Mind Maps can be a great way of recording information, such as in lectures and tutorials, and a great way of organising knowledge during study or revision.
Instead of writing pages and pages of information, perhaps trying to highlight or emphasise some, Mind Maps allow you to create a framework to hang the information on. Not only is this tailored specifically to how you learn, it can help you to see new relationships and themes emerge.
Whether its study, revision, or even notes for a presentation, all Mind Maps have the following in common.
- The subject matter is always in the centre of the page, because this gives you the most room to expand your ideas in any direction. The central subject should also be represented by an image rather than a word, as images are much more easily recalled.
- Each key topic has a separate branch leading off of the central image. Using different colours for each branch makes the Mind Map easier to use and to recall. Each branch should be identified with one key word.
- Sub-topics are drawn as smaller branches from the main topic, again in the same colour and labelled with one word or another image. Try and include at least two sub-topics for each branch, and even smaller branches can be added to these to represent further detail.
There’s nothing wrong with basing your structure on someone else’s if that is what you’re familiar with, such as the chapter headings and contents in a text book or slide pack. Whatever you do though make the branches curved and organic, and make sure that all branches and their sub-branches are connected. Both of these will make it easier to study and to recall.
Don’t worry either if you find that you want to revise the structure of your Mind Map, or you want to draw a clearer version of it. As long as creating a new copy isn’t a displacement activity from more study or revision, or a quest for ‘perfection’ then it will be helping you to set that structure more firmly in your mind.
Mind Maps allow you to study and revise more productively, and to remember and recall much greater levels of detail. They are a skill that is well worth developing and maintaining.
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