Branching Diagrams

Using Branching Diagrams to Organize Data

The two most familiar uses for branching diagrams are Family Trees and Charts showing the organization of a company. As with Concept Maps, you will see that these organize data by their relationships.

Here is an interesting family tree showing the family of Queen Elizabeth using photographs. Queen Elizabeth

The branching chart shows three categories of rocks.

This simple chart shows how students can easily take the material they read and create a simple branching chart. It only works, of course, if the topic is something that divides into several categories and then each of these divide again.

Notice that here, all Rocks are divided into three simple categories.  It would help to add a definition of each category, and explanations for each level. Here, the second level gives the source of the rock. The lower levels are examples of each kind of rock.

A typical Evolutionary TreeThe Evolutionary Tree is another familiar branching chart. This is a fairly simple version.

Notice that it has been updated. Recent studies show the bacteria found in hot springs and other hot locations is very different from the familiar Eubacteria. (True bacteria.) archaebacteria have been added. here. And the name implies that these bacteria are more ancient.

If this chart had been created even more recently, the Archaebacteria have been moved up a level above the Eubacteria. DNA studies show it is more advanced.

Charts like this were first made by comparing anatomy and looking for similarities. Now, with genetic information, many changes are being made. As in many areas, The only constant is change.

The tree below is more modern in style.

A more modern branching chart of the Phylogenetic Tree of Life

You will also notice that Eubacteria is simply called Bacteria and Archaebacteria is now called Archaea. And it has been moved up a level now, It is a step closer to plants and animals.

Also note that Protista is gone. They are in the same overarching category as plants and animals

An interesting Branching Diagram using a Tree to show the Indo-European Language Tree. This come from Jonathan.Beaton.name and was found on Digg.com    Language Tree

As this website was being planned, a branching tree was used to organize the topics, before it was changed to the somewhat more appropriate (and easier to remember) stick figure.

You might try a branching diagram or simple tree to organize the content in a chapter or book. You could also find them helpful to organize ideas for an essay or research paper.

Next: Compare and Contrast

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