Mind maps for students: how mind maps will help with studying

Mind maps are a convenient and relatively simple tool for data systematization. You can use a mind map for a variety of purposes. The tool has already received recognition among professors, designers, and creative people. Of course, mind mapping will be useful for ordinary students, and it will be useful for freelancers when solving work tasks. Students also benefit from using online help from writers, I used these when needed to edit my essay before submission.

Problems of taking notes

Almost all people have dealt with notes at least once in their lives. This way of keeping records is traditional, but it has several disadvantages:

– the notes are complex in the structure;

– these recordings take a lot of time;

– it is difficult to remember something based on notes.

The main disadvantage of traditional notes is the complex structure and the lack of main categories.

The notes look like walls of text. Yes, individual things can be distinguished in them, but this will not help much. The main concepts are always hidden behind large volumes of text.

We remember the main concepts, focusing on certain keywords that serve as reference points. It is very difficult to find them in the synopsis. You have to deal with heavy phrases.

It’s also good if the handwriting is clear. If the handwriting is similar to a medical ligature, then deciphering such cryptograms will require additional efforts.

Advantages of mind maps

The mind maps were created by Tony Buzen as opposed to the traditional methods of taking notes and taking notes. Buzen is a psychologist who has well understood the peculiarities of the perception of information by individuals. He removed everything superfluous from the notes and proposed a very simple system that had already been used before him. Tony Buzen just rediscovered it.

Mind maps are:

– a simple and convenient way to structure information;

– information that is easily perceived;

– the presence of highlighted main concepts and categories, reference points;

– minimum amount of text;

– clear structure.

Mind maps are created on a piece of paper, which is usually placed horizontally. Instead of a simple linear notation, the radial method is used here. All keywords are placed on branches, and it is recommended to use one word for each branch, rather than whole phrases. A person who keeps such a record only needs to choose the most vivid and memorable concepts that he will use as reference points.

Experts’ recommendations 

When creating mind maps, it is important to remember that keeping information this way is more than just taking notes. Mind mapping can be attributed more to creativity than to the dry presentation of lectures on paper. Over time, each person who works with a mind map has their style of record keeping. And in the first stages, it is worth following simple recommendations.

One line is one word. On each of the lines coming from the center, as well as on the branches that go from the main lines, Tony Buzen recommends placing only one word. According to him, this method helps to focus on memorizing information. One word makes it possible for additional images and associations.

A map is not a diagram. A mind map should not resemble a traditional scheme. Words should be placed directly on the branches, without placing them in different rectangles and other graphic shapes. It is not necessary to take a ruler and output a strict scheme, the branches of the mind map should be alive.

The printed font is preferred. When making a mind map, it is better to use printed letters. The map, the entries on which are made in block letters, looks neater. In addition, an ordinary letter can be illegible. This will affect the perception of information.

Horizontal maps are more convenient. To create a mind map, it is better to place a piece of paper horizontally rather than vertically. Some “creative personalities” even try to write by arranging the sheet in some bizarre way. This is extra work that does not pay off. The mind map is a creative thing, but it has a purely practical function.

Working with color and size. In a mind map, you can highlight more or less important reference points by simply changing the color when writing a word, using different font sizes, or making some words more noticeable. This is one of the important advantages of mind mapping.

Here, the writing possibilities are not limited by anything.

Letters or graphics? Drawings and graphics can be actively used in mind maps. Moreover, for the central concept, which is located in the very heart of the map, a picture is always needed. It can be an image printed from a computer or a hand-drawn drawing. It doesn’t matter whether the author has drawing skills. Tony Buzen even claims that the entire mind map can consist entirely of drawings. Students should use both capacious concepts in the form of words and graphics for educational purposes.

Color play. Different colors must be used for different branches of a mind map. You will need a set of colored pens or markers. It all depends on the size of your map and the paper density.

The optimal format. A mental map made correctly does not contain voids. At the same time, the branches and words on them are not compressed in a limited space. To create a mind map, select a sheet of paper of the appropriate size. Traditionally, the popular A4 format is used for a small map.

For a large mental map, an A3 sheet is suitable.

Where to use a mind map

Mind mapping is very convenient:

– when teaching, creating lecture notes and books;

– when solving various creative tasks;

– during brainstorming sessions;

– in the process of preparing materials on complex topics;

– in planning;

– for generalization and structuring of existing knowledge;

– when preparing for presentations.

It is also believed that working with maps enhances intellectual abilities. The disadvantage of a mind map is also there: mental maps are focused on a single concept, which is located in the middle of the scheme.

Mind map and learning foreign languages

Mental maps will help you understand not only a philosophy lecture but also a foreign language. Today, not many people use this method to work with the language, but the popularity of the method itself is gradually growing. Mind maps can be used, for example, to parse text. There are two approaches to parsing foreign text using a mind map, one is designed for beginners, the other for advanced users.

The method for beginners

Starting to work with a foreign text, you can get deeper into the essence of the language using mind maps. The method is very simple:

First, you need to divide the entire text into paragraphs.

When drawing up a map, the paragraph number should be placed in its center as the main concept.

From this number, there will be branches denoting sentences.

There is no need to write anything on the very branch that denotes the sentence. Words and their translation are placed on additional branches.

Now, when you look at a mental map of a paragraph, you can see additional meanings in it.

Method for continuing

For the advanced, there is another scheme for drawing up mind maps. Experienced users need to break the text into paragraphs, focusing on the meaning and content. Each passage should have a central theme.

The central theme of the passage is placed in the very center when compiling the mind map. To designate a topic, you need to choose one bright keyword.

From the central topic, you should draw branches that will denote the main thoughts contained in the passage.

Additional branches with keywords (anchor points) are created on the branches.

Only new words or incomprehensible expressions are added here.

Why would such a method be beneficial?

It would seem that it is much easier to study a text in a foreign language by simply working with a dictionary and rewriting all new expressions or words. The traditional technique of maintaining a

dictionary is not so effective. Our brain can remember foreign words and expressions only in context.

The more we work with contexts, the better we understand the nuances of another language. That is why mind cards bring such benefits in learning a foreign language.

Visualization as the basis of mind mapping

Mind maps are effective, if only because they involve both hemispheres of the brain. If, when studying the standard and already familiar notes, the student includes the left hemisphere in the work, then when working with mind maps, the right hemisphere also begins to function intensively.

Moreover, the brain does not strain during the compilation and study of mental maps but rather relaxes. The material is not intensively studied and memorized, as in when reading notes. Something close to visualization is happening.

When studying any topic, we strive to cover as much material as possible in the shortest possible time. When we no longer have a synopsis or a book in front of us, but a mind map, the speed of perception slows down somewhat, but there is an expansion of meanings, immersion in the essence. This is very useful when studying the topic in depth. Sometimes new meanings open up before students and fresh thoughts appear.


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