Concept mapping is a way to visualize your topic and break it down into smaller more manageable research areas. Use concept mapping at the beginning of the research process to help you find different aspects of your topic that you may want to focus on. You can use online reference sources to help you find different concepts and keywords related to your research topic. You do not need to include every single possible angle of your topic. Your concept map for one topic will probably look different from another person's concept map on the same topic. You can continue to build on your concept map throughout the research process.
Look for background information in encyclopedias, government websites, and NGO websites. Use these sources to find research topics or to narrow down a research topic. Background sources can also help you learn the vocabulary used to describe your topic. This new vocabulary will help you with your keyword searches.
Helpful sources for background information include: