Mind maps : Help You Plan Research

Mind maps are a visual way of taking notes, brainstorming ideas, or planning. They can help you organize and connect information and ideas. They are also easy to remember and quick to review.

There are many online research infographic templates that can make your research process easier. Mind maps are also a quick way to:

  • show what you already know about a topic and where you may need to find more information
  • summarise information from a range of sources
  • find and see links between concepts and ideas
  • think through complex problems
  • show the overall structure of a subject.

Brainstorm

  • Start by putting your main topic in the middle of the page.
  • Add all the keywords, concepts, and ideas you can think of around the topic.
  • Don’t try and organize the information, just get your ideas out. 

Categorize and go deeper

  • Next, identify the main categories of information and circle them. These are your branches.
  • Draw lines to show which items fit into each category and how categories connect. Use different colored pens and visuals to help make it clear what is in the same category.
  • Each branch could generate further ideas and branches. Keep adding to each one, and if you get stuck, move on to another branch.

Review and organize

  • When you are finished, look at how the information connects.
  • Highlight categories that are most important.
  • If you need to, redraw your map-making each main category or branch a heading. Then list the information and ideas under each heading, and connect them.