Concept mapping became extremely popular in recent years as it is an instrument for structuring important ideas in a clear and logical way. A concept map is a piece of academic writing that aims to explore a particular concept, as well as its relations with the other concepts. In the nursing field, this document has great importance as it allows attractively studying the important information, which significantly increases the learning outcomes. Given the importance of a nursing map, it becomes clear why students pursuing nursing degrees are often asked to work on these tasks. If you are one of those students, but you have no idea of what is a concept map, then you should have a look at our handy guide as it includes multiple tips, practices, and suggestions on how to create a perfect map.
What Are the Main Goals of a Concept Map?
You may wonder “What makes a concept map
a unique piece?” Well, to get a clear answer to this question, you will need to study the common purposes of concept mapping:
- It allows the student to dig into a certain topic in detail. To create a good-looking concept map in nursing, you will need to carry out an in-depth investigation of the topic and identify all the important sub-topics. This approach will enable you to get more than just surface-level information;
- Organize your thoughts and ideas in a logical order. Very often, it is difficult to arrange large amounts of information in a brief paper. Concept mapping will allow the student to identify the main points that are worth discussing, which will help them succeed with other writing tasks;
- Remember the most important information. When you have much information to memorize, you will fail to do it. However, by structuring your information in a visually attractive way, you will be able to memorize the most important aspects;
- Understand the relationships. Sometimes, to understand the topic well, one should figure out the important relationships between its concepts. Concept mapping allows the person to understand how some concepts are related to others.
As you can see, a concept map is not only about lines and circles. In a nutshell, it is a powerful learning tool that will help you understand any topic, even if it is too challenging and sophisticated. Therefore, if you want to succeed in your educational institution, you will need to learn what concept map writing is, as well as what are the main benefits of concept mapping.
Below, you will find the essential benefits of concept mapping:
- It helps students recognize the relationships between the concepts, ideas, and approaches;
- It enables visual learners to grasp the material;
- It allows memory to recall the information easily;
- It allows structuring and clarifying important ideas;
- It encourages students to think in a creative way
- It enables students to make assumptions.
As you can see, the main advantages of mind mapping are obvious. Thus, you should know what a concept map is and how to make it in accordance with the latest standards established in educational institutions.
Common Types of Concept Maps
No matter what type of concept map you are supposed to write, it will include the traditional elements – concepts and connectors. Nevertheless, depending on the organization of these elements, it is necessary to notice that there are several different types of concept maps. Let us discuss the most popular ones:
- Spider map. This map looks like a spider web. In this map, the main concept will be put in the center of the map and all the sub-topics should be organized in a radial pattern. These subtopics will be divided into smaller subtopics, and so on. Pay attention that this map should be used when you have one central concept and want to build the whole theme upon this concept;
- If you look through the flowchart examples on the web, you will see that this type of concept map is the most popular. The characteristic peculiarity of this map is that it shows the process. Typically, the arrows represent various actions taken and choices made. Writing such a map is a great adventure that should teach students that all actions have consequences. A flowchart is widely used when it is necessary to explain how something works;
- Hierarchy map. Such a map should demonstrate the order of something. For instance, you may write a hierarchy map including all the employees of the certain company, as well as their duties. Such a map allows seeing the whole picture of some structure. A hierarchy map is often used when it is necessary to show that something works as a system;
- System map. A system map is one of the most sophisticated types of concept maps as it shows how different concepts are interrelated with each other. Although they may look like webs, they should not necessarily move from the center like it is requested in a spider map. This map is widely used when it is necessary to find out how the system is functioning.
Common Ways to Create a Perfect Map
If you want to understand how to make a nursing concept map, you may have a look at some handy tips provided below and they will help you impress your tutor with a perfect concept map.
- Choose a drawing medium. Many students prefer using just a pen and paper, however, you should know that there are various tools that will help you create a concept map more attractively. For instance, you can use Microsoft Office Word or Microsoft Office PowerPoint to make your mind map look professional;
- Choose the main concept. No matter what type of concept map you are supposed to create, you will need to select the main concept that will be explored. This concept will become a basis of your work as it will define the entire working process;
- Identify the concepts related to the main concept. Once the main concept is chosen, you will need to think about what ideas and concepts will appear on your concept map as well. By creating your concept map spontaneously, you will include a lot of meaningless ideas that will not allow you to obtain the desired outcome;
- Organize shapes and lines. As soon as you have chosen the main concept and related ones, you will need to organize them appropriately so that your target audience could understand the nature of the relations between these concepts;
- Review your map. Once you are done with your concept map, you will need to review it making sure all the information is appropriate and relevant. To do this effectively, you will need to answer the questions suggested below:
- Is the main concept clear?
- Is there an appropriate number of related concepts?
- Are there any mistakes in structure?
- Should I use better linking words?
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