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How to Describe a Concept

By Thinkibility

According to Wiktionary a concept is an abstract and general idea, an abstraction. It is an understanding retained in the mind, from experience, reasoning and/or imagination. It is a generalization (generic, basic form, or abstraction (mental impression), of a particular set of instances or occurrences (specific, though different, recorded manifestations of the concept.


As you see, a concept is rather conceptual defined and it is very difficult to put it in practical use.The definition does not say anything about how to describe a concept properly. Reading newspapers about new policies of the government, business plans, research papers, books mostly do need detailed descriptions to define a concept. Which is paradoxical:  a concept is an idea stripped of details, but in order to circumscribe and explain it, adding mass of details and examples are needed.

Could this be made easier, more simple without losing the essence of a concept. Could we catch the essence of a concept in just three sentences?

Mindmap presentatie Ideathons

  1. Give it an appealing name;
  2. What is the function of the concept: aim, goal, objective? What should be achieved?
  3. Wat is the mechanism or working principle? How does it work? How is the function carried out?
  4. What are the values of the concept: advantages, positives, the importance, worth, or usefulness, merits, beneficial? Why is the concept held to deserve? For who else?

Describing a concept in just three sentences will help you with what is called “conceptual thinking”: Conceptual thinking is the ability to understand a situation or problem by identifying patterns or connections, and addressing key underlying issues.

Just try to circumscribe in just three sentences the concept of

You will notice that this will not be so easy, but Practice Makes Perfect. Sometimes you may only cover one aspect of a concept. Then set up a second, slightly different description, or even a third.

You will experience that the simplification enables higher level thinking. Stripped of details, the thinking is made much easier.

There are more advantages of using  concepts. But that is for another Thinkibility Boost.

For more about concepts. look more about concepts.


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