In this article we’ll show you how to use mind maps for essay writing. Mind maps can not only make this often dreadful task a whole lot easier, but also save you a huge amount of time. If you want to learn how this simple yet effective technique works, just follow the steps as outlined below.
What Is a Mind Map?
A mind map is a diagram that displays information visually. You can create mind maps using pen and paper, or you can use an online mind mapping tool such as MindMeister. Whatever you use, the rules for creating a mind map are simple:
1) Write the subject in the center of your paper / canvas.
2) Draw branches that point away from the center. Each branch symbolizes one thought or idea related to the subject. Use meaningful keywords to write these ideas onto the branches.
3) From each branch more ideas can branch off.
4) Use colors, icons and images whenever possible. These function as mental triggers and can help spark new ideas in you, which is important during brainstorming sessions.
Now that you know how to create a basic mind map, let’s go over how you can use mind maps for essay writing.
Step 1: Using a Mind Map to Find a Good Topic for Your Essay
If you have the opportunity to choose the topic for your paper yourself, try to find one that’s been covered by other researchers before, but still gives you a chance to come up with new findings and conclusions. If you choose a topic that has already been explored in depth by a gazillion other researchers, you might be hard pressed to develop a unique perspective.
Ideally, the topic should be something you are also personally interested in, or at least something you can relate to in some way. This will make the whole task of writing your essay a little less dreadful. The best way to find such a topic is a brainstorming session.
How to brainstorm topic ideas in a mind map
Create a new mind map and simply write “My Essay” or “My Paper” in the center of the map. Now, start adding ideas around the center. These can be things your professor suggested, related subjects you discussed in class, or anything else relevant to get you started.
Next, note down your own areas of interest and see where they intersect with the former. Once you have a few good ideas for the subject of your paper, you can start weighing them against each other, noting down pros and cons. Eliminate topics until you’re left with only one. This will be the topic of your paper.
In the example below, the only requirement that had been given was to write a paper about literature from the English Renaissance. You’ll see various famous writers of this time mentioned in the map, as well as various aspects of their work that could be examined in a paper, such as the symbolism, dramatic conflicts or themes.
Step 2: Start the Research Process
While working through both primary and secondary sources, it’s quite easy to get confused about the numerous arguments and counterarguments. Many students get frustrated and waste a lot of time just trying to figure out how to make all the different pieces of information fit together into a coherent text.
What you need, therefore, is a system to collect and structure all this information in one central place, so you can easily review the materials while you write.
How to collect research in a mind map
Create a new mind map for each source (book, article, essay) you read and take notes in this mind map while you work through the text. Alternatively, you can use one single map where you list all your sources and create child topics for every page/paragraph/quote you want to use in your paper.
In the map below, you’ll see that – based on our initial brainstorming session – we chose ‘Love in Romeo and Juliet’ as the topic of our paper. For our research map, we wrote this topic in the center and created individual branches for each source we read. Next to the book title, we noted down the topics covered in the source, its central question as well as important passages that we thought we might want to quote in our essay.
Here are some practical tips to set you up for success:
- Use colors, arrows and icons to indicate connections between the arguments and quotes.
- Be sure to add the page numbers to the topics in your map so you can quickly go back to do some more fact checking if necessary. If you’re working with online sources you can also attach their links directly to the topics in your map.
- As you go along, you can restructure the sources according to topics, which usually provides a better overview of the material you have available for each section of your paper.
Here’s another example of a research map. This is the map we used to take notes while reading Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the subject of our paper. As you can see, we created branches for each of the text passages we wanted to analyze in the essay.
Step 3: Outline Your Paper in a Mind Map
Before you start with the actual writing, it’s very important that you first create an outline of your paper. This will help you create a coherent structure of your arguments, counterarguments, examples, quotes, and the sources you want to reference in each argument.
You can quickly review this outline whenever you get sidetracked in your writing process, or when you’re unsure about how to continue. A mind map is a great format for such an outline because it provides you with a visual overview of your thesis statement and the entire text structure.
