Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Flesh out your topic with a concept map

Do you have a vague idea of your topic for a speech, paper, or other project, but aren't sure how to get started?  A concept map might be just what you need.

One of our databases, Credo Reference, has a fantastic Concept Map search tool.  It can help you visualize related concepts and find out more about a new topic.

To access it, do the following:

  • Go to the library's homepage:
  • Under Databases, click on the A-Z database list link.
  • Under C-D, click on Credo Reference.

Once you're in the Credo Reference database, go to the top of your screen and click on Concept Map.  Then type in your topic and click SEARCH.

Click on Concept Map at the top of the page.

For example, if you do a Concept Map search for the words organic food, you get the results below.  Notice that the map is for "Organic", not "organic food."

Credo Reference concept map search for "organic food."

Each topic will open up related subtopics that can help you concentrate on one aspect of your topic.  If you hover your cursor on "Organic Produce", you'll get a short definition and a link to more information (see below).

Hover your cursor over one of the topics to get a definition and a link to more information.

 If you click on the Read more link, you'll be taken to the entry for "Organic Produce."  This page includes a lengthy explanation of the topic, links to related topics, and links that allow you to save the entry as a PDF or to email it to yourself for further reference.  At the bottom of the page is a citation helper.

Tip: The Concept Map search tool uses Flash. This means you will not be able to view it on Apple devices such as the iPod Touch and the iPad.


Tracy said...

Great post Yvonne!

Yvonne said...

Thanks! :0)

Cathy W. said...

Good info!

Credo offers additional tips in these short training videos.

Karren Barlow said...

Thanks, this was very helpful! I have also found a great Concept Map Template Library using Lucidchart that is very straightforward and user friendly. Check it out!