How to Use Concept Map for Better Thinking

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Posted by James Freeman |
Concept map is a useful strategy for the improvement of better thinking. Learn how to use concept map to improve your thinking while presenting ideas and concepts.

This article will discuss on how to use concept map for better thinking. It includes four parts:

  • What is a Concept Map?
  • How to Use Concept Map for Better Thinking?
  • How to Create a Concept Map?
  • Tips for Creating a Great Concept Map

What is a Concept Map?

Concept mapping is a method that allows to understand the relationships between ideas by creating a visual map of their relationship. A concept map is a diagram or visual tool to represent connections between several concepts and ideas. Often showed by circles or boxes, concepts are linked by lines that explain the connection between the ideas, concept maps helps to identify the connections between ideas, and organize ideas in a logical structure.

The following example illustrate perfectly the basic structure of a standard concept map. Click on the picture to free download this template and customize your own.

Example for Concept Map

How to Use Concept Map for Better Thinking?

Concept Map is an effective method for improving better thinking and is an excellent way to evaluate thinking because it is a visual representation of one's way of thinking. It can be used in a variety of situations. This diagram is a popular way to capture understanding of a topic for work, school, or personal study. Now we will analyze the use of concept map for better thinking with two parts.

Example- Concept Map as a Tool for Better Thinking

Concept maps can be described as a graphic organizing technique used to help people explore knowledge or improve the understanding of a certain topic. We will take the following concept map as an example for further explanation of how concept map can help for better thinking.

Marketing Strategy Concept Map

Click here for free download of this Marketing Strategy Concept Map and customize your own

Explain in text: The tool of concept mapping gives a better understanding of how to improve thinking skills. In this concept map, there are 6 branches listed around the main concept:

  • Product: design, technology, quality and brand;
  • People: founders, employees and customer service;
  • Promotion: advertising, recommendations, special offers and gifts;
  • Price: competition, cost-plus and penetration strategy;
  • Process: response time, service delivery and complaints;
  • Place: Internet, export, retail and wholesale.

In the marketing strategy concept map above, the first step is to write ideas in text boxes and then arrange them hierarchically on the drawing page; after this link these concepts with directional arrows to show the relationship between these different concepts; it should be noticed that concepts could be linked multiple times. In this application of concept map, it offers a structure on one’s ideas of marketing strategy. With all the information listed out, it is super easy for the team to think about the whole project.

How to Create a Concept Map?

If you need to create professional and logical concept maps, then Edraw concept map software is a great choice for you: it allows you to collapse and expand branches of the concept map. In addition, with a large set of symbols and concept map elements, you can create any type of concept maps you want. The following steps gives you an easy guide for concept map designing.

  1. Follow the instruction and open a new concept map drawing page: Available Templates - Mind Map - Concept Map. Double click to start your designing. Or if you don't know where to start, use the example provided below to help you get started.

    Open New Drawing Page for Concept Map

  2. Add Boxes and Shapes: drag and drop the boxes required for your concept map. Edraw has many types of boxesandsymbolsforconceptmapincaseyouneedtodifferoneconceptfromanother.Sizesandcolorsofboxescanbemodified.Don't forget to edit the content for each box.

    Add Shapes for Concept Map

  3. Use connectors to connect each box and complete the concept map. Connection dots will appear automatically to help you adjust the position of your connector. Once connected, connectors will be glued to the boxes, thus you can move them freely without worrying them falling apart.

    Connect Shapes for Concept Map

  4. Save and Export: once completed the design of your concept map, save the file or export it as other formats if necessary.

    TIP: One of the unique features of Edraw is that it can hide or reveal a group of shapes with a single click. In other words, it allows you to open and collapse branches of the concept map. It is a very useful function especially when you give a presentation, you can only show your audience the part you need them to see at a certain point.

    Hide and Reveal Feature

Tips for Creating a Great Concept Map

Learn more about what makes a great concept map:

  1. Find the main idea or topic you want to talk about: Determine an idea or topic that needs to be discussed. Once the main idea is settled, the structure of the concept map will be easy to construct.
  2. Determine the key concepts: Determine the key concepts related to the main idea and list them out; list the more general concept first then the more specific ones.
  3. Finish by connecting concepts together: To make sure your concept is logical and easy to follow, link the related concepts together to further illustrate their relationship.
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