How to Build a Mind Map
Mind mapping is the visual representation of the topics, thoughts and key points for a particular subject or study. Mind maps are “maps” because they help you remember the routes to different themes by way of visual “paths” or “roads”. You can aid your studies or revision by building a concise, detailed and easy-to-understand mind map.
- Blank paper (A4 size or larger)
- Pencil or pen
- Coloring pencils or highlighter pens
Take a piece of blank white paper and lay it down horizontally. Blank paper helps you create less clutter on the page and clears your memory when you come to remember the mind map later. A horizontal page will ensure you can visualize the whole page at once, making better use of the page’s empty space.
Write the title of your studied subject or theme in the center of the page, in big bold lettering. Add a cut-out image or a drawn picture to accompany your title. Big, bold lettering and a clear image aid your memory in associating the mind map with the subject.
Begin to make branches away from the center of the mind map to represent your key points. The branches should be evenly spaced away from each other; this makes the best use of the space and keeps the map readable, memorable and uncluttered.
For example, if you are making a mind map about the seasons of the year, your key points are autumn, winter, spring and summer, and each should be spaced evenly at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions.
Curve more branches away from your key points to make sub-points or sub-themes. The sub-points should be drawn into the empty space and must not be crossing or colliding with each other.
For example, from a mind map about the seasons of the year, your sub-points for the months of winter might be December, January, February and March. All should be spaced evenly and read clearly.
Continue to add branches to your mind map until you have explored all the avenues of the subject. These could be quotes if studying literature or equation formulas if learning a math topic. Your points should make use of the space on the page and be uncluttered and readable.
Add the finishing touches to your mind map. Where possible, add colors and images to aid your brain in memorizing the information. For example, you can use different colors to shade the main points of your map, or insert images to some of the sub-points. These images and colors are landmarks for your memory, helping you follow the map routes to the various topic themes and points.
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