Directions: Mapping helps many writers figure out how to focus a topic they’re working on. What’s your topic? Write it in the middle circle. Then write some open-ended “how” or “why” questions you have about your topic in the surrounding circles. These questions might serve as springboards for your focused, specific, debatable thesis statement. When you’re finished, flip the page.
More Mapping: Now pick one of your more interesting “how” or “why” questions. Write it in the center circle, and in the surrounding circles, write possible answers to the question. Any answer to the question is inevitably a debatable point you’d have to prove—perhaps in a whole paper or perhaps in a paragraph. In other words, any answer could be a thesis statement or a topic sentence—depending on how long of a paper you have to write.