Be prepared to be flexible with your topic idea!
Ask Yourself Questions About Your Topic:
Sample Topic Narrowing Chart:
Example:I'm thinking of doing a paper on fashion. This topic could develop in many different ways.
|Place:||US; urban; big cities (not rural)|
|Person or group:||youth; college age|
|Event or Aspects:||sexual attitudes; behavior; sociological|
This topic as stated is seeking to answer a question for which there may be no answer yet -- more scientific and long-term research may need to be done. How can this be turned into a more manageable topic?
Hint 1: Look for parallels and opportunities for broader associations:
Hint 2: Brainstorm! (and ask a librarian!)
Sample Topic Broadening Chart:
|Specific Topic:||Are genetically altered soybeans safe for consumers?|
|Alternate focus:||bioengineered or genetically altered foods|
|general: US, Europe|
|Brainstorm Focus on: Person or Group:
||consumer advocates vs FDA and scientists|
|Brainstorm Focus on:
Event or Aspect:
|labeling foods