Creating a Concept Map

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Learn how to create a concept map to visualize the main ideas in a text.

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Concept Map

0:00 Owl: Welcome to How to Make a Concept Map, an instructional video on reading comprehension brought to you by the Excelsior University Online Writing Lab.
0:13 A simple way to analyze a text is to break down important information, such as main ideas and key details, with a concept map.
0:22 Creating a concept map for a text is a great way to make the information available in a visual and easy to read manner.
0:29 You can also use this technique to map out ideas for something you want to write.
0:34 Mapping a text is easy.
0:36 Start by writing down the name of the text (or concept) you want to map.
0:41 Then, draw a box for the main idea.
0:45 Next, draw boxes for supporting ideas.
0:48 After that, draw more boxes for supporting details.
0:53 Finally, draw arrows connecting the boxes.
0:58 You can draw your concept map any way you like.
1:01 In this case, we organized our concept map vertically with the main idea on top and supporting details at the bottom.
1:09 However, you can draw your concept map horizontally, or even place your main idea in the center and surround it with boxes for supporting ideas and details.
1:19 Make your concept map as large as you need it to be in order to map out the text you’re reading.
1:25 In this example, we’ll map out a chapter on muscle tissue.
1:30 First, write out the title and summarize the main idea.
1:35 Then, summarize the supporting ideas.
1:38 If the text has sub-headings or sections, refer to them to identify the supporting ideas.
1:44 If not, look for supporting ideas by identifying the main idea of each body paragraph.
1:51 Finally, pull out and list key supporting details.
1:55 This might consist of key facts, names, dates, concepts, arguments, or examples.
2:03 When you’re done, you’ll have a complete map of a text’s argument.
2:07 That’ll come in handy the next time you need to write or talk about it!
2:12 You can download a Concept Map template here.
2:19 Thanks for listening to this instructional video on How to Make a Concept Map!
2:24 Visit the Excelsior University Online Writing Lab for more support with reading and writing skills.

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Materials from the following text were paraphrased in this video:

OpenStax College, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax College. 25 April 2013. <>.

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