Concept Sketches –Creating the Best Sketch



Concept sketches are an annotated diagram that describes a system and how it works. Concept sketches deal with spatial and temporal information in a variety of ways that not only identifies landforms and features but explains processes and makes predictions while identifying inter-relationships between labeled objects and places.

The best concept sketches will have the following characteristics.

1.  The best sketches will be neat, with clear diagrams and readable, concise captions.

  The best sketches will have concise captions rather than extended transcriptions of field notes.  Every caption should include four specific levels of thinking.

a. The caption should identify geomorphic feature in concise terms.

b. The caption should explain the relevant processes and/or history.

c. The caption should make predictions about the future evolution of the feature.

d. The caption should identify inter-relationships and linkages with other features.

3.  The best sketches will avoid numerical keying of observations and instead use arrows and balloons to link ideas to locations on the sketch. 

4.  The best sketches will be attractive, well organized, and easy to read and understand.  Some will include small sketches within the overall sketch to illustrate detailed morphology or processes.  Others may include the use of color if it clarifies concepts.  Captions may be handwritten or typed but must be readable.