Jan 12, 2023
2 mins read
The Affinity Diagram method, also known as the Kawakita Jiro method, is an excellent tool for organising and structuring ideas when writing. Here are some tips for using this method to improve your writing process:
Gather your thoughts: Begin by brainstorming and collecting all of your ideas for your piece of writing. These can be words, phrases, sentences, or even pictures.
Sort your ideas: After you've gathered your thoughts, divide them into groups based on their similarities and relationships. This step aids in the identification of previously unseen patterns and themes.
Create headings: After you've grouped similar ideas together, make headings for each group. These headings should be brief and capture the group's main theme.
Write: Begin writing your piece using the headings you've created. The headings will serve as a structure for your writing, keeping your ideas organized and on-topic.
Refine and revise: After you've finished writing, go back and revise it using the headings and groups you've created. This step will assist you in ensuring that your writing flows smoothly and coherently.
It is also worth noting that Jiro Kawakita, the method's creator, advises against using more than 8-10 categories.
The Kawakita Jiro method will allow you to organise and structure your ideas in a way that will make writing easier and more effective. This method is especially useful when writing longer pieces, such as essays or articles, because it helps you stay on track and focused throughout the writing process.
Here are some examples of how to use the Kawakita Jiro method for both fiction and nonfiction writing:
Fiction : A novel about a young girl growing up in a small town.
Ideas: childhood memories, family dynamics, coming of age, small town culture, friendships.
Groups: Childhood reminiscences (memories of playing with friends, going to school, etc.), The dynamics of the family (relationships with parents and siblings), The coming of age (first love, rebellion, etc.), Culture of a small town (local traditions, customs, etc.), Friendships (different types of friendships and their importance) (different types of friendships and their importance).
Headings: Childhood memories, Family dynamics, Coming of age, Small town culture, Friendships
Writing: Using these headings as a guide, the writer can begin to craft their novel, ensuring that each section corresponds to one of these headings and adheres to its theme.
Non-Fiction: A research paper about renewable energy sources
Ideas: Solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy, geothermal energy, their benefits and challenges
Groups: Solar energy (how it works, benefits, and challenges), Wind energy (how it works, benefits, and challenges), Hydro energy (how it works, benefits, and challenges), Geothermal energy (how it works, benefits, and challenges), and the benefits and challenges of renewable energy sources in general.
Headings: Solar energy, Wind energy, Hydro energy, Geothermal energy, Benefits and challenges of renewable energy sources
Writing: Using these headings as a guide, the writer can begin writing their research paper, ensuring that each section corresponds to one of these headings and adheres to its thematic.
As you can see, the affinity diagram method is an excellent tool for organising thoughts and making the writing process more efficient in both examples. It acts as a map of the writer's ideas, keeping them on track and ensuring that the final product is coherent and well-structured.