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C ONCEPT M APS Simplify the Complex!. W HAT IS A C ONCEPT M AP ? A concept map is a diagram. It is used to represent or “break down” complex information.

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Presentation on theme: "C ONCEPT M APS Simplify the Complex!. W HAT IS A C ONCEPT M AP ? A concept map is a diagram. It is used to represent or “break down” complex information."— Presentation transcript:

1 C ONCEPT M APS Simplify the Complex!

2 W HAT IS A C ONCEPT M AP ? A concept map is a diagram. It is used to represent or “break down” complex information in a simple, visual format. Presents this info “at a glance.” Shows relationships between concepts. EXCELLENT tool for visual learners. Sometimes referred to as “mind-mapping”.

3 P RACTICAL A PPLICATION TO Y OUR C OURSES Handy way to take notes during lecture. Or even to re-format your lecture notes AFTER lecture. A quick way to create an outline for a paper or speech. Excellent aid for group brainstorming…think problem solving. Plan your studies, and how they relate to your future career. Easy way to create graphics for presentations, speeches, and papers. Aids in critical thinking because you can “see” the many facets of a problem/solution.

4 S O … WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE ? Refer to the next slides for some common examples of concept maps. Ask yourself: How might those examples be used to help in your current courses? What types of Concept Maps would be best for your current courses?

5 “S PIDER ” The "spider" concept map is organized by placing the central theme or unifying factor in the center of the map. Outwardly radiating sub-themes surround the center of the map. Some examples of central themes: Branches of Government Philosophers Artistic Movements Species Music Genres

6 “H IERARCHY ” The hierarchy concept map presents information in a descending order of importance. The most important information is placed on the top. Distinguishing factors determine the placement of the information. Some examples: Organizing speeches Outlining papers TIME MANAGEMENT

7 “S YSTEMS ” The systems concept map organizes information in a format which is similar to a flowchart with the addition of 'INPUTS' and 'OUTPUTS'. These generally work well for: Biology/Ecology courses Environmental Science courses Process-oriented problems Organizational models

8 G ETTING S TARTED WITH YOUR OWN C ONCEPT MAP Some suggestions for getting started include: Start with a question or concept from your textbook and create a systems map to answer the question. Choose a topic from lecture, and then relate additional detail from your textbook to create a spider map illustrating the inter-relation between the two. Compose a thesis for an essay. Use the hierarchy map to organize the main ideas that support that thesis. Remember… It’s OK to revise your concept maps. Keep them around…reuse them for supplemental study guides before exams. Creating maps with study partners is an excellent way to share ideas and improve your understanding of course material.

9 This PowerPoint presentation is the property of Northern Michigan University’s Academic & Career Advisement Center. It may not be reproduced without written consent. Presentation content is adapted from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign ACES 100 class resource website. Source document is located at


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