For people who think visually, spacially, intuitively, and/or in terms of relationships, learning how to make and use mind maps can be an important tool for organizing your thinking about your research topic.
For additional information and free mind map software (personally, I prefer drawing mind maps by hand but know that some folks are very software savvy), please see http://members.optusnet.com.au/~charles57/Creative/Mindmap/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map.
After the initial mind map is drawn, outlines can be built using each major branch as a first level heading. Minor branches become secondary headings, twigs become third level headings, etc.
For additional information regarding building outlines for research papers, see:
http://ask.reference.com/related/Templates+Outline+APA+Style?o=102545&qsrc=121&l=dir (APA Style Outline) and
Dr. Benyshek is a devoted psychotherapist and marriage counselor, a professional artist, and an internationally renowned researcher on contemporary artists as shamans.