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CJUS 3130: Research Methods

Narrowing a Topic

Process of Narrowing a Topic

topic narrowed from a large circle of ideas to a small circle of ideas

  1. Read the Assignment – You’ll need to narrow your topic in order to do research effectively. Without specific areas of focus, it will be hard to even know where to begin, so read your assignment carefully. 
  2. Think About What Interests You – After you have honed in on topics that meet the purpose of your assignment, begin thinking about what’s interesting to you. One way to get ideas is to read background information in a source like Wikipedia.
  3. Explore Library Databases – It’s wise to do some more reading about your topic to learn more about it, and learn specialized terms used by professionals and scholars who study it. Check the library databases to make sure that your topic is not too broad or too narrow. This may take some time, but will save you time later. Your goal should be to to get just the right amount of information so it is not too overwhelming. 
  4. Develop Your Research Question – After you narrow your topic think about exactly what you are trying to find out. Identifying a topic research questions will influence most of the steps you take to conduct the research.

5 Tips to Narrow Your Topic