Using Mind Maps® for Studying

The Mind Map Organic Study Technique (MMOST)

Mind Maps have been used by students of all ages and at all levels for many years with dramatic results. The MMOST technique is described in Tony Buzan’s Use Your Head book. There are eight basic steps:

1. Very quickly browse or look through the entire book or article, getting a general feel for the way it is organised.

2. Work out the length of time to be spent studying and determine the amount of material to be covered in that time.

3. Mind Map what you already know in that subject area in order to establish associative mental ‘grappling hooks’.

4. Define your aims and objectives for this study session and complete a different Mind Map of all the questions that need to be answered.

5. Take an overview of the text, looking at the table of contents, major headings, results, conclusions, summaries, major illustrations or graphs, and any other important elements which catch your eye. This process will give you the central image and main branches (or Basic Ordering Ideas) of your new polycategoric Mind Map of the text. Many students report that they have often completed 90% of their learning task by the time they finish the overview stage. By focusing on the overall structure and major elements of the text, the author’s essential ordering impetus rapidly becomes clear and can easily be Mind Mapped.

6. Now move on to the preview, looking at all the material not covered in the overview, particularly the beginnings and ends of paragraphs, sections and chapters, where the essential information tends to be concentrated. Add to your Mind Map.

7. The next stage is the inview, in which you fill in the build of the learning puzzle, still skipping over any major problem areas. Having familiarised yourself with the rest of the text, you should now find it much easier to understand these passages and bulk out your Mind Map.

8. Finally there is the review stage, in which you go back over the difficult areas you skipped in the earlier stages and look back over the text to answer any remaining questions or fulfil any remaining objectives. At this point you should complete your Mind Map notes.

Mind Map® and Mind Maps® are registered trademarks of The Buzan Organisation

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