Similar to an outline, but visually different, a concept map allows you to explore and think about other ideas and concepts related to your general topic.
Begin by writing down or drawing the most important word, phrase or symbol for the center of the map. Then, branch out from the center to include related concepts and ideas.
In the map below, Climate Change is the central concept. Branching out are the more focused sub-topics of Human Factors, Evidence of, Impacts On, and Regulation. Further branches become more detailed. By creating this map, you could formulate a more focused question such as, Will the regulation of fossil fuel consumption positively affect climate change?