A concept map is a method for organizing notes and information to help you remember it. Anyone who needs to learn facts and ideas about a subject can benefit from making a concept map. Some people use concept maps as a note-taking method during classes. Concept maps illustrate groups of concepts, facts or ideas and the relationships between them. A concept map can be handwritten on paper or on a whiteboard. Groups of people can make one together. You can make one on a computer with word-processing software.

Brainstorming

Step 1

Write a brief title for the topic you are focusing on. The topic should be broad enough to describe the general subject area you are mapping. Use one or two words to name the topic.

Step 2

Think creatively about your topic. Think about any questions you have about the topic, using words such as who, what, when, how, why and where. Focus on the most important aspects of the topic you are learning.

Step 3

Write down any related concepts or themes that you can think of. Write the concepts or themes in a list. Describe any important material that you are going to include in your map.

Mapping

Step 1

Write the topic title at the top of a sheet of paper. If you are using a computer, type the concepts and put a text box around each one. You can also use the program's drawing tools to create circles around each word.

Step 2

Organize the related concepts under the main topic by connecting them with arrows or lines. Arrange concepts in groups that make sense to you. Place any relevant subcategories under each concept.

Step 3

Add specific examples to illustrate the concepts. These could be events, dates or objects, depending on the subject matter.

Step 4

Review the map to see if you have covered all of the material. Revise it by moving concepts around to improve the organizational structure. If you are using computer software, you can improve the map by highlighting important concepts and adding colors.