The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. · Lao-Tse

 Affinity Diagram / Conceptual Map

to Identify Problem and Purpose
 1. Identify Large Topic Area

An example of an affinity diagram by Brian Coffee © 2000
 2. Determine what is attached. Make a conceptual map identifying related topics.
 3. Which part do you wish to explore now? (Fence off place in diagram.)
 4. What part is most important? Identify "real" problem area. What is the most important and possible relative to scope and scale of study?
 5. Identify purpose area. What question most interests you about the purpose area that meets the requirements of #4. Construct refined conceptual map of the purpose area.