Concept maps have two key components, concepts and linking words (also referred to as linking phrases). The linking words are used to join two or more concepts thereby forming propositions. We've already learned how to identify concepts, which is key since the construction of a concept map starts with the concepts, either by coming up with one or more concepts or being given a list of concepts to begin with. The decision of which is the best, most appropriate linking words to connect two concepts comes once we have those two concepts.
In the following figure, the linking words are easy to identify: they are the terms in the line connections between the concepts, for example, "was established in" are the linking words that connect the concept "Roman Empire" with the concept "27 BC", forming the proposition "Roman Empire was established in 27 BC". Likewise, the linking words "had a powerful" connect the concepts "Roman Empire" and "Army" to form the proposition "Roman Empire had a powerful Army".
In the following figure, we've highlighted with a red oval each of the linking words in the concept map.
As you can see, its quite easy to identify the linking words in a concept map. But don't let this fool you. Coming up with the linking words that best depict the connection between two concepts is about the hardest aspect of concept mapping.
To look deeper into Linking Words, we need to move on to Propositions. Click here to continue this tutorial.