I’ve been doing a lot of depth and complexity work lately, over at Gifted Guild as well as in person, and I’ve noticed a common misconception with the Big Idea prompt (even with people who think they know depth and complexity):
People confuse Big Ideas with topics.
Let me explain:
|The Giving Tree||
|The American Revolution|
Note the differences? Big Ideas should be:
- Complete sentences — not one or two word phrases
- Statements about the topic — not the topic itself * Non-trivial: “The sun is hot” is not a great Big Idea.
- Something another person might disagree with (this helps make sure they’re non-trivial) * Backed up with evidence (which can come in the form of Details)
The next time you see the Big Idea icon next to an incomplete sentence, pull the emergency break and fix things – it’s likely you’re seeing a topic rather than a true Big Idea.
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