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Study Effectively: Creating a Concept Map: Start Here

What is a concept map?

  • A graphical way of organizing your thoughts and showing how concepts are related or different.
  • A diagrammed series of "nodes" consisting of linked topics (core concepts) and subtopics (which include examples and evidence for the topics).
  • A series of connections labeled by cause/effect, relationships and inter-relationships, differences, or hierarchies.

What are the benefits of using a concept map?

  • An active learning strategy that helps you to think critically. 
  • A good way of learning about how you learn.
  • A one-page representation of important ideas.
  • A method of promoting a richer understanding of knowledge. 
  • A way to visualize gaps in knowledge and areas of oversimplification, contradiction or misinterpretation.

When should I use a concept map?

  • ​Reviewing for exams.
  • Conceptualizing processes, systems, and relationships.
  • Brainstorming, organizing concepts, principles or arguments.
  • Identifying mistakes and areas of confusion.
  • Surfacing and assessing prior knowledge
  • Generating questions and answers from a reading or writing assignment

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Guides in this Series

How to Create a Concept Map

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