There are several different approaches to organizing your research topic prior to searching for a literature review, but the most popular by far is the development of a set of essential keywords.
Keywords are short words and phrases that, when combined, describe more complex ideas and topics. For instance, the following keywords might be used to describe general research on the various effects of climate change of South American rainforests:
- climate change
- South America
Begin by creating a list of 3-5 "core" keywords based on the major concepts behind your research topic. Once you have generated this initial list extend it by including:
- Broader or narrower terms
- Synonyms for terms
- Related terms
Below is a textual map that will help to organize the keywords relative to your research topic.