1b. Develop Questions & Keywords1d. Find Background Information1e. Refine a Topic
2a. Find Books2b. Find Articles2c. Find Full Text2d. Find Reserves2e. Find Images2f. Find Films2g. Find Websites2h. Search Strategies
3a. Evaluate Sources3b. Primary vs. Secondary Sources3c. Types of Periodicals
4a. Paraphrasing4b. Notetaking
5a. Plagiarism5b. MLA Citation Style5c. Works Cited Examples5d. Copyright
This is the "1e. Refine a Topic" page of the "Olin Library: Research Skills" guide.
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Olin Library: Research Skills   Tags: assignments, evaluating, information_literacy, learning, presentations, projects, research, skills, writing  

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2015 URL: http://library.drury.edu/research Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

1e. Refine a Topic Print Page
  Search: 
 
 

Is Your Topic Too Narrow?

If you are not finding enough information, your topic may be too narrow. Consider broadening it by:

  • Exploring related issues
  • Comparing or contrasting the topic with another topic
  • Expanding the:
    • time period covered
    • population considered
    • geographic area discussed
  • Choosing an alternative topic that is not so recent -- it may not be covered in books and journal articles yet
  • Choosing an alternative topic that is not so popular -- it may be covered in popular magazines and tabloids only
 

Is Your Topic Too Broad?

If you are finding too much information, your topic may be too broad. Consider narrowing it by:

  • Time period -- 1960's, bronze age, etc.
  • Geographic location -- Denver, New York, Australia, etc.
  • Population -- age, race, gender, nationality or other group
  • Smaller piece of the topic:

    • Genre -- jazz (music)
    • Event -- Battle of the Bulge (WWII)
    • Aspect -- government regulations (pollution)
    • Discipline or Subject -- music (in early childhood education)
 

Developing a Research Question

 

Examples

Broad Topic: Global warming

Narrower Topic: How will climate change impact sea levels and the coastal United States?

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Narrow Topic: Does cartoon viewing cause violent behaviors in children under the age of five?

Broader Topic:  What are the negative effects of television viewing on children and adolescents?

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