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Choose a Topic

Strategies for Narrowing Your Topic

Are you overwhelmed with the amount of information you are finding?  Try these strategies to help you narrow your topic:

  • List what you already know and questions you have about the topic. Then, focus on those you find most interesting.
  • Choose a particular perspective on the issue. How do scholars from different subject fields approach your topic?
  • Focus on a certain demographic (e.g. college students), geographic location (e.g. United States), or time period.
  • Scan background information to identify sub-topics you can focus on.

Testing & Tweaking Your Topic (Video)

Choosing a topic is one of the most important parts of the research process. As you begin researching with a specific topic in mind, it's important to remain open to new ideas. You may find that there's not much research available on your chosen topic, or you might be overwhelmed by the number of results.

Don't be afraid to tweak your topic based on where the research leads you. Your topic will be refined as you start to gather information. As this video explains, picking your topic is research!

Screenshot of NCSU Picking Your Topic is Research video.

Choosing and Narrowing a Topic (Tutorial)

Have a broad topic in mind? Use this interactive tutorial to help you narrow your topic.

Screenshot of Literati Choosing and Narrowing a Topic Tutorial.
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