Answered By: Ann Roselle
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2022     Views: 220

Here are a few suggestions on ways to narrow your topic:

  1. Try filling in the three blanks below to help you focus in on your topic.
    • I am researching ___________ (broad topic)
    • because I want to find out _______________ (specific issue/question)
    • in order to ______________ (application - - audience/purpose/project)

      For example:  I am researching vegetarianism (broad topic) because I want to find out if a vegetarian diet can satisfy all the necessary proteins/vitamins/minerals for good health (specific question) in order to argue for vegetarianism in a controversial topic paper (application).

  2. Think about whether you can narrow your topic by time, place, population, or perspective. 
    • Time - Can you look at a particular time period? 
    • Place - Can you focus your analysis on a particular region, country or city? 
    • Population - Do different populations interact with your topic in different ways?  Sample populations include women, children, college students, immigrants, animal/plant species, and others.
    • Perspective - Can you look at your topic from a particular angle?  Sociological, psychological, medical, environmental?
  3. Search One Search to get a sense of subtopics on your broad topic. Scan through your One Search search results to get ideas of other angles you can take.  Be sure to limit your search results to Scholarly/Academic to locate different research angles. 

    In the search example below with "vegetarianism," the search results show that vegetarianism can be looked at from a health, economic, ethical, environmental, social identity, or psychological angle.  

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