Writing Concept Map Assignments
Being involved in writing concept map assignments requires students considerable attention to detail and the ability to see the connection between different aspects. Developing a concept map is a complicated task you cannot accomplish without having some background knowledge of how to do it. At the same time, it is the best way to remember some basic concepts that have numerals topics and subtopics. A concept map is a visual representation of the information that takes a form of a chart, graph, table, diagram, and even a timeline. It is always better to remember visual information rather than a text even if the text is properly structured and the terms used are easy to understand.
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The value of a concept map lies in the fact that it allows seeing the whole picture simultaneously from the largest and the basic concept to the smaller ideas related to this particular concept. When reading a text, you will get acquainted with the smaller ideas of a large concept one by one as the text flows. However, you see everything at once in a concept map. Moreover, a concept map allows structuring the ideas as until you write a text, you may already lose the point, while a quick creation of a concept map will allow you to structure your thoughts and visually see what you have in your head. Sometimes it is useful to write down your thoughts to see whether the idea deserves attention or reasonable.
Concept maps are used for different purposes. First, concept maps help organize ideas and thoughts in a structured manner. Second, concept maps may be used in teaching for those students who prefer visual information. Teachers may benefit from this strategy by giving material to visual learners because any topic may be presented in a form of a concept map. The main idea of concept writing is to put a central word or a concept in a box or a circle and link this major idea to the smaller points using arrows or lines showing the relationship between these aspects. Hierarchy and flowchart concept maps are the most common types used in the business and academic world.
What Is a Concept Map? Let Us Clarify
What is a concept map? How it is possible to create a concept map? What is the purpose of a concept map writing process? All these questions are reasonable and fair for those who have just started studying the idea of a concept map. However, it is not that difficult to develop a concept map when you understand the basic principles of its creation and know why you need it.
A concept map is a top-down variant of a diagram that points to the relationship between different concepts with examples.
If you have decided to develop a concept map yourself, you need to be aware of the key elements of this strategy. A concept map is usually called a conceptual diagram, a variation of a graph. In order to be able to create the best concept maps, you should know its elements. There are five major elements of a concept map.
A concept in a map may be an idea, a question, or an issue. This is the main point in focus usually depicted in a circle or an oval.
2. Linking words/phrases
Linking words and phrases are used to connect the basic concept to the smaller ones and to describe the relationship between the two concepts.
3. Hierarchical structure
Conceptual maps must be developed in a hierarchical manner. It means that the major concepts are set above and the smaller ones are written below showing the hierarchy of the relationships between them.
4. Focus question
A focus question defines the problem under investigation. It states what issue you want to address developing a concept map. The understanding of the focus question makes the process of mapping easier.
Cross-links help to show the connection of the concepts taken from different fields and industries. For example, one may tie the business to creativity. Some people may not understand how creativity is related to strict and financially dependent businesses. However, proper cross-links may help understand this connection.
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Is Concept Mapping Important?
Even though concept mapping is a time-consuming process, it is a very powerful tool. Some studies show that the human brain processes visuals much faster than text information. Moreover, people usually remember images, graphs, and charts easier than plain written text. Using a concept map you may create a visual relationship between various concepts. It may help you make complicated things simpler. Looking at a concept map you will be able to see the connection between different aspects faster. As such, depending on the purpose of concept map creation, you may see a problem resolution or show the relationship between different aspects to your business partners or a person in focus. The business world and academic environment use concept mapping most frequently. However, there are other benefits you may take out of this strategy:
- Assistance in visualizing the concepts for better understanding
- Synthesizing information for shoring a big picture
- Initiation of brainstorming
- Discovering new concepts through cross-links
- Promotion of clear communication of complex ideas
Are Mind Maps and Concept Maps Different?
Are mind maps and concept maps different? Students usually use these two terms as interchangeable. Indeed, the ideas of mind maps and concept maps are similar, but what if the idea is wrong? How is it possible to check it? The information below helps to see the disparities between these two concepts.
|Concept Maps||Mind Maps|
|Defining the concepts||As it has already been mentioned above, a concept map is a top-down variant of a diagram that points to the relationship between different concepts with examples.||A mind map is a multi-colored and image-centered radial diagram that points to the connections between specific portions of the learned material represented in a hierarchical manner.|
|The way of representation||A concept map depicts the systematic relationships between sub-concepts related to the main idea||A mind map depicts sub-topics of the main issue in a creative manner|
|Environment and application||A concept map is mainly used as a teaching tool. Students may use concept map images to summarize some key topics or investigate the elements and examples of a major concept.||A mind map is a common note-taking strategy. It is useful to develop mind maps when you need to structure your ideas and make notes to see the relationship between the different aspects.|
|Application of graphical elements||A concept map usually employs boxes or bubbles with text inside connected by the arrows.||A mind map prefers a central idea circled in the center of a paper and the subtopics written as branches with the text.|
|Reading direction||A concept map is usually read from the top down.||A mind map is usually read from the center out.|
|Principles of maps development||Writing both a concept map and a mind map, you should with the main concept. However, in the case of a concept map, you will end with the examples related to each concept, whole in a mind map your final statements will be subtopics related to the main theme.|
|Other differentiating features||A concept map has a high level of difficulty creation, has space limits, difficult to remember, but has a high level of understandability.||A mind map is not difficult to develop, it is open and unlimited in space, it is easy to remember, but it is not very understandable to others.|
How to Do a Concept Map: Top Tips from Professional Writers
If you have decided to develop this piece yourself, you need to know how to do a concept map in a proper way. Our professional writers share their unique experience of how to do it easier and in a more professional way. Just stick to the steps offered below
Step 1: Topic choice
The first step in concept map writing is a topic choice. You should clearly understand what you are going to write about. A concept map allows focusing on a specific idea, a question, or an issue.
Step 2: Brainstorming
Having selected a topic, you should list all the ideas that come to your mind when you think about it. No need to write the details, just 1-2 words related to the issue. For example, what do you think when you hear the word business? The ideas that come to your mind may be as follows, money, company, owner, employees, risks, supply, stocks, etc. This is a list of the simplest ideas; if you think more, you will have a greater amount of points.
Step 3: Map drawing
The most convenient way of concept mapping is writing your starting idea in the center and drawing the lines with smaller ideas. In such a way, you have an opportunity to divide the major topic into smaller aspects and each of these smaller aspects to divide into smaller ones. This is the best way to structure your ideas and show how a particular point is related to the major issue in focus. You may use colors and different fonts to highlights the major points and make your concept mat more appealing and interesting
Step 4: Concept connection
Writing the ideas you need to show their connection. Overall, each statement will have some connection to the major issue. However, your task is to gradually divide the ideas to show how one particular point related to the major issue through other concepts. This is the min idea of a concept map. Your concept map may have crosslinks pointing to the variety of ways of how your issue may be represented.
Step 5: Final check
Having written a concept map, our writers recommend you to put it aside for several hours or even for a day. It will give you an opportunity to look at your map from another angle. You may notice some missing points, or you may see new connections. Make sure to add all the information you consider useful at this stage. It is also useful to check the already developed connections to analyze what may be improved.