The mind-map can help the novice researcher see the variety in research methods available. The mind map allows researchers to explore the most appropriate paths to follow for their research question. They can be used to help experienced researchers look at new research methods.
When you’re first brainstorming a new idea or researching a topic, you don’t know what ideas you’re going to come up with. As such, it’s hard to plan a layout for the information in a typical report format. You can also use a mind map for the research process through various online tools.
A mind map allows you to free yourself from a predefined structure and lets the ideas grow as you develop them, ensuring that you don’t lose track of your thoughts.
For those supervising student research projects, the mind-map helps to guide the student through the research process ensuring that they cover the major areas of research for their project. Using a mind-map, research methods can be explained from a reasonably simple beginning and branches can be unfolded to increase complexity as required.
It is a visual tool for structuring thoughts. It can be used on an individual or team basis and results in a hierarchical diagram of everything that has been included in your research. The diagram is focused on a single element, where it is discussed, ideas are written down, spreading outwards from the original focus. This spreading and recording of key ideas help trigger further ideas and results in their natural grouping.