Creating a mind or cluster map of your topic(s) is a great way to help narrow your ideas while visualizing them in a nonlinear way. You can do this with paper and pen, on your computer, or via a web-based mind-mapping application (such as Popplet).
- Begin by writing your topic in the middle of the page and circling it.
- Now branch off that main circle and create additional circles of information that contain smaller topics within that larger field.
- From those smaller circles, make even smaller circles that indicate why you are interested in those topics.
- Don’t be afraid to draw lines connecting one circle to another. It’s ok if it’s messy! (Doodling is also allowed if it helps you generate ideas.)
- Take a look at the connections you’ve made and write a topic sentence about the connections between those topics.
- Share-out: Take a picture or screenshot of your mind map and post it to the comments thread.