Concept mapping is a useful tool/skill that can be applied to the research process.
What is Concept Mapping?
"Concept maps are graphical tools for organizing and representing knowledge. They include concepts, usually enclosed in circles or boxes of some type, and relationships between concepts indicated by a connecting line linking two concepts. Words on the line, referred to as linking words or linking phrases, specify the relationship between the two concepts."
The above concept map examples are from a paper by Novac & Canas (2008) on how to construct concept maps and the theory underlying them. The below example is from professor Vandana Singh from the Physics and Earth Sciences department at Framingham State University.
Novak, J. D., & Canas, A. J. (2008). The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use them (p. 36). Pensacola, FL: Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Retrieved from http://cmap.ihmc.us/docs/theory-of-concept-maps