Skip to Main Content

Library - Information Literacy Module: Tutorial 1: Brainstorm the topic

Information literacy for UJ students. Start with "1 Why Information Literacy" and end with "9 Writing & Referencing"

STEP 3: Video - Mapping your research topic

This tutorial video demonstrates how to map a research topic.
Source: UCLA Library

STEP 1: Brainstorm your research topic

Remember:  Research is all about information and how one decides to use and apply that information. Mapping out a topic enhances the retrievability of the information. If Neo's topic consists of more than one component, for example, An analysis of the domesticity of animals, he can break down his topic into components and research it separately. This will provide him with an understanding of his topic and he would be able to get the picture as a whole. Neo must then find a way to apply it as a whole. Meaning it must always be relevant to his main topic. Example:

STEP 2: Map the topic

If Neo maps his topic, it provides structure. Neo can then decide on how to categorise the information:

  • Does something take place over time? 
  • Can an idea be broken down neatly into constituent parts?
  • Is there a relationship among the elements of the topic or concept?

Neo must write each main idea, major heading, or term down and then divide these into major divisions. 

This map illustrates some of the key characteristics of concept maps.
Fraser, K. (1996). Student centred teaching: the development and use of conceptual frameworks.
Herdsa Green Guide. ACT, Australia: HERDSA:3