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UMass Amherst Libraries

Beyond Google: Integrating library resources into your research strategy

A template for librarians and faculty.

Meets ACRL Information Literacy Standard

Standard One The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

Standard Two The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

From Question to Keyword

Concept Mapping / Writing a thesis statement

Goal: Learn a new method -- a mind map -- for choosing a research topic.

Making a mind map (a.k.a. concepts map) can help you frame a research question, plan a research paper, or take class notes. Making a mind map allows you to process information in a visual format, similar to the non-linear way our brains map concepts.

  • Pick one of your favorite topics discussed so far in this course. Refer back to the syllabus to refresh your memory.
  • Use this favorite topic to complete the following Mind Map  exercise which leads you to your research question. 


  • Jot down the keywords you generated during this exercise. This is just for yourself (don't post them). The keywords will help you complete next week’s Beyond Google Forum assignment.

Post to the group:

  • Just your research question. No need to respond to one another’s posts (though if you're inspired, reply with your enthusiasm!). You might want to notice the question that most interests you as that person will recommend a reading based on her/his topic next week.

OPTIONAL: Proceed to next week's Beyond Google Forum if you feel ready or have some extra time right now (the keywords you just jotted down will be fresh in your mind).

OPTIONAL: Bring your question to share out loud with the class on [insert date here]