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Researcher's Toolkit: A2 - Cognitive abilities

This researcher's toolkit has been developed to offer you practical advice and suggestions to help you design, carry out and write up a research project.


A2 - Cognitive abilities

Critical appraisal

Mind mapping


Mindmapping is a useful way of overviewing what you have read and showing connections between ideas. You could start by doing a broad mindmap for your whole topic and then break it down into smaller mindmaps for the different areas you have read about.

Creating a mind map

  • Make sure your paper is in landscape format to give your more room for your map.
  • Place the main topic in the centre of the page in a circle or a box
  • Add branches from the main topic, use a different colour for each branch
  • Write a keyword or draw an image on the branch to signify the keyword
  • Add smaller branches with ideas and thoughts
  • Show any links between branches
  • Continue to add related links to the keywords and any further thoughts that you might have.


All images included in this guide are available through Creative Commons licensing CC-BY-2.0