EAsy revision: Mindmaps
Mindmaps are probably one of those revision techniques you know about and have been told to use by lots of differnet people. This is for a good reason – they are very effective at summarising large amounts of information and can be very useful for revision.
What are mindmaps?
I expect you know what a mindmap is already but to briefly summarise- they consist of a page with a title in the middle and branches coming off the title with sub-sections. The further out from the middle you go the more specific the information gets. They are also normally quite colourful.
Why use mindmaps?
Mindmaps are useful for summarising large amounts of information on one page. By doing this you are forced to condense the information and think about which parts are most important. This is useful when revising as the more you think about the information the more you will remember. The process of making a mindmap is useful but so is using them later on as you can look back at them and get a basic understanding of a topic.
I find mindmaps helpful when I am studying because when I have finished taking notes from a particular chapter I make a mindmap for it which helps me to review what I have learnt and how it all links together which is helpful for remembering it. They are also useful because when I go to write an assingment and I can’t remember which chapter a specific bit of information was in I can check the mindmaps for that unit and then read my notes for that chapter which saves me time.
They are also useful for breaking big topics down into smaller topics to represent each branch of the mindmap. This can be especially helpful if you use them for essay planning etc. as each branch could represent a different paragraph.
What types of information are they good for?
Mindmaps can be used with a wide range of types of information. They are especially useful for summarising topics (I make one for each chapter of my textbooks to summarise everything in them) as they can easily capture a large amount of information. They can also be useful for planning essays. If you know what types of essays might come up in your exam then you could try making mindmaps for these with each branch representing a new paragraph.
How to make a mindmap
To start making a mindmap you need to put the title of it in the centre of a piece of paper. Then decide how many main branches it will need (these generally represent sub-topics within the title, or essay paragraphs). This just helps you know how spaced out to make these. For example, if you were making a mindmap on World War Two (quite a large topic admittedly but we’ll just pretend!) you could have sub-topics of battles, the Holocaust, the Home Front, Nazi Germany, key leaders etc.. I like to make each of these branches a different colour because I’m quite a visual learner but it doesn’t matter if you don’t want to do that. Coming off each of the branches you would have more specific information relating to that sub-topic. For example, going back to our example, on the Home Front branch we could have rationing, evacuations, jobs for women etc.. Coming off each of these there could be more specific information such as particular dates or statistics.
One key thing to note about mindmaps is that the writing generally goes along the branch rather than at the end of it, and the branches with writing on tend to be horizontal. Traditionaly only one word is written on each sub-branch, however this can sometimes be quite difficult and I often write a few words. Just try to keep the writting on each branch to a minimum. Using pictures can also be helpful if you find this useful.
I hope you found this post helpful – leave a comment to let me know if you like to use mindmaps for revision 🙂