To suggest organization try clustering concept maps

When you know what ideas you want to include, but are unsure about how to put them together, consider the technique called clustering. Midway in complexity between topic lists and outlining, this approach has been developed and refined more-or-less independently by various information-management experts in fields such as computer software development and data processing. As a result, the approach has many names and variations, but all involve a process - generally called clustering, brain writing, or branching - that results in web-like charts called concept maps, pattern notes, idea wheels, or bubble charts. For the visually oriented person, these charts can be an extremely effective way to organize information.

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Fig. 1.2. The clustering process results in a type of concept map.

To begin clustering (Fig. 1.2), write the paper's main subject in the center of the page and circle it like the hub of a wheel. Think of major ways in which you could subdivide this subject, and write these ideas on the page at intervals around the circled main hub. Circle each of these second-level hubs (or bubbles, if you prefer that terminology), and draw lines or arrows connecting them to the central subject. Think about each of the second-level subjects. Near each one, add any details, examples, or further divisions. Circle these too, and draw lines connecting them to their respective subjects. Continue this process until you run out of ideas. When you see repetition, simply rearrange the pattern of spokes. If the pattern reaches the edge of the page, turn the spoke into another wheel hub, and start the process over to subdivide your ideas further.

After all of your ideas are clustered on the page, you may wish to go back and add numbers and letters to show the logical order. The numbered arrangement of these linked clusters can be used as a guide in organizing your writing and your final document.

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