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Example of an exercise in the book

Mind mapping

We think that mind mapping is a technique that is essential for all conceptual thinkers to know. In our book "Move forward with Dyslexia" we provide 19 exercises for dyslexics to work more effectively. On this website we present you one example of chapter 8:

What is a mind map?

Figure-21-mind-map-dyslexia-smallA mind map may also be called a synthesis of written language and picture thinking and hence is so closely affiliated to how the brain functions. Both sides of the brain are actually engaged in the process of thinking and retaining information. Because there is associative as well as linear activity, it is possible for hidden information to be revealed.2  In short, a very useful technique for everyone, but especially for conceptual thinkers and in particular for dyslexics.

Tony Buzan describes mind mapping as follows:

Mind mapping is a form of expression based on associative thinking and therefore a natural function of the human brain. Making mind maps is a powerful graphic technique and a universal key for unlocking the potential of the brain. The technique is suitable for every aspect of life in which better learning and clearer thinking can improve our performance."

Mind mapping is thus a technique that anyone can learn, both conceptual and linear thinkers. Both the left and right hemispheres are engaged in mind mapping, images are coupled to words and vice versa.

A mind map has six essential characteristics:

  • A mind map has a branched structure;
  • Each branch can lead on to new branches;
  • The central topic is placed in the middle;
  • This can be visualized as an oval figure, for example;
  • You only fill in the central theme when you know it;
  • You construct the mind map with various colours to provide an overview;
  • A mind map consists of words, abbreviations, symbols, drawings and diagrams.

When you do mind mapping you work from the back to the front, from left to right and then back again. You write or draw whatever occurs to you. In most of the literature on mind mapping you start with the central theme. But that does not work for many conceptual thinkers. Discover your own best strategy for this.

A mind map could look like the example in figure 21, but you can use your own creativity and style.

Exercise 16.  Mind mapping


  • Plain paper.
  • Felt-tipped or coloured pens in at least ten different colours.
  • Knowing your goal for making the mind map: 
  •       reproducing something you have just read? 
  •       gathering all the thoughts in your head?
  •       summarizing a story or presentation by someone else?

It does not matter provided that you focus on something.


  • Take care that you are as relaxed as possible.
  • Sit comfortably, put your feet on the ground and breathe deeply.
  • Feel your belly going in and out with your breathing.
  • Remember you are making the mind map for yourself, it can be messy and full of spelling mistakes.
  • There are no rules.
  • There is no right or wrong.
  • Follow your own intuition.

Now you can begin.


  • You start in the middle.
  • Draw an oval figure there in which you can place a word or picture.
  • Write or draw whatever comes up first for you.
  • Through starting with the easiest you will very quickly discover the content, what it is really all about.
  • Give each branch a different colour.
  • Write or draw whatever comes up next using a core word.
  • You can work criss-cross throughout the mind map, follow your train of thought.
  • You are working with your feelings of “Oh yes” and whatever you know.
  • No more than that.
  • When that word or drawing/symbol brings up new associations, write or draw that.
  • You can give one branch one or more sub-branches with your associations.
  • Use everything you need, keywords, abbreviations, capital letters, small letters, drawings, symbols, codes, arrows, lines, branches, leaves, etc.
  • Use your creativity.
  • When the central word becomes clear, write that in the centre, if you have not already done so.
  • When you start on a new idea or different theme, then you start a new mind map on an empty page and you begin again.
  • Once you get the hang of it you will become more and more relaxed.
  • The more relaxed you are, the easier it is to call up your memories.
  • It may be that the mind map seems chaotic, especially to an outsider.
  • Do not let yourself be distracted by this.
  • By working in your own way you will automatically maintain your overview.
  • The importance of using various colours is that you create order in the mind map, providing you with more overview.
  • When your mind map is finished and you want to use it for a presentation, make the mind map again whilst you are rehearsing it.
  • Then you will see that it becomes more ordered.
  • Use abbreviations, which relieves you from thinking about spelling the words.

Know: you are the only one who needs to understand it!


This example describes 3 of the 7 pages in the book on mind mapping. When we say that we give you tools and exercises for better writing and reading, it is this kind of tools and exercises that we provide, no grammar or spelling exercises.