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Educational Leadership - Ed.D. and Ph.D.

Research guide for students pursuing an Ed.D. or Ph.D. in Educational Leadership

Brainstorming and Mind Mapping


Brainstorming is a way to come up with topics or ideas. It allows a person to casually consider multiple topics, ideas, theories, etc. without judgment and to take some ideas further into actual projects or as tools to consider more topics, ideas, theories, etc. For more information about brainstorming visit MindTool's Brainstorming page.

Mind Mapping

A mind map is a visual representation of your issue or topic. It is a tool that is used to visualize ideas and opportunities for broadening or narrowing down search topics. For more information on mind mapping visit MindTool's Mind Maps page.

There are a number of free brainstorming and mind mapping tools available online like and Popplet. Alternatively, try the mind map available via Credo Reference (click "Mind Map" from the drop-down menu beneath "Basic search" to the right of the search box on the Credo Reference homepage):

Mind Map example from Credo:

Definition: A mind map is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole.[1] It is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those major ideas.