If you’re using mind mapping software such as MindMeister, you can also…
- Link the individual topics in your map with the respective research maps you’ve created.
- Add notes and deadlines to each step to make sure your writing stays on schedule.
- Export your finished outline as a Word document and use it as the basis for your paper.
Using mind maps to plan and outline your essay will not only make the writing process a lot easier, it will also enable you to work through sources more efficiently and help you find information more quickly. Of course, you can use mind mapping for all types of writing assignments – from essays to short stories and from book reports to blog posts. Try it out!
See also: The Student’s Guide to Mind Mapping
Table of Contents
Body of Essay
Bullying can be a difficult topic to tackle. That is why this bullying essay will help offer an idea of what will comprise a good paper and what potential areas of research to cover within this controversial and popular subject. From developing a good thesis, carrying it throughout body paragraphs, and closing with a brief and concise conclusion, this essay will show what to do to obtain a high grade. The first step before the thesis, the body, and the conclusion, is a unique and informative introduction. This will help lead to an idea of where to start the paper and when all is finished, an abstract can be created, thus putting a successful end to any writing project.
Understanding a Bully
What Makes Others Bully?
Bullying: The Need to Control
Identifying the Four Common Types of Bullying
A. What is Bullying – Definition
B. Types of Bullying – relational, verbal, physical
D. Effects of Bullying
Bullying is an ongoing problem that affects people as children and adults. To stop bullying, people need to understand the various ways to bully and why bullying exists. Bullying makes those that do it feel powerful and look ‘cool’ to others. Yet, bullying can create immense suffering for the victims, sometimes leading to death. This essay covers four types of bullying: relational, verbal, physical, and cyberbullying. It also covers briefly the effects of bullying by providing examples of real bully cases.
Title: Identifying the Four Common Types of Bullying
Essay Hook: Bullying has lead to the suicides of several American youths.
Kids and adults alike have talked about bullying and their experiences. From coworkers acting too aggressively to kids in class being mean, bullying is a common occurrence that has been portrayed in movies, books, and shows to several generations. Although many think they have a good idea of what constitutes bullying, many do not know the various forms of bullying. People can be bullied verbally, physically, online, and in relationships. Intimate partners, friends, and family members can be bullies.
The four different types of bullying that will be discussed in this essay are relational, verbal, physical, and cyberbullying; these types of bullying are often difficult to identify and in covering these topics, it will provide a deeper understanding of bullying and its potential negative impact on both the bully and the person bullied.
What is Bullying
Bullying is defined as hurtful, mean behavior happening continually in any relationship that has an imbalance of strength or power (Zins, Elias, Maher, & Wiggins, 2007). It can take on several forms. These forms may often seem similar. It is important to distinguish each one and understand how they impact a person on the receiving end of the bullying.
Bullying can consist of direct or indirect bullying. “Direct bullying refers to face-to-face physical or verbal confrontations, while indirect bullying is usually described as less visible harm-doing, such as spreading rumors and social exclusion” (Zins, Elias, Maher, & Wiggins, 2007, p. 11). Those that experience direct bullying may be verbally or physically assaulted. Those that experience indirect bullying may be gossiped about. Regardless, direct or indirect bullying can have profoundly negative and long-lasting effects on the person bullied.
Types of Bullying
The first form of bullying is relational bullying and is considered indirect bullying. Relational bullying means bullying with exclusionary tactics, involving deliberate prevention of someone being/joining part of a group (Macklem, 2010). This could be at a game, social activity, or lunch table. A good example of this is when a group of boys at baseball practice decide to go to a fast food place to eat. One person is left to the side, ignored, treated as though he was invisible. Making people feel excluded from a group can lead to feelings of worthlessness and depression.
