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Mindmapping your assignments

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Published: 22 May 2020

University of Sunderland in London students working on a mindmap

Mindmaps can be useful tools for any University of Sunderland in London student. They can be used for studying or assignment planning, and are particularly helpful if you learn best by writing or visual methods. Below, we talk you through what a mind map is, how it can be used and getting started on creating your own. 

What is a mindmap?

A mindmap is a way of putting information on paper in an organised and nice-looking way. The most basic mindmap starts with a single word or phrase - the equivalent of the title of a page. From there, you draw lines out and write words or ideas connected to the main topic. The more complicated mind maps will have branches of ideas off of these and even a second topic with its own connected branches. It can get complicated! Take a look at the example below for an idea of what it should look like.

What’s the point of using one?

A mindmap can be used for a lot of different reasons. As a university student, you might find them useful when you’re making notes in class, going back over what you’ve learnt or even planning out an assignment. Whatever you use your mindmap for, it’s a great way of showing your information in an easy to understand, clear and fun way. 

How can it be used to help plan assignments?

Because of the quick and easily understandable nature of mindmaps, they are great tools for planning your assignments. Assignments can become long, and complicated things and it helps to know what information you have to put in there and how best to structure it. You can see an example of what it will look like below. Try this method for planning your assignments with a mindmap:

  1. Write your assignment question or title in the middle of your page
  2. Create branches from the title with four or five topics you want to cover
  3. Include a branch for your introduction and conclusion too
  4. Under each branch (or in a sub-branch), write the main points you want to cover and where you can find the information (e.g. your notes, a textbook etc) 
  5. In the same way, include the references you want to use for each - if you have room, add a quote or the page number you can find your quote in

When it comes to writing your assignment you’ll find it’s easier to understand the whole topic if you have it laid out in front of you like this. You can even make your life easier by taking notes in class using the mindmap method. That way the information is already in the right format when you come to writing your assignment.

Mind maps are just one of a large number of useful tools university students can use to get ahead. It’s worth taking some time to discover how you study best. If you’d like to read about more study techniques, check out our article Strange revision techniques that might just work. We’d love to hear if you use the mind mapping technique. Share your mind maps with the University of Sunderland in London community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #WeAreSunLon.