Mapping ideas, processes and places

mindmap exampleYou may already be familiar with mind mapping to plan essays or organise your lecture notes (see also Make your notes more visual).  Mind mapping can also help you -individually or with fellow students – to build up a ‘bigger picture’ of complex systems or subjects. Unlike text which is read in a linear sequence, mind maps and diagrams allow a great deal of information to be taken in simultaneously. Mind-maps are also useful as memory aids and tools for revision. A lot of students use mindmapping software but freehand drawing lets you be more flexible and include images more easily. The example here is from a useful resource at

Get into the habit of drawing quick freehand maps to represent all kinds of places or processes or abstract ideas. For example:

  • Your journey to uni.
  • Your support network of family and friends
  • The relationship between different bits of the course
  • Your ideas for your next essay
  • Try module mapping – choose a current or recent module from the course you are studying Draw a ‘map’ showing main topics, key ideas etc – this could reflect the order in which you studied each area or any other structure that makes sense for you. Using post-its lets you move things around initially Draw/doodle some kind of image for each topic to help make it more memorable

(First posted as part of the University of Brighton Big Draw October 2019)

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