Mind mapping is a powerful tool which allows you to plan out in a clear, brief and visual diagram all the information you need to consider about a subject.
As a revision tool it replaces the need to make copious notes which are then hard to remember, and it directs your revision and research so that you create in a nutshell a picture of the important points.
One of the most important aspects of a mind map is that you constantly keep in mind and refer back to the ‘Big Picture’.
You will see that any text can be split into six main branches: Type/Genre, Purpose, Character, Setting, Technique and Plot.
These are called the CONTROLLING CONCEPTS and every subject has its own set of Controlling Concepts. Once you have learned these, you can write a mind map for any aspect of any subject.
Writing a Mind Map
Use a large sheet of paper – A3 works well.
• In the centre of the page draw a circle and in that write the title of the essay or the aspect of the subject that you are revising.
• From that circle draw branches – one for each of the Controlling Concepts (you might find it helpful to use a different colour for each branch to aid memory)
• Begin to plot down ideas as they occur to you by adding ‘twigs’ on the appropriate branch. This automatically organises your ideas whilst still allowing you the freedom to brainstorm.
• When you want to write an assignment or examination, use the ideas from each branch to form a paragraph. You will find that your essay is already structured for you.
• Use pictures and colours to personalise the map to help you to remember details.