How To Make a Concept Map in 4 Steps

How do you create a concept map?
  1. Create a main concept. Whatever medium you choose, the next step is to determine the central idea that you want to detail. …
  2. Identify key concepts. Now that you’ve selected a main concept, the next step is to write down subordinate concepts. …
  3. Organize shapes and lines. …
  4. Fine-tune the map.

A conceptual diagram known as a concept map is frequently used in various fields to express various relationships between concepts. This kind of visual diagram makes complex relationships and subjects easier to understand. A concept map, as its name suggests, helps you comprehend the central notion or concept. Nodes, crosslinks, linking words, prepositional structures, head article structures, and focus questions are some of the various components of a concept map. They are employed in industries that require the organization and structuring of data, such as engineering, instructional design, architecture, technical writing, etc.

How would you like to create your concept map? In this article, we’ll show you how to create a concept map in Word as well as using an online drawing tool, so keep reading if you want to learn how to create a concept map in different online tools or desktop software.

How to Create a Concept Map

How to make a concept map

The following four steps can be used to make a concept map:

1. Identify your main concept

You might already have a specific idea in mind to focus on if you want to make a concept map. This idea emerges from identifying similar concepts surrounding your key concept, so identifying it can help you structure your concept map.

For instance, you could start a concept map with the words “SEO improvement” or the focus question “How to improve SEO?” if you wanted to concentrate on how to improve SEO on your website.

2. Create an organizing structure

Once you have the key idea, think about what illustrations might help you comprehend it the most. After entering the concept, use the structure to help you come up with related concepts. You can use the following organizational structures to make a concept map:

A spider concept map is helpful for complex concepts. The main idea is in the center of the map, and supporting ideas are in the area around it. Sub-concepts can be surrounded by larger or more complicated ideas to create a spiderweb-like structure in thought.

Complex ideas are most detailed when they are closest to the central concept and less detailed when they are farther away. It’s crucial to keep in mind that if spider concept maps are too large, they can become visually disorganized, making it difficult to distinguish between different types of relationships. However, its an easy concept map to construct.

The main concept can be placed on the left of a flow concept map, with additional idea development listed horizontally to the right. By looking at where the concepts are on a map, you can determine how they relate to one another.

As an illustration, a flow concept map might list “Throw party” as the key concept, followed by ideas like “choose a venue,” “send invites,” and “choose a caterer,” listed in that order of completion. Due to the one-way information flow in this structure, relationship types have limited flexibility. So even though it’s simple to understand, it might not apply to concepts that are more complicated.

Because concepts can have different relationships, a system concept map is similar to a spider concept map. The location of the primary concept and supporting concepts, however, is unimportant in a system concept map. Relationships can be shown in a variety of ways, and if necessary, multiple key concepts can be used. To clarify the differences between relationships and concepts, you might need to create a key. Because of the volume of data and complex relationships, these maps can be difficult to read, but they can also be accurate representations of the concept.

A key concept is at the top center of a hierarchy concept map, and you can place sub-ideas underneath to create a family tree-like appearance. Each idea has a visual hierarchy created by this structure, and each one is dependent on the idea above it while being supported by the ideas below it. In the map, ideas can also appear on the same level, indicating equal importance or complexity. If the idea supports this structure, it is simple to comprehend.

3. Think of related concepts

Consider all facets of your central idea and incorporate as many concepts as you can. Be specific about each relationship. Concept mapping can mimic the learning of new information by connecting it to previously known information, so you might come up with new ideas as you go.

For instance, if you create a concept map for a new digital advertising technique, you can include interesting examples of competitor campaigns or steps for a new initiative as long as you explain how they relate to the main concept.

4. Establish relationships between your concepts

Determine the connections between your sub-ideas and related concepts after listing your main idea. You may also incorporate links between related ideas, depending on your organizational structure.

By tagging relationships with linking words or phrases, you can clarify them or provide more context. When creating a concept map about dogs, for instance, you might have a sub-idea called “Terriers” with the linking phrase “Breeds.” “This statement explains the connection between the ideas of dogs and terriers. Additionally, you can use various visual cues to distinguish between relationships, such as various line types or colors.

What is a concept map?

You can use a concept map as a visual tool to arrange ideas and show how they relate to one another. As long as it produces an organizational structure that you can recognize, it can be a graph, diagram, or map. A concept map contains one main idea and several supporting ideas or concepts that are related to it. These maps are used by people from various industries when attempting to comprehend a concept or formulate an action plan.

Although a concept map can take many different forms, these components are common to all of them:

Benefits of concept maps

You can benefit from creating a concept map in the following ways:

Support understanding

Making a concept map can motivate you to reflect carefully on your main idea, which can aid in your understanding of it. Concentrating on each sub-idea can also prompt you to consider additional facets of your concept that you might have overlooked in the absence of a guiding structure.

You can put the ideas you have down on paper and arrange them to demonstrate your thought process. If you use the concept in a demonstration or presentation, breaking it down into different parts can also help you communicate your concept to others.

Illustrate relationships

The emphasis on relationships between concepts is a crucial component of concept maps. You can view the sub-ideas differently by considering how each element of the map relates to the others, which will improve your comprehension of the overall concept.

Making connections to concepts you may understand more thoroughly can also aid in enhancing your understanding of the main concept of your concept map. Adding the dependencies or relationships between each step can help the project become more clear if you’re trying to explain the steps to a group.

Add a visual element

When concepts are presented visually, some people can understand them more easily. Because there is less need for in-depth reading, it can be simpler to explain the connections between concepts and provide succinct descriptions or phrases with illustrations. Depending on the format, team members can then save or share the graphic for easy reference.

Identify missing information

When you visually depict every piece of knowledge you have about a concept, you can see which parts are more and less developed than others. The area of the map with the most connections and subconcepts corresponds to the aspects of the concept that you are most familiar with. Less connected areas or sub-concepts on the map may indicate that you need to conduct more research in that area.


How do you create a concept?

  1. Step 1: Develop a Problem Statement. …
  2. Step 2: Select the Brainstorm Team. …
  3. Step 3: Organize the Brainstorming Session. …
  4. Step 4: Provide Background for the Brainstorm. …
  5. Step 5: Break the Ice. …
  6. Step 6: Individual Idea Generation. …
  7. Step 7: Expand Ideas. …
  8. Step 8: Pick the two to three best ideas and refine them

How do students create a concept map?

Concept maps are visual representations of information. They can be presented as graphs, timelines, tables, flowcharts, Venn Diagrams, charts, graphic organizers, or T-charts. Though they are beneficial for all types of learners, concept maps are particularly helpful for those who learn best visually.

How do I make an easy concept map in Word?

Concept maps are visual representations of information. They can be presented as graphs, timelines, tables, flowcharts, Venn Diagrams, charts, graphic organizers, or T-charts. Though they are beneficial for all types of learners, concept maps are particularly helpful for those who learn best visually.

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