A concept map is a way of representing relationships between ideas, images, or words in the same way that a sentence diagram represents the grammar of a sentence, a road map represents the locations of highways and towns, and a circuit diagram represents the workings of an electrical appliance. In a concept map, each word or phrase connects to another, and links back to the original idea, word, or phrase. Concept maps are a way to develop logical thinking and study skills by revealing connections and helping students see how individual ideas form a larger whole. An example of the use of concept maps is provided in the context of learning about types of fuel.[clarification needed]
Concept maps were developed to enhance meaningful learning in the sciences. A well-made concept map grows within a context frame defined by an explicit “focus question”, while a mind map often has only branches radiating out from a central picture. Some research evidence suggests that the brain stores knowledge as productions (situation-response conditionals) that act on declarative memory content, which is also referred to as chunks or propositions. Because concept maps are constructed to reflect organization of the declarative memory system, they facilitate sense-making and meaningful learning on the part of individuals who make concept maps and those who use them.