Online Mind Mapping and Brainstorming

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Pre-writing Technique #1: Idea Mapping, aka Clustering by Mind Map: Pre-writing Technique #1: Idea Mapping, aka Clustering
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Pre-writing Technique #1: Idea Mapping, aka Clustering

Why should I use this technique?

Mapping is great for visual thinkers.

You can create an image of your ideas.

The technique is non-linear.

It's fun!

How do I use this technique?

1) As a way to generate ideas, like brainstorming

2) If you have already generated ideas, you can use a map to help organize them.

I completed a map; what's next?

If you used the map to generate ideas, highlight those that may be useful.

Place your most useful idea in the center of a new map.

Use your map to create an outline for your project.

How can I share an idea map with the instructor or the class?

Use an online program like Mindmeister:, which I used to create this map.

Write on paper. Scan your map when you are finished and save it as a pdf. Attach the file to a discussion post, blog post, or course message.

Where can I get help in using this technique?

The Allyn & Bacon textbook. Page 30 explains the technique, and page 31 includes an image of a student idea map.

Purdue's OWL:

UNM-LA's ASC: Writing tutors love to help students with idea maps. Remember, they're fun.

Send me a course message, set up a time to chat through gmail, text or call, or post to the course "Muddiest Point" blog.

I didn't find Idea Mapping useful, and I'm stuck for ideas. HELP!

Try focused freewriting.

Or engage in discussion with a classmate.

Play the believing and doubting game.

Brainstorm a list of ideas instead of a map.

Take a break. Then try a new idea generating technique.

Go to UNM-LA's ASC.

Take advantage of the free online tutoring service available to UNM-LA students.

Talk the issue through with a roommate, friend, or family member.