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HS 200 - Health and Society 200

UVic Libraries Research Toolkit

UVic Libraries Toolkit

The UVic Libraries Research Toolkit is a online tutorial that will encourage you to think and act like a scholar.  Topics include how to think about your topic, plan your research, choose appropriate tools, draft a thesis, consider academic integrity, and more.  This should take about an hour, and will help you to be a smarter, more efficient (and less stressed) researcher.  

Concept Mapping

Concepts and Keywords

Once you have determined your topic, you will need to develop the question or questions that your research will try to answer. One of the best ways to identify potential research questions is to identify concepts or keywords pertaining to your topic. These keywords will guide you to develop a search strategy. 

Key steps to follow while developing your topic:

  • Brainstorm concepts and keywords
  • Ask yourself if these concepts are too broad or too narrow
  • Write down a list of related terms or synonyms
  • Develop a Concept Map (A concept map is a brainstorming tool used to help you generate ideas and think about the relationships among these ideas).

Concept mapping or "clustering" "is a spatial technique that generates associations and seeks connections among them.  You begin by writing a work or phrase in the middle of a blank page and circling it.  As associations occur to you, you write them down and circle them, connecting them by a line to the work/phrase that gave rise to the association.  As you continue this process beyond the first words/phrases surrounding the original word/phrase, you will develop larger clusters in some places than in other.  The well-developed clusters may suggest the most promising ways to develop your topic" Henderson, Eric. (2012) The active reader: Strategies for academic reading and writing (2nd ed.) Don Mills, Canada: Oxford, p 73.