A concept map is:
Use a concept map to:
You can create a concept map with pencil and paper or use one of these free online tools:
Concept mapping is a great strategy to use as you develop a research question.
Ask yourself: what do I already know about my topic? what am I curious about? what kind of information do I need, and where am I likely to find it?
From a disciplinary perspective, think about what kind(s) of scholars might investigate your topic, the kinds of questions scholars and experts in a particular field might ask, how they would ask those questions and what evidence they would use to make their argument.
The process is simple: start with the subject of your research question in the center, then:
Do some background research on your topic to help create a concept map. Feel free to consult the Internet, an encyclopedia, course readings, or a librarian to help explore a topic. It may be through this background research that you will stumble upon a gap that you want to explore! Keep revising your map as you learn more about your topic.