While studying or researching, you may face the difficulty of finding ideas, organizing relevant data, choosing supported sources, etc. A mind map in research can assist you in solving this problem.

The radial diagram visualizes the themed concept with sub-concepts logically and coherently, allowing you to easily remember and recall the necessary information. It brings you fun during the research process with effective results.

Overview About Mind Map In Research

What Is A Mind Map In Research?

Mind mapping is creating a diagram of visualized ideas or concepts, which offers a logical way to develop and organize information. The visualized map starts with a central theme and generates related ideas outward. Shapes, keywords, phrases, figures, etc., are among main elements of this diagram. 

It is one of the study techniques for doing assignments and writing essays, providing an approach for students, especially at the beginning of the research. You can use it as a critical thinking strategy to brainstorm, note-take, organize, solve problems, or make decisions. By looking at the map, you can easily focus and understand the target ideas. 

research mind map
Creating a research mind map

How Does A Mind Map Benefit Researchers? 

It Is Fun And Easy To Create

Traditional note-taking can be boring; meanwhile, mind maps with colors and doodles are interesting and easy to create. The easy creation is one of the benefits of mind mapping. Whether you are a student or a professor, you can individualize the diagram according to your needs without difficulty. 

It Improves Your Retention and Retrieving 

The radial structure encourages the brain to store and recall information. In addition, colorful elements and connections play a big role in our retention. Its attractive graphical format reaches our eyes and activates our memorization. Therefore, a mind map in research helps you a lot in studying and researching.

It Is A Useful Strategy For Brainstorming 

When you need ideas for your essay or research, working with the traditional layout is hard. You can eliminate the settled structure and let your mind flow for creativity by visualizing. The basic structure with a central topic and subtopics enable you to brainstorm without losing track of your thoughts.

It Offers Coherent For Your Written Works 

Helping to produce coherent articles is one of the advantages of mind mapping. By providing you with an overview of the large topic, the brainstorming tool guides you to develop the ideas, to find and select the research sources, and to put information in logical places and orders. 

simple mind map
Colorful diagrams can foster our memory.

Mind Map in Research - Uses & Examples


Step-By-Step Guideline 

Step 1. Start with the main topic

You can use a pen and piece of paper or digital tools to visualize the data. Write down the themed concept in the middle of your topic map. It can be your research topic, the keyword from your essay, the target of your brainstorming activity, etc. 

To make your central concept more prominent and easy to remember, circle it and add a picture next to it if possible. 

Step 2. Add sub-topics

Place first-level topics around the main one. These sub-topics, also known as "keywords", "ideas," or "branches", are the basic main categories. The concept maps are usually read from right to left along the clockwise direction, so you'd better start putting your first branch at the one-o'clock corner. 

Step 3. Add child topics

Draw lines from your first-level topic, write your child ideas on those lines or at the end of the lines, and circle them. Continue the same process with other first-level topics. Feel free to generate more thoughts under the second-level ideas. The latter topics should be less prominent than the previous ones to show the hierarchy of the diagram. 

Keyword Instruction

To jot down your thoughts, you can use keywords, phrases, or whole sentences. You can choose what to use depending on your preference and the situation. 

For example, if it is a brainstorming session, keywords are more suitable since they are useful in creating connections and saving time. Short phrases are the most common ones. They fit almost all cases, and everybody can understand them easily. 

Sometimes, long sentences are required in the diagram to build a presentation to help the lecturer deliver the speech more clearly. 

The Importance Of Colors, Symbols, And Pictures 

Colors, symbols, and pictures can trigger your brain functions and memorization. Choose the relevant elements depending on what kind of diagram you are creating and what you are targeting.  

Sometimes, a picture can tell a lot of information, and a symbol can represent your idea perfectly. Using a different color for each branch helps distinguish between ideas and brings out a better overview. 

Individualize your mind map in research as much as you can for a boost in retention. You do not need to make it traditionally beautiful, but keep it unique and special for your purposes. 

time management mind map
Time management mind map

Usage And Examples


A mind map is a good lifebuoy when you run out of ideas for your essays or projects. Radiant thinking is the best strategy for the brainstorming process and fosters your creative juices to flow. You can trick your brain by drawing blank branches to force it to think of ideas to finish the map. 

Note Taking

Instead of traditional methods of transcribing what the teacher says, mind mapping captures the information provided in the class in an active and meaningful way. Listening carefully and noting down the important keywords in your diagram will save you a lot of time in the class and afterward. 


With the help of a mind map, your brain can be active at all levels and remember all kinds of information. No matter how complicated your research is, the visual diagram can attract your brain and encourage you to call back the data. 

You can practice your cortical skill by covering some branches and flashing back missing parts until you completely remember the big picture. 

Reading Comprehension

A reading comprehension mind map is a solution for you to understand unfamiliar words in academic articles, old novels, and scientific books. 

Break down the information that is hard to understand into smaller chunks. Create unfamiliar words list, and related questions, then research these words to help you understand and cut through any confusion. 


Put the grammar's name in the center and its usage in the branches of the map. Add some examples for better understanding and use the grammar rule correctly. 


If you are stuck with your short story assignment, use a visualized map to brainstorm and outline the story with keywords, characters, and images. Follow the details in the diagram for your written work. 


A mind map is an effective tool to keep track of your assignment. Make a to-do list with tasks' deadlines and must-read materials. Check the done tasks off of the list when you complete them.


essay planner mind map
An essay planner for writing

You can brainstorm the topic, collect sources, draw connections between arguments, and create the outline for your essay by a mind map. It supports you to put all data in one place and focus on your writing skills.  

Exam Preparation

In the diagram, you can logically add in-class notes, textbooks, online sources, teachers' instructions, date, time, stationary to bring, etc. You will see it makes your preparation for the exam easier than ever.


The organizational structure of the spider diagram is ideal for class presentation. You can use the map to create a class book report presentation

Lab Report

It can be a great combination of art and science when using a mind map to present your findings. You can explain the experiment by adding sub-topics such as purpose, materials, process, result, etc. 

Class Project

Digital tools are a good option to work with your teammates on a group project. You can easily visualize what steps need to be taken, assign tasks to members, share information, and so forth. 

School Clubs

When you need to organize an event for your club, a mind mapping activity will come in handy. You can build a diagram with branches for budget, schedule, preparation steps, etc. 

Semester Plan

The mind mapping technique helps manage and plan your studying for the semester. You can add information about your classes, materials, and exam dates and link any electronic files to your diagram. All in one place.

Personal Business Idea

business plan mind map
Business Plan Mind Map

Before starting your business, you need to research what you should sell, target customers, selling strategies, to name but a few. Mind maps assist you in keeping track of your process and not miss any aspect.