and need different ways of thinking. So throughout the Toolkit, you will see Tables with different icons:

brainstorm Brainstorm

sketch Sketch

craft Craft

check Check

Each icon represents a way of thinking that applies to the related task.

The 'brainstorm' icon represents expansionary thinking, which involves listing as many ideas as possible. The 'check' icon represents contractionary thinking, which involves cutting, selecting, criticizing, evaluating, and prioritizing.73 'Sketch' and 'Craft' lie between.

We suggest you use the mindset we highlight. For example, in Step 1, you use an expansionary mindset to inquire into the facts of the problem. Step 1 comprises the most expansionary stage because you must find as many relevant facts as possible. To further explain these mindsets, we present 4 characters, described below.

The information icon means we have provided examples or links to further information that you can use to explore a Step more fully:

Further-info Further information

73 See Margot Costanzo, Essential Legal Skills: Problem Solving (1995) 61.

Sponsored links