What is a concept map? Simplify your ideas

What is a concept map: Learn how to make the best concept maps

From the age of approximately 10 years, it is when students begin to discover what a concept map is.

It is a study resource that begins to be implemented in primary education and intensifies in secondary education.

As the degree of training passes, teachers are more demanding with the quality of what a conceptual map implies.

But there are many students who fail to understand perfectly what a concept map means.

Therefore, if you are one of them and you are between 12 and 20 years old, this article can contribute a lot so that you learn to master the construction of this academic resource.

In this post, you will have the opportunity to know perfectly what a concept map is, in addition to understanding certain practical tips to be able to create them easily.

Dare to know what awaits you in this content and you will feel with emotion that this study tool can forever change your way of processing and assimilating academic information.

The concept map dilemma


The big mistake of people who fail to assimilate what a conceptual map is is that they tend to confuse it against what a mental map is.

In mind maps, a structure quite similar to that of concept maps is maintained.

And it is said that it is similar because it has great use of information boxes and connecting lines.

In this way, the person who begins to interpret a mental map establishes a route that allows him to have a general idea of ​​the subject in question: whether it is about the universe of bicycles, the fall in the price of the dollar or the way in which it is manufactured A chocolate bar.

The mind map is really easier to interpret.

And it is easy to interpret because the eye of the person who interprets the content, follows a path through the lines and images, until it reaches the conclusion of the map.

However, what happens with a concept map is that there is not so much freedom.

Freedom of reading is set aside to give priority to order, which is the essence of the concept map.

Therefore, a person can understand that he is in front of what a concept map is when at first sight he identifies that there is an idea tree.

The text boxes represent the branches and all are organized towards an end: they are the same roots of the tree.

How to build a conceptual map

In order to get rid of what the mental map implies, it is necessary to know in depth the bases that define a conceptual map.

Once a person manages to understand each of the bases and manages to set aside the ease that a mental map implies, from that point on, the person does not have to doubt that their conceptual maps are in accordance with what is required by the teacher.

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When the person manages to understand these bases, he clears at the same time the idea that creating a concept map is something too complex, or, that to complete them it is necessary to have an enormous attention in each of the details.

Nothing is further from the truth: building a concept map is really very simple.

Therefore, these are the bases that you need to be clear in solving that doubt about what it means to know what a concept map is:

Ideas Boxes

One of the most important elements in the concept maps are the idea boxes.

Yes, those boxes that sometimes turn into circles in which there is a specific written idea.

For example, a box may have an idea such as “barley,” referring to one of the ingredients in the brewing process.

The boxes are always characterized because the idea they express is too short.

It is not necessary to write an entire paragraph, which is precisely one of the mistakes that teachers criticize most when qualifying concept maps.

The concept map always tries to be as short as possible, in its way of dissecting ideas.

Therefore, in what is a conceptual map, the subject of ideas boxes must be precise.


The connectors meanwhile are the ones that give more form and coherence to the ideas boxes.

Do the exercise: find a concept map of the Internet, using the keyword “Google Maps” in the Google image search engine.

Rest assured that the amount of maps to discover is quite wide.

Now, when you have selected one: just look at the ideas boxes and start reading them without following the direction that the connectors draw, which are those lines that are generated between the boxes.

Have you noticed that by reading them you only identify ideas, but they don’t tell you beyond that?

The connectors have that mission, they are the ones in charge of describing the route from the beginning to the end, giving coherence to the idea that encloses each box of ideas.

Remember that in most cases, knowing what a concept map is gives us the clarity that it is a structure of a tree endowed with various ramifications.

The aesthetics of the tree will help you understand the theme that the concept map is developing.

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On the other hand, the annotations are another of the support points that determine the fluidity that the connectors draw.

Yes, the connectors give a direction of where to live the step by step of what the concept map has to announce, but it is the annotations that provide the most logic.

Imagine now that you have a treasure map abandoned by a pirate.

Every time you find a clue it is as if you were facing a box of ideas.

But, the track is accompanied by a “twenty steps to the north” or “turns south.” That is the same functionality that annotations have.

For example, if the topic in question is about the beer manufacturing process, an entry may indicate, “It has the following ingredients.”

Under this indication there are three options for ideas boxes that could be: “barley”, “hops”, “oatmeal”, etc.

In general, connector annotations usually appear without being enclosed in a box or circle, since they allow a better reading of the content when we know what a concept map is.


Finally, the other key aspect when it comes to understanding what a concept map is is in the way information is presented.

The structure usually has a hierarchical cycle, where it starts from the simplest, and then reaches the most complex.

Let’s go back to the example of the beer manufacturing process.

In the first part of the concept map, the ingredients are explained, a fairly simple matter to understand.

Then, later on, the explanation of what fermentation or bottling entails will come, which would imply boxes of ideas with more information.

It would be a bit difficult for you to start by explaining to the reader of your concept map about the process of gasification or fermentation of beer, when you can draw a simpler route that allows you to associate the ideas in one.

Because essentially what a concept map is, is a diagrammed summary.

That is, a diagram of ideas that can be interpreted, such as a treasure map, to reach a conclusion.

Tips for making a concept map

As previously stated, the great problem that students have when making a concept map, lies in the way it ends up becoming a mind map.

What happens is that the simplest route is almost always sought to explain the content of a topic.

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The student wants to explain everything from his own perspective and from the scope of the reading comprehension of the subject that he must expose, through what really means what a conceptual map is.

Yes, that’s the idea. But when you have a very poor reading comprehension and you want to finish a task quickly, it is normal for the concept map to end up becoming a map of ideas.

There are some guidelines to keep in mind so that the process of creating a concept map is completely consistent and simple.

If you learn to take into account the advice that we are going to give you from this moment, be sure that creating the concept map will be super simple.

1. Study the subject thoroughly

The key idea of ​​knowing what a concept map is, is to present a topic in an organic and simple way.

In a sense, it is the summary of a summary, so in order to explain in a coherent and step-by-step way, it is necessary to study and understand the subject well.

That is, start by reading well and calmly read the content to present.

There are many study techniques that you can apply when studying this topic, such as underlining ideas or commenting on what you are reading.

If you consider that there is a lot of information to summarize, then take the time to write on a page of what you yourself have understood.

We can guarantee that the better you master the subject, the more easily you can explain the step-by-step that a good conceptual map demands.

2. Convert the summary into idea boxes

Already at this point, the process is simplified. If you understood the subject well, the question now is to transform those key ideas into boxes of ideas and begin to weave the relationship they have.

If there is something that you will discover soon on a concept map, it is the way in which everything is articulated forming a structure.

Here it is very important that you know what ideas are really substantial to give them priority, or if they only represent additional issues that can be discarded.

3. Think about the structure 

The third piece of advice we are going to give you has to do with the structure you plan to give the content.

The idea is that reading about it means, what is a concept map, always be as simple and pleasant as possible, as if the reader were discovering the clues that lead to the conclusion.

Many will opt for the traditional tree-shaped structure, where all ideas are branching out, while there is always a central trunk that gives it beauty and balance.

This allows you to advance frame by frame and connector by connector, until you reach a single main root, as main as the first box located at the top.

Everything is a matter of taste. If you want to illustrate about the different styles, we advise you to repeat the search you did on the conceptual map images in Google and you will perceive the different styles that exist.

You will realize that there are some with quite broad and structured ramifications on several levels.

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