How To Use Mind Mapping In The Critical Thinking Process

How To Use Mind Mapping In The Critical Thinking Process

Guest Post by Virginia Cunningham

Generating new ideas can be a challenge. Writer’s block can hit you like a ton of bricks just when you need to develop some new concepts and ideas for work or personal use. Whether you are trying to write an essay, come up with some ideas for work, or just be a better critical thinker, mind maps have been proven as a successful tool to engage your brain in an analytical and artistic manner.


What Is Mind Mapping?

mind map is a creative and visual way to outline information. It’s a diagram of sorts, which is used as a rough draft for whatever particular goals you are working on. Your main focus will be in the middle, and from there, it branches out with different words and connected concepts. Mind mapping can turn one lonely, central thought into a fully formed idea, making it the ideal way to fight writer’s block.


What Is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the process of analyzing information and evidence to decide whether a conclusion is true or not. If the world was without critical thinking, we would still believe many outdated things that aren’t true, such as the world being flat and the Earth being the center of the universe. By using observation, analysis, evidence, context and inference, you can decide whether an assertion is true or not. Critical thinking is essential for students, those in the scientific and medical field, psychologists and educators of all kinds.


How Does Mind Mapping Relate to Critical Thinking?

It can be difficult to think critically about an idea or concept without putting it down on paper. Sometimes, when we think, our thoughts fly out too quickly to think coherently. A mind map can ensure that you get all of your thoughts about an issue down on paper in a lucid and organized manner. With the use of a mind map, you can use the evidence and information to make connections you might not have been able to make without it.



How Can You Use a Mind Map to Think Critically?

A mind map can be used in a myriad of ways to think critically about an idea or subject. First, you can take notes using a mind map to keep all the ideas organized and at hand. It can also be used in planning and brainstorming ideas. If you are using multiple sources for your critical thinking, a mind map can organize and consolidate that information is a useful way.

Creativity is often fostered when using a mind map. And, in the end, you can use a mind map to present your critical thinking information to a second party.


How Do You Mind Map?

The process of mind mapping is simple. Begin in the middle of a blank page with a central idea and connect that idea with associated subtopics with a line, like a branch from a tree. Repeat that process as long as you need– it’s helpful to use different colors to connect different ideas.

Using as few words as possible to get across your idea on paper is the best way save space and keep your map simple. Drawings and symbols add creativity to any mind map as well. If you feel more comfortable using a computer to mind map, there are plenty of paid and open source mind mapping software programs you can use.

If you are struggling with a new concept for either personal or business use, creating a mind map can help push you in the right direction as your creativity has the chance to flow freely. Whether you create a mind map the traditional way or online, you will be able to better organize your thoughts– you will likely be surprised at how effective this process truly is!


Virginia Cunningham is a health writer for Northwest and mother who uses mind maps on a daily basis. When it comes to brainstorming new concepts, she likes to meditate as well to organize her thoughts prior to starting a new mind map.


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