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Research & Writing: Studio Practice Research

Help with writing and conducting research, including resources for starting your research

Concept Mapping

Concept mapping is a visual, non-linear way of organizing notes and ideas. It works by triggering word associations and helps you explore facets of a topic that might not be immediately apparent. It starts with a central idea or concept that grows to include all relevant and related questions.

For more information on how to make a concept map, see RISD's "Concept Mapping" Handout. To make a concept map, use Cmap, a free software from the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.

Developing Search Terms

When conducting research, having a list of alternate vocabulary words can be extremely helpful. To get you thinking about your topic, try the following exercise:

  • Articulate your topic
  • Write 1-2 sentences about what you want to learn
  • Circle the key words in your sentence(s)
  • For each of the circled words, come up with a list of about 4 synonyms or similar words
  • Use different combinations of the words to try new ways of searching

See this handout for more information.

College for Creative Studies website