How to Make a Dichotomous Key Online

By Missy J. Talbot

A dichotomous key is a scientific tool that allows you to figure out what something is. It looks like a family tree. The key uses descriptions of various elements and charts, allowing you to follow a map of sorts to discern what an item is from several descriptions. Creating a dichotomous chart or key online is easy: simply find an example to copy and modify or a creator into which you can input information to make your key.

Step 1

Go to the Sask Schools website (see Resources), and click on the dichotomous information listed on the page. This page has sample dichotomous keys. Dichotomous keys aren't tough to make, but the format can be difficult to create. Find a dichotomous key on the page that has the same number of options as the one you would like to make. Highlight it, and right-click on it. Select "Copy," open a blank document and choose "Paste" to paste the key into the blank document. You can then fill in your own information.

Step 2

Click on Lamar.Lsu (see Resources.) This website offers a step-by-step guide to creating a dichotomous key, including diagrams. You can copy and paste these diagrams into your own document, and then fill in the information.

Step 3

Click on Teachers Online (see Resources). Choose a type and size of dichotomous key, and click the link for the dichotomous key that you are interested in creating. The link will open up a blank page with your dichotomous key, which you can then fill with your own information.