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USSO 286V Management of Chronic Illness in a Cultural Context

Library research guide for SAGES course with Dr. Amy Zhang.

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Undergraduate Research & Writing Guides

Topic Mapping

Topic mapping can be a great tool to help you organize your thoughts and generate important keywords for your topic.

For an introduction to topic mapping, watch this three-minute UCLA Library video.

The great thing about topic maps is that you can create one using paper and pen/pencil. You can also sketch icons and use a variety of colors and arrows to be even more creative.  For more background, an online search for "Concept Map" or "Mind Map" will turn up many examples you can browse through to get a sense of what may work best for you.

Steps to create your own map:

  • Do some preliminary background research on your main topic.
  • Begin drawing your map, and put the main topic idea in the middle in a large circle.
  • Write simple phrases or single words (in bubbles if you like or text alone) branching off from the main topic. These words and phrases represent related areas of your main topic.
  • The words or phrases could become keywords for library database searching or they could be a way to organize ideas and themes.
  • Activity: Use your keywords or phrases in a KSL database and experiment with single words or combinations of words.

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