In this article, you will learn how to make your own mind map.
It’s surprisingly simple.
Step 1 – Start with the main topic in the middle of the page. The main topic is the subject or thought you want to study or explore. If you are studying the Revolutionary War, then the main topic will be Revolutionary War. If you are exploring product pricing, then that will be your main topic.
Step 2 – Next, develop the subtopics. The subtopics will be the important points you want to note about the main topic. Think in terms of what it is you want or need to learn, understand, or remember about the main topic. Place these around the main topic, connecting them to the center with a line or branch.
Step 3 – After setting the subtopics, list important details into lower levels. Details are anything that describe, explain, support, or argue a point. This can include facts, dates, data, descriptions, and instructions.
That’s all there is to it!
It’s that simple.
To illustrate, let’s say we are in science class learning about ‘atoms.’
Below is a description of an atom that we’ll put together into a mind map.
As you may have learned, atoms are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons have a positive charge, neutrons have no charge, and electrons have a negative charge. Inside an atom, the number of protons defines the chemical element, the number of neutrons defines its isotope, and the number of electrons defines the magnetic properties. Protons and neutrons are in the nucleus of the atom, while the electrons spin around it.
Even though this is just one paragraph, there’s a lot to take in, process, and note.
As you’ll see, with a mind map, it’s much simpler.
Since the subject is ‘Atoms,’ this will be the main topic. So, we put that in the center.
From the center, draw 3 branches for the subtopics. Label one branch proton, another branch neutron, and the last branch electron.
Within each subtopic, create sub-branches to list the lower level topics. In the proton branch, create sub-branches that list ‘positive charge,’ ‘defines chemical element,’ and ‘nucleus.’ In the neutron branch, create sub-branches to list ‘no charge,’ ‘defines isotope,’ and ‘nucleus.’ For electron, do the same with its properties.
Once you do that, you will have a mind map like this.
This is a simple example to show how easy mind maps can be.
1. You take a topic and put it in the center.
2. Around the topic, you put subtopics.
3. Around the subtopics, you list lower level topics.
There is no limit to the number of lower level topic or branches you create. If you wanted to discuss what an isotope is, you can create branches under ‘Isotope’ with relevant details.
You can do this with all types of information.
As you can see, it’s a better way to learn, organize, and remember information.
Reading the paragraph about atoms is a bit confusing. The mind map on the other hand is clear. It is easy to see which properties belong to which particle and not confuse one with the other.
Now that you know the basic steps of mind mapping, let’s go deeper. In the next article, you’ll learn many ways to break up & organize information into subtopics.
This is critical to the mind mapping process. In fact, it is critical to any effective learning.