Library Instruction: Before You Start
How do you start a research project? You have to choose a topic, narrow your topic and come up with the key words you’ll need to search for books and articles on your topic…and this is before you even start research and writing!
Here are some free online tools to help you through the process.
bubbl.us provides you with a fun way to map and visualize your topic. You have to create an account (it’s easy) to save, print and export. bubbl.us is also great for group projects as can be seen below.
KwMap claims to be a “Keyword Map for the Whole Internet”! It may not be all that but it does help you come up with ideas about your topic with an interactive navigation panel and a list of keywords.
The Wonder Wheel is a visual concept map in Google. It's a great tool to find or define a research topic.
ATTN:To use the Wonder Wheel, first disable Google Instant--see Where did Google's Wonder Wheel Go?
To use Wonder Wheel, perform a regular search in Google (link above).
- Click on “Show options” (in tiny letters under the search box)
- Scroll down to view all of the options in the left column
- Click on “Wonder Wheel” instead of the default “Standard view”
- You’ll see a circle with your search words in the middle & radiating out from it, lines connected to related words or phrases
- Click on one of the related words or phrases to get another circle with more lines radiating out from it, connected to other related words or phrases
Click around and find out more about a specific topic.
VisuWords is an online graphical dictionary. Put in any word and watch it go!