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STHS 200: History of Modern Science and Technology

Research Project Quicklinks

How to Create a Concept Map

Concept mapping is a great strategy to use as you develop a research question.  A concept map can 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. 

The process is simple: start with the topic 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. 

Tools for Concept Mapping

You can create a concept map with paper and pencil, or use one of these online tools.