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Mind mapping: a brief guide for college students

Author: Amber Wilson
by Amber Wilson
Posted: May 16, 2018

Every student wants to perform well in their term paper writing tasks, improve memory and spend less time taking notes. Interestingly, these things can be made possible through mind mapping. Mind mapping is a technique students can use to organize their thoughts and take notes in visual forms. Done right, it will enable them to comprehend difficult concepts faster, generate new ideas and improve memory. This article will provide details on the methods and uses of mind mapping in the educational system by college students.

Why is mind mapping so useful?

Mind mapping proposes a different way of note-taking and is an incredible way students can remember things a bit faster because of the use of images and colors. Here are reasons mind maps are that effective.

  • Uses mental triggers

Pictures, connections, and colors trigger the brain’s memory box easily. And when mind mapping, students tend to make use of those brain stimulating items, thus making it possible for them to memorize and recall things faster.

  • Not tough and stressful

Mind mapping is not a daunting task. You may not even feel any pressure during the process.

  • Works on the brain

The radiant structure of a mind map corresponds to how the brain processes information. So doing it right, students can access information stored in the brain with ease.

What benefits do college students get from mind mapping?

There many things students benefit from mind maps. Here are some of them.

  • Make it easier for students to plan and also take notes
  • It makes it possible for students to share new ideas
  • Makes it possible for students to recall past information with ease
  • Allows students to organize new concepts and ideas with ease
  • Gives students opportunity to brainstorm and explore concepts and problems

When should college students make use of mind maps?

Most times using a mind map might be the only viable option. Even if you can use other techniques, mind maps might be fast and better choice. Here are some examples.

  • Planning to write an essay

Essay writing is one task you cannot bypass as a student. And teachers usually ask students to come up with an essay plan which most of them find challenging. However, most students create plans for their paper, but cannot stick to them. But with mind mapping, one can create an effective essay plan and generate ideas faster.

  • Preparing for upcoming exams

Exam preparation is a tedious task, and having to read through a bunch of notes you read before repeatedly is tiring. The painful part is you may not recall a significant amount of what you spent days to learn. In this case, the solution is mind mapping. You need to review the notes you created and mind map only crucial information that you need to recall.

  • Note taking

Have you been in a situation where your teacher offered you too many figures and facts that you cannot write down or remember? Mind mapping might be the answer. Here, you only need to note essential information to remember everything. Use the keywords and make a connection between ideas and facts visually. With the mind map, you can arrange all your thoughts on a single sheet.

How to effectively mind map

How can one create a mind map? Here are simple steps to follow.

  • Create your main idea

You need to formulate a principal idea. All mind mapping process begins with it. The entire map would revolve around this central idea. You can also come up with a written word or image to represent your first idea.

  • Include branches

After generating your first idea add branches. You can add as many as possible, with each one of them representing a word that directly relates to your main topic. Differentiate the branches and sub-topic for easy identification with images and colors.

  • Add keywords

After adding a branch to the mind map next is to add a keyword. In mind mapping, the general rule is to make use of just one word for each of the branches. It will help to spark off more associations than using too many phrases and words. With the addition of keywords, you will ultimately trigger connections in the brain which will allow you to recall more information.

  • Colour code the branches

Colour code creates mental shortcuts in the brain by linking the logical and visual. It can also help students to highlight, learn and quickly identify connections that were not found before.

  • Add images

Images work well in mind mapping process and can help to convey more information than an essay or a word. The brain will also process and recall information faster.


As a student, mind mapping can provide you with tons of benefits. It will help to improve your memory and make it easy to read and store difficult concepts. That said if you aim to perform well academically, then learn how to mind map the right way. Once you master the process, you will be able to summarize difficult concept, brainstorm and generate new ideas with ease.

About the Author

Amber Wilson is an educator and a technical writer from Everett currently employed as a content strategist at Thesis Helpers . She believes that blogging is the new type of journalism

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Author: Amber Wilson

Amber Wilson

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Member since: May 16, 2018
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