- A very short statement that describes what you're studying. Two or
three words are usually all you need. For example, if you're supposed
to write a report about the world's tropical rain forests, you could
use Rain Forests as your main topic.
- These are concepts, thoughts, and ideas that pertain to the main
topic. Whenever you study a topic, you'll soon start to uncover
important details about it. Every time you find out something
meaningful about your topic, put it in your concept web as a related
idea. Two or three words are usually enough to describe a related
A Simple Concept Web example:
Let's say you really did have to write a report on tropical rain
forests, and you decide to make your own concept web. Great! Here's how
you do it:
- Write Rain Forests in the center circle as the main topic.
- If you already know some related ideas (like tropics or ecology),
write them in one of the circles attached to the center circle.
- Do a search on the words in your main topic circle: "rain
- Find some articles about rain forests that you think are good ones.
- Read these articles thoroughly and discover some related ideas about
your topic. Think of a way to describe each related idea in as few
words as possible. Then write these words in one of the circles
attached to the center circle.
- Do a new search, this time using the words in one of your related
idea circles as the search words.
- Keep filling in the small circles with related ideas until you're
sure you've covered everything that's important about rain forests.
After you've done some research and found some related ideas, your
concept web might look like this:
A Great Big Hint:
If you're having trouble finding related ideas for your concept web,
this product can actually find some for you! It works like this: every
time you find a good article about your topic using this product, look for
the "View other articles linked to these subjects" area.
You should see links to other articles that are related to your subject.
Now, look at the words in bold print that appear under the
statement View other documents linked to these subjects. Chances
are, the words you see in bold print are ideas that are closely
related to your main topic. So, take advantage of what the Student
Resource Center can do for you. Use the Link feature to help you
identify related ideas for your concept web. Complex Concept Webs.
Consider our Rain Forest concept web once again. Every one of the related
ideas in the small circles is an interesting research topic in itself. So,
let's do some research using the related idea words as our search words.
As we do this, we'll discover more concepts that are worth exploring. For
example, if we do Student Resource Center searches on biological
diversity and endangered species, we can find a few more
meaningful ideas related to this topic. Here's how our concept web looks
Got the idea? Good! Now you're ready to make your own concept webs!