How to Develop a Concept Map


Remember, a concept map is a visual representation of what you know about a topic. It helps you to organize, analyze, and communicate your studies and research.

Now that you know what a concept map is and all of its components, let's see how you would create one for yourself.

Steps in Developing a Concept Map

The process of concept mapping involves three major steps:

Step 1: List key concepts related to the topic

List all the concepts related to the topic which you consider essential to understanding the topic. For example, for the topic "cooperative learning," Jose determined the key concepts to be:


Step 2: Build up concepts to elaborate key concepts

After defining the key concepts, you then expand on those concepts. Ask yourself the question:

"What are the important concepts, facts, ideas, terms, etc. that explain the key concept?"

Step 3: Identify links between concepts

It is important to show how or why certain concepts relate to one another. This is called linking – explaining the connection between two separate parts of your concept map.


Making a Concept Map

Concept maps (also known as mind maps) can be made with a pencil and paper,


Relation of dog to mammal.








with post-it notes on a white board (you draw the links) which is great for group brainstorming because you can move the post-it notes around,

Dog and mammal relation.








or with special computer software. Some of the more popular software includes:

 A comprehensive list of concept mapping tools is located at and also at .