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How to Narrow or Broaden a topic

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by

William Walters

on 29 August 2013

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Transcript of How to Narrow or Broaden a topic

How to Narrow or Broaden a topic: Getting into the Goldilocks zone
Are you overwhelmed by too much info?
Maybe your topic is too BIG!
A good topic addresses a
specific
question or problem.
If you find yourself staring at a wall of books or thousands of articles that could work - your topic is
too broad
.
If your topic can be summed up in a word or two like smoking, school dress codes, psychology, or childhood obesity - your topic is
too broad
.
A good research project must be narrowed down in order to be
meaningful and manageable
.

Early warning signs of TBT
(Too broad topics)
Narrowing a Topic
Ask some Questions!
Salmon or trout tonight?
Each time you add a question, your topic becomes more specific.

Topic: Safety Standards
Where?
Safety Standards for furniture
Where, What
Safety Standards for furniture prevent injuries
Where, What, Who
Safety Standards for furniture prevents injuries in bears
Where, What, Who, Why
How has safety standards in furniture reduced the occourence of injuries in the bear population?
Brainstorm your topic
People
aspects
Place
time
Sample Brainstorm:
Break-ins
Aspect:
Home invasion
People:
Young Females
Place:
Rural areas
Time:
Daytime
What percentage of daytime home invasions in rural areas involve young female suspects?

Maybe your topic is too small
If your topic is too
Specific -
Specialized
New

How often do suburban bears bamboozle bikini babes
We must study the south atlantic rare orange bear, that only 3 scientists know about in the entire world!
The water breathing aquabear-found last year- is well known for having nothing known about it.
Like the Majestic, and slightly spooky, trees of this forest, we need to think
bigger
What is the larger subject or issue?

Are there larger groups affected by this topic?
Basically, If you can't find enough information to write your paper, your topic is too narrow
Are there other issues or aspects that could be used?

Ex.
Are genetically modified oats used in
porridge safe for bears to eat?

Thinking Bigger
bioengineered foods
Food Safety
Organic food advocates
Companies (Monsanto)
Government (FDA)

Government regulations
Food product labels

Getting your topic into the goldilocks zone can be unbearable at times, but do not give up! When you finally find that perfect topic....
Brighter days, and smoother roads await!

We did it, YEAH!
Resources:
Come to the library, we can help!
Talk to your instructor, they want you to succeed.

I mean, It is our job.
Full transcript