A mind map is a graphic organizer for brainstorming and organizing ideas for
paragraphs for an essay.

Not only is it used for brainstorming, but it's also used for "note 
taking". Brain research suggests that the brain does not work in a 
linear fashion; rather it remembers things in groups and where 
they're placed. Mind mapping uses these findings. We tend to remember 
placement first and color second; therefore, when mind mapping, you 
use certain colors for certain things (characters, setting, for 
example) and you use icons rather than words.

There are sites to check out if you're interested. I hope they all 
still work. Try these:

http://www.to.utwente.nl/user/ism/lanzing/cm_home.htm

http://www.ozemail.com.au/~caveman/Creative/cindex.htm

http://www.ozemail.com/~caveman/Creative/Mindmap/index.html

http://web0.tiac.net/users/seeker/brainlinks.html

http://artfolio.com/pete/mindmap.html

http://www-personal.washtenaw.cc.mi.us/~ezaremba/map.html

http://www.mapquest.com/

I'm sure there are more, but these are what I have bookmarked. A 
really good book to check into is Tony Buzan's Mind Mapping.

Judy I

http://www2.links2go.com/more/www.ozemail.com.au/~caveman/Creative/Mindmap
Links2Go: Introduction to Mind Maps