Concept mapping is a great strategy to use as you develop a research question. Concept maps are a tool to help you:
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. For this assignment especially, you might also ask which perspectives or approaches seem most likely to help you interpret the novel?
Finally, consider what you know about the resources available to you and where might be most fruitful for you to begin your search. If you're following up on the scholarly conversation around your topic, do you need to look for work by historians? Scientists? Sociologists?
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.
Together, we'll create a concept map of themes and issues relevant to Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country.