People suffering from relational bullying may experience mood changes, turn to isolating themselves, or withdraw from peer groups altogether. Although relational bullying can happen with either gender, girls experience this form of bullying more than boys, especially in certain age ranges. “Between eight and eleven years of age, girls continue to use more and more relational aggression. They appear to be choosing the form of aggression that is most hurtful to others, and the type of aggression that is most tolerated by the peer group” (Macklem, 2010, p. 42). Relational bullying does not simply mean excluding someone. It may also entail spreading rumors, sharing secrets and breaking confidences, and recruiting peers to share in the dislike of a target. This form of social manipulation is quite common in grade school and can frequently happen up to middle school.
Bullies that partake in relational bullying may do so to feel power over others and over their intended target. They may dislike the bullying victim and so feel the need to encourage others to dislike the victim as well. Relational bullying also helps a person increase his or her social status among his or her peers. By that person putting someone else down or making someone else look bad, that person looks better in comparison.
The next form of bullying is verbal and is an example of direct bullying. Although there is no evidence of harm done as seen with physical bullying, those that experience verbal bullying state they develop traumatic memories from such events. “Verbal bullying usually takes the form of name-calling, taunting, interrupting, teasing, joking or threatening, intimidating, and humiliating. Victims of verbal bullies are often shy, have low self-confidence, and are chosen because they don’t have friend to defend them” (Ryan, 2012, p. 7-8). Bullies that verbally bully their victims do so because it makes them feel powerful. Like relational bullies, they may tease someone to improve their own social standing and belong with a group.
Verbal bullying can make a bullying victim depressed, socially withdrawn, and can lead to suicide ideation. Those that are verbally bullied may feel as though they have no one to turn to, to alleviate their situation. The best way to deal with verbal bullying, either as a child or as an adult, it to have confidence and learn self-respect. By people understanding and stressing their own personal boundaries, it may help them avoid dealing with a verbal bully.
The third form of bullying is physical. It is direct bullying and is easier to notice than other forms of bullying. Some people assume physical bullying is the most common type of bullying. However, evidence suggests it is the least common. “Many adults characterize most bullying as being physical, but this is a myth. In truth, physical bullying comprises the minority of bullying activity. Both boys and girls much more commonly experience verbal, social, and educational bullying” (Heinrichs & Myles, 2003, p. 25). People experiencing physical bullying are generally physically weaker than the bullies picking on them. They also tend to demonstrate a lack of an assertive personality.
An example of physical bullying is when a kid kicks or scratches another kid one day, and the next day pulls his or her pants down. This repeated act of aggression and physical violence constitutes physical bullying. Physical bullying can lead to potentially serious consequences for the victim such as permanent injury, disability, or even death.
One example of physical bullying that lead to death was the story of Bailey, a 12-year-old male honor student. He was hit in the head several times and experienced seizures that put him in a coma. “Bailey suffered a concussion, broken nose and other injuries when two boys jumped him in recess – one pushing him and the other landing the blows. He started suffering violent seizures causing doctors to put him in a medical coma” (Davies, 2013). Bailey died a short time after, from his injuries.
Physical bullying can be difficult to stop. Measures that can be taken involve gathering evidence and contacting law enforcement. People should never have to endure physical bullying and must be dealt with accordingly. Why physical bullying exists is varied.
Often physical bullies attack their victims because they experience some form of abuse. They may do so simply because they can. Or, they may be peer pressured into attacking a bully victim. Regardless of the reasons, physical bullying is a dangerous form of bullying that should be handled with the proper authorities in order to avoid additional problems from arising.
The final form of bullying is cyberbullying. While cyberbullying may be seen as indirect bullying, it can also take on a form of direct bullying due to harassing behaviors like insults and written attacks being sent online. A person can anonymously blackmail someone, post degrading and offensive posts on various social media platforms, and start pages making fun of a person’s looks. Cyberbullying has become a major issue and has led to the deaths of several teens in the last decade. One notable example is Amanda Todd.
