Annual Reviews quite helpful for gaining insight into the major scholarly preoccupations of a field.
Concept mapping is a great strategy to use as you develop your thesis. Within academia, concept mapping is most often used as a pedagogical tool to enhance student learning or as a tool to help facilitate the research process. In the professional world, concept mapping typically works as a tool for managing complexity. No matter the purpose, concept mapping emphasizes relational thinking and can help you see the connections (or lack thereof) between the various elements of your research.
Examples of Concept Mapping as a Learning Tool
Urban Space and Social Theory
Example of Concept Mapping as a Tool for Managing Complexity
NASA's Concept Map for Mars Exploration
Concept mapping can be done with pencil and paper, or you can make use of computer software programs.
Freely available software: