Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

SSI1-141: Architectures of Power (Hale): Concept Mapping

How to Create a Concept Map

Concept mapping is a great strategy to use as you develop a research question. Concept maps are a tool to help you:

  • explore your topic;
  • discover possible lines of inquiry;
  • consider search terms;
  • brainstorm resources to investigate

 

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:

  • In the space around the central concept, write words or phrases for any relevant subtopics.
  • For each of your focus subtopics, add related terms/concepts to your map.
  • Continue to fill out your branches with ideas or questions about types of resources you may wish to start with. 

 

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.