Amanda Todd was a teenage girl who committed suicide because of an anonymous man who harassed her for years, posting topless pictures of Todd for her classmates to see. Aside from being tormented online, she was also physically assaulted by the girlfriend of the boy she slept with and was rushed to the hospital afterward for drinking bleach. Todd made a short video on YouTube detailing her suffering. “On September 7, 2012, Amanda Todd posts a video on YouTube entitled “My Story: Struggling, Bullying, Suicide and Self Harm”. Using queue cards she tells her story of the cyber-bullying she has been exposed to for a long period of time” (Hendricks & Hansen, 2014, p. 17). A month later, in October of 2012 Todd hung herself in her home.
Amanda Todd is just one of dozens of teenage girls and boys on the news that killed themselves because of cyberbullying. It is a serious problem facing today’s youth. How to spot the signs of someone being cyberbullied is if the person spends more time online, appearing anxious or sad afterward. Another is if the person being bullied has difficulty sleeping, wants to stay home, and withdraws from activities he or she used to enjoy. Bullies that engage in this form of bullying do so because it is instant, gratifying, and can be done anonymously. If people wish to combat cyberbullying, they must limit the time the person bullied has online and print out any evidence that could lead to a possible arrest or actions against a cyberbully.
Effects of Bullying
Those that experience bullying may feel the need to commit suicide. They may become bullies themselves as bullying can make a person with low self-esteem feel important and strong. “The main attraction of bullying is that it enhances the bully’s self-image, which is likely to be particularly important for pupils who have a low self-esteem” (Kyriacou, 2003, p. 20). Victims of bullying can develop trust issues with others and have problems socializing. Whatever happened to the victim can then translate to problems in that person’s life from altered performance in school to experiencing mental and physical health problems (Kyriacou, 2003). Bullying can and does have a profound and deep impact on the psyche of the victim.
In conclusion, bullying is a complex issue. It has various forms. Verbal and physical bullying are direct forms of bullying that involve teasing or hitting a bullying victim. Relational and cyberbullying are indirect forms of bullying that consist of isolating someone from a social group or harassing them online. Whatever the form of bullying, it can deeply affect the person bullied. Many that are bullied commit suicide. The ones that do not commit suicide have an altered view of the world. To stop bullying, it is important to recognize the signs, to make bullying a thing of the past, not the present or future.
Davies, K. (2013, March 6). Bailey O’Neill: Boy who died after schoolyard bully attack was punched 3 times in the face and refused to hit back | Daily Mail Online. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2289093/Bailey-ONeill-Boy-died-schoolyard-bully-attack-punched-3-times-face-refused-hit-back.html
Heinrichs, R., & Myles, B. S. (2003). Perfect targets: Asperger syndrome and bullying ; practical solutions for surviving the social world. Shawnee Mission, Kan: Autism Asperger Pub.
Hendricks, V. F., & Hansen, P. G. (2014). Infostorms: How to Take Information Punches and Save Democracy. Cham.
Kyriacou, C. (2003). Helping troubled pupils. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.
Macklem, G. L. (2010). Bullying and teasing: Social power in children’s groups. New York: Springer.
Ryan, P. K. (2012). Online bullying. New York: Rosen.
Zins, J. E., Elias, M. J., Maher, C. A., & Wiggins, L. (2007). Bullying, victimization, and peer harassment: A handbook of prevention and intervention. Psychology Press.
Tips for Writing
Abstracts should be written last. Once all parts of the essay are constructed, then write the abstract. The abstract is a quick recap of the entire essay that is meant to pique the interest of the reader. Keep that in mind when writing. The same can be said of a thesis. Often the right thesis comes from progress in the topic. Once someone understands what the topic comprises of, it is easier to design a thesis that will help the reader see what is in store in the body of the essay.
The topic of bullying was not so hard to tackle, was it? We hope this bullying essay helps you develop your own amazing and insightful writing. Sure, some tasks can seem daunting, especially if you do not have a guide to help you. But here there are guides and essays that can point you in the right direction. All you need is a little push and some good examples.