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Organizing Information: Examples

You've gathered information from a number of sources and recorded the information on NoodleTools notecards or in a wordprocessing file or some other way that works for you (see Chapter 1). Now it's time to think about organizing that information.

Many students find it helpful to use graphic organizers, such as concept maps and outlines, to analyze, organize, and synthesize the information they have gathered in the research process. There are many more examples of graphic organizers, including explanations of each, available at Enchanted Learning, an educational Web site.

Below are two popular ways to organize information.

Concept Maps

To create a concept map, write your topic in the middle of a page, then jot down different ideas, points, or facts that are related to or support your topic. Your concept map might look something like this:

an illustration of a concept map, with the main topic in a square in the middle of the page and supporting ideas in boxes surrounding the main topic


Another way of organizing information is to create an outline. An outline arranges materials hierarchically and sequentially by identifying main topics, subtopics, and details under the subtopics. Outlines allow you to group materials by similar concepts or content and put them into a logical order.

random listing of concepts compared to an organized outline
Chapter 8 — Page 6