Skip to main content
site header image

Note Taking: Concept Mapping

How to Concept Map

Print in capitals, for easy reading. This will also help you to keep the points brief.

Use unlined paper, if possible. The lines on paper may discourage the non-linear process of Mapping. If you must use the lined paper, turn it so the lines are vertical.

Connect all words or phrases or lists with lines, to the centre of other 'branches.' When you get a new idea, start again with a new 'spoke' from the centre.

Go quickly, without pausing, try to keep up with the flow of ideas. Do not stop to decide where something should go. Organizing the material will disrupt the mapping process.

Write down everything you can think of  without judging or editing--these activities will disrupt the mapping process.

If you come to a standstill, look over what you've done to see if you left anything out.

You may want to use color-coding, to group sections of your map.

Concept Mapping

Concept Mapping is a tool for assisting and enhancing many of the types of thking and learning that we are required to do at university. To do a map, write the main idea in the centre of the page, it may be a word, a phrase or a couple of ideas, then place related ideas on branches that radiate from this central idea.

Note Taking Using Concept Mapping

Mapping Advantages

It clearly defines the central idea, by positioning it in the centre of the page.

It allows you to indicate clearly the relative importance of each idea.

It allows you to see all your basic information on one page.

It allows you to figure out the links among the key ideas more easily. This is particularly important for ceative work such as essay writing.

It allows you to add in new information without squeezing it in.

It makes it easier for you to see information in different ways, from different viewpoints, because it does not lock it into specific positions.

It allows you to see complex relationships among ideas, such as self-perpetuating systems with feedback loops, rather than forcing you to fit non-linear relationships to linear formats.

It allows you to see contradictions, paradoxes, and gaps in the material more easily and in this way, provides a foundation for questioning.