You want to do well this school year and you’ve probably made promises to your parents and to yourself. That’s cool! However, you will need help and that is what I would like to offer you. With so much information out there on the internet where do you start to seek good help?
Well I have wanted to share something really interesting with you for a while now. It is something which has helped me in many projects I’ve undertaken, and I know you would really benefit from it as well. It is called ‘Mind Mapping’.
What is Mind Mapping?
Mind mapping is the process which combines brainstorming and organizing your ideas. It is meant to help you get a head start launching ideas or projects. You can use the mind mapping process when preparing for your BJC and BGCSE coursework, projects, essays, reports and even group work. It’s really a simple process and I will walk you through it. Here is a sample mind map I created to show you how I would begin to write a report on, say, “The Importance of Mangroves”.
Steps to Mind Mapping
Begin by establishing your topic. Your topic is the title of the project, essay or report. Using the sample mind map above, my topic is “the Importance of Mangroves”
Next, you move around the main topic and create sub-topics. The sub topics are areas you would like to discuss and points you want to make. In the mind map above, my sub topics are; Provide Habitat, Storm Protection, Food and Protection for Other Communities.
Following this you begin the brainstorming process. Brainstorming is simply putting your ideas on “paper”. Don’t worry about trying to get your ideas arranged in any particular order. The most important thing is to get everything you know about a certain sub-topic, from your brain onto your computer.
Take a break. You deserve it! Get a glass of water or something!
Now you can begin the research process. Look at each sub topic and gather as much relevant photos, statements, web links, source material or videos that you can find and just chuck ‘em’ all in there under that sub topic.
Keep in mind, that up to this point, you have not been required to organize your ideas as yet. In a way, the mind mapping process helps to organize the material for you in a basic fashion. What you are doing however, is taking the time to gather and collect all the necessary sources of information for each topic and sub topic. Only once that is completed do you move on to the next step.
This is the writing and organizing process. This should be much easier for you now that you know what you want to write about and you have the content available to you in your mind map. Begin writing or typing out your project and go through the necessary steps to complete it and hand it in to your teacher.
Drawing the Mind Map
Now keep in mind that you can draw your mind map on a piece of paper, napkin or anything really! However, if you want the convenience of saving web site links, photos and other material electronically, it is better, if from the start, you map out your ideas on your computer.
The Mangrove mind map above was created using a service from one of the best mind mapping websites I know of. It is called Mind Meister. What makes it so great is that it is a free resource which allows you to draw several mind maps before upgrading to a paid account. It is an online tool great for planning projects, book reports, and coursework for BJC’s and BGCSE’s.
If you think Mind Meister sounds like a helpful tool to use, then visit the site here to Draw your Free Mind Map and to get started producing “Grade A” work.
Do you have any other online tools that have helped you in your studies? If so, let me know in the comment box below.
Until next time, take care!