Usually your initial idea or topic will be too large for your assignment. It is helpful to know a few things about narrowing a topic into a manageable research question. Creating a concept map is one technique you can use to transform a broad topic idea into something narrower. A concept map is a way to visually display the concepts and relationships among many ideas.
To create a concept map"
First, write down your main idea
Next, think of some issues related to your central idea
Then, for each issue think of sub-concepts that relate to it
Select the issue that you are most interested in and begin to generate a list of research questions
Here is an example of a concept map on the topic of immigration.
Adapted from Intro to Library Research, University of Minnesota Libraries. To see the full tutorial go to Intro to Library Research