Cluster diagrams and conducting research

You have your cluster diagram in hand. It took you about five to ten minutes to do. Now, you want to start writing, but first you will need to do a little research in order to get some meat into your article.

Thanks to the cluster diagram, research will be a series of targeted searches. Instead of spending time that you don’t have reading what you don’t need for your article, you have a list of targets. Each cluster represents what you want to include in the article on cats, our cuddly killer pets.

Go with me here.

Take the first cluster “cat behavior” and plug it into your favorite search engine. You will see many hits. Look for veterinarians, cat lover sites and avoid Wikipedia. (Be sure to keep track of your URLs so that you can give credit where credit is due later.) I found a great cat lover site that showed me why cats like to rub their faces against your toes.

The next cluster is “wild cats” and my search came up with a great site called it was a great site for your article. Jam-packed with interesting information about the wild cats is presented in a concise fashion. You could spend time that you don’t have reading all that stuff.

Keep to your cluster diagram to focus on what you want to learn about and share with your readers. Your editor might actually allow you to drink coffee with her. Well maybe. In it, you will find “pack behavior” and learn from the site that wild cats are solitary creatures and only the lions travel or live in prides. If you list more than a couple of facts, you will bore your reader.

As you go around your wheel, you quickly find your targets and get the desired information. You have a time limit. Deadlines are your life and death. Research was finished for this type of article in twenty minutes and five seconds. (I timed it for this post.)

Now is the time to flesh out your article.

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