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Before we can delve into using a mind map for writing, we must first understand what a mind map is. Apparently, there are many self-published authors who launch successful book releases by a creative writing exercise called mind mapping.
Mind mapping is one of many idea-generating strategies that rely on the association, which then comes out as a diagram with figures, facts, concept maps, phrases, keywords, etc. Overall, it is a powerful writing habit inspiration, especially for first-time authors.
There can never be two similar mind maps, even if you use the same mapping software. However, there are some arbitrary steps that you must follow for this approach:
- Choosing a central idea
- Creating ideas connecting to this subject
- Adding in colors / images to associate with these ideas
- Rearranging the map so that it doesn’t look confusing
- Reviewing and storing the map for a subsequent writing process
How To Use Mind Map For Writing Process?
Using A Mind Map To Find Your Topic
Choose The Central Idea
Indeed, the very first thing to do is to decide on the backbone of your essay, which is the subject. The best approach is to pick a topic that allows you to provide new findings/conclusions.
The ideal topic should interest you, as it makes the process much less unbearable. At this stage, put something like “My Essay” in the center of your piece of paper.
Write Down Areas Of Interest (Potential Topics)
The next thing to do is surround the center with ideas, which is very easy if you have some mind mapping tools. They can range from suggestions from your professor, subjects discussed in class to anything relevant.
Subsequently, quickly start noting down some areas in which you find interesting - They can be anything, as it does not need to be related to the main topic at this step strictly. Remember to use mind map templates with a clear color scheme.
All you need to do is write down anything that pops up in your mind, preferably instinctively.
Review Their Relationships/Intersection
Now you have two sets of branches, one being the relevant ideas and the other being your personal interest. Find areas where these two sets intersect with each other.
This process results in a set of ideas that are both relevant to your goal and your interest.
Weigh Them Against Each Other With Pros And Cons
The next step is to weigh every idea in the set, analyzing each idea’s pros and cons.
Start The Elimination Process
Start the elimination process once you get the pros and cons of every single concept. Compare the list of advantages and disadvantages carefully, but mostly on the disadvantages.
Yet, remember that challenges are inevitable, but they should never hinder you from turning in your work.
Eliminate the choices until there is only one.
Using A Mind Map Standard To Compile Research Materials
Make A New Branch For Each Source
With this approach, the topic will be listed in the center of your map, and the child branches will be the secondary sources. From these branches, create smaller ones consisting of the secondary source’s topic, central idea, and quotes.
This method most benefits projects that do not require you to focus entirely on primary source material. Instead, find other similar types of writing and present the link between them to enforce your point.
Make A Branch For Each Area Of Your Topic
There are some involvements from the secondary sources, but they are not prominent.
Note everything you need onto the map while working through the source’s text. You need to work a lot more, but the payback will absolutely be worth it.
Using A Mind Map To Layout Your Outline
You will get a well-structured thesis outline out from the mind map. It allows you to generate a coherent structure consisting of examples, quotes, arguments, counter-arguments, etc., without losing grasp.
The visual representations of mind maps mean that you can quickly review your outline whenever you need to. All it takes is one look, and you can track your entire text structure from the thesis statement.
However, there certainly are some specific things that you need to pay attention to for a better creative process:
- Put a link between each topic with a corresponding research map created independently.
- Next, put in some notes or deadlines at each level, ensuring that the writing project is never behind schedule.
- Going over the deadline is always the clearest sign of bad writing.
- The last thing to do is export your finished mind map for easier access.
The Rules Of Mind Map For Writing Process
- The subject you want to discuss should always be at the center of the map.
- Branches should be going out, each representing one single idea relating to the subject.
- The last rule to keep in mind is the use of visuals such as images, icons, and color themes. They will serve as mental triggers, sparking more ideas within your brain to create a positive loop within your brain.
What Are The Benefits Of Mind Map For Writing?
- Newbie authors will have a complete overview of the entire topic and a clear flow of ideas.
- The second benefit of mind maps is that they let you see how the main topic connects with its supporting pieces. This results in an easier time planning resource materials and when to use them.
- Finally, this approach provides a much more enjoyable and attractive format to supply information to your brain. You will, in turn, remember the information more clearly, improving your writing potential.