Pre-writing exercises that incorporate the Mind Mapping concept can enhance a student’s ability to integrate complex thoughts into a cohesive unit of text. The difficulty for most Japanese students who are learning English as a second language is not the language barrier itself, but the student’s desire to maintain a comfort level that is most familiar to the learner. There is a natural reliance and tendency for students to write according to their first language structures. As an instructor, we must be cognizant of our student’s learning behaviors, and in giving guided lessons that students can readily incorporate within the framework of formalized writing styles.
Video: Prewriting - Brainstorming - Mind Mapping
You can think about the subtopics and details of the topic you want to write about and assign relationships among them in different ways. Some people draw simple straight lines, some make a circle in the middle and more circles with lines connecting them, and some draw a more complex combination of pictures, words, and lines. These are all ways to help you organize the million things that come to your mind before you begin writing. Like the brainstorming technique, you don’t have to use everything from your notes in your text. You pick only one or more related subtopics to discuss, exemplify, explain, etc.—in your text.