Study Kit Essentials: Idea Maps


Study Kit Essentials: Part Three – Idea Maps

Idea maps are a great way to help you with:
Note taking
Essay planning
Brainstorming (either individually or in groups)
Studying and memorisation
Researching projects
Problem solving
Increasing your creativity

You can draw idea maps to represent facts, words or other ideas linked to a central concept or theme. Using branches or arrows you can then develop further ideas or points to illustrate your concept. It is not only simple to understand, but also extremely effective for use in your studies as well as preparing the general structure of essays and answers before answering.

Have a look at our example below:


Now, try to draw your own:

Begin at the centre of an A4 page; write down your central concept, theme or idea in the middle of the page and circle it or mark it in some way.
Surrounding this central concept, write down any main ideas which relate to it. These can then be attached to the centre using branches or arrows. Any of these ideas can then be expanded out using sub-branches.
It is a good idea to colour code your branches i.e. one colour for the central concept, a different colour for the surrounding ideas, and so on.
Feel free to use small notes and images at various points to clarify points of information.
Try to refrain from too many layers of branches and sub-branches. The goal of idea mapping is to simplify the information delivery process, rather than complicate it.

You can always reference the examples below to help you:
Have a look at our examples below:
John Donne – Idea Map
Hamlet The Cynic – Idea Map

Learn more about idea mapping and other useful study techniques with study skills expert Orla Ní Shúillebhain, at The Institute of Education Study Skills Seminar taking place over the Christmas break>>