Benefits of Mind Mapping
Mind maps provide a visual that represents your thought process. Using this bird’s-eye-view technique is a great way to identify holes in the initial structure of your story or research paper. A good analogy for understanding how mind maps work is to think about your thought process when you’re surfing the web. How many times have you sat down to look up a particular subject only to find yourself reading something completely unrelated a few minutes later? This happens because there are key words in the initial site that grab your attention and shift your state of mind to another topic. The result is that you end up navigating to the next webpage associated with that new topic. If you looked at a graphic image of the architectural structure of the World Wide Web, you would be looking at something incredibly similar to a mind map. Writing stories or research papers can use this same process.
Developing a mind map is a fun activity; here’s how it works. You can either use a large sheet of paper and colored markers, a graphics program, or a mind map application. Begin by drawing a circle in the middle of your canvas of choice. Within the circle, write a word or phrase indicative of the central topic of your paper. Next, draw a line from that circle, and attach another circle to the end of that line. Write a subtopic in the new circle, and continue creating new circles until you run out of ideas.
Mind maps are great for solving writer’s block, but they can also be used for other purposes, such as for visually presenting information or ideas, planning, problem solving, brainstorming, group collaborating, teaching, learning, or note taking during a meeting. A mind map is a great way to help an audience understand your thought process. Mind maps can not only help students improve their writing abilities, but they can also improve brainstorming and collaboration within a work environment.
Below is an example of a mind map created during the initial thought process for this article.
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