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Literature Reviews

Information and resources on how to conduct different types of literature reviews in all disciplines.

A concept map or mind map is a visual representation of knowledge that illustrates relationships between concepts or ideas. It is a tool for organizing and representing information in a hierarchical and interconnected manner.
At its core, a concept map consists of nodes, which represent individual concepts or ideas, and links, which depict the relationships between these concepts.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of tools that can facilitate the creation of concept maps.


Canva is a user-friendly graphic design platform that enables individuals to create visual content quickly and easily. It offers a diverse array of customizable templates, design elements, and tools, making it accessible to users with varying levels of design experience. 

Pros: comes with many pre-made concept map templates to get you started

Cons: not all features are available in the free version

Explore Canva concept map templates here.

Note: Although Canva advertises an "education" option, this is for K-12 only and does not apply to university users.


Lucid has two tools that can create mind maps (what they're called inside Lucid):
Lucidchart is the place to build, document, and diagram, and Lucidspark is the place to ideate, connect, and plan.

Lucidchart is a collaborative online diagramming and visualization tool that allows users to create a wide range of diagrams, including flowcharts, org charts, wireframes, and mind maps. Its mind-mapping feature provides a structured framework for brainstorming ideas, organizing thoughts, and visualizing relationships between concepts. 

Lucidspark, works as a virtual whiteboard. Here, you can add sticky notes, develop ideas through freehand drawing, and collaborate with your teammates. Has only one template for mind mapping.

Explore Lucid mind map creation here.

How to create mind maps using LucidSpark:

Note: U-M students have access to Lucid through ITS. [info here] Choose the "Login w Google" option, use your account, and access should happen automatically.


Figma is a cloud-based design tool that enables collaborative interface design and prototyping. It's widely used by UI/UX designers to create, prototype, and iterate on digital designs. Figma is the main design tool, and FigJam is their virtual whiteboard:

Figma is a comprehensive design tool that enables designers to create and prototype high-fidelity designs

FigJam focuses on collaboration and brainstorming, providing a virtual whiteboard-like experience, best for concept maps

Explore FigJam concept maps here.

Note: There is a "Figma for Education" version for students that will provide access. Choose the "Login w Google" option, use your account, and access should happen automatically.


MindMeister is an online mind mapping tool that allows users to visually organize their thoughts, ideas, and information in a structured and hierarchical format. It provides a digital canvas where users can create and manipulate nodes representing concepts or topics, and connect them with lines to show relationships and associations.

Features: collaborative, permits multiple co-authors, and multiple export formats. The free version allows up to 3 mind maps.

Explore MindMeister templates here.