Skip to main content

Argument and More: General Resesarch Guide: Mind Mapping Software

Here is help with research for argument and expository papers for any introductory English, writing, or communications course, including Engl1101 and Comm1201.

Mind Mapping Software

Mind Mapping Software

You can use brainstorming or mindmapping software to do everything from narrowing down a larger topic, to preparing a search strategy, to organizing your thoughts and notes for an outline. This last use fits in well with most sloppy note taking methods. Mind mapping is also a two dimmensional alternative to traditional, hierarchical outlines.

All the mindmapping sites are free to use, though Spider Scribe asks you to register. Registration is optional at the other two, though you may be limited in the number of maps you can create. And yes, you can share your maps and even collaborate on them with fellow students, or you can keep them reasonably private by not giving out their links.

Bubble.us produces shiny, colorful bubbles and requires no sign in. The illustration at the right shows a mindmap used to narrow down a common paper topic by asking it questions. Click the illustration to see it at full size

A mindmap made with bubbl.us

SpiderScribe is an extremely easy to use site. You do have to create an account to build maps, but the service is free, and the bubbles hold their color, and different colored bubbles often help you keep organized. The map on the right (It's a thumbnail. Click it for the full size version), shows various facets of the topic, pink slime, an ingredient in ground beef.

A mindmap of pink slime made with SpiderScribe