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Mind map creator Tony Buzan coined the term ‘mind map’ to refer to a diagram that has a branch or root-like structure radiating from a central image on the page, and which uses lines and color to show relationships, groupings and connections between words, ideas and images. A mind map helps students think clearly and ensures that a range of possibilities are considered, encouraging thinking outside-the-box.
Tony Buzan’s recommendations include: using a landscape format; starting with a central image to represent your topic or theme; using curving lines to add main branches to the center and then connecting these to smaller branches; using single words and images; and adding colors for aesthetic and organizational purposes.
Single words are unlikely to express an idea adequately. As you think though possibilities, it is likely that you will want to jot down whole phrases and brainstorm possible ways of beginning or approaching a subject. Intentions and possibilities should be clear to someone else who reads the mind map at a later date.
Images should be sourced first-hand (i.e. drawn or photographed yourself) or clearly referenced, and should be integrated within the mind map in a visually pleasing way
The appearance of the mind map is crucially important. This is likely to be one of the first things an examiner sees when opening your sketchbook – first impressions count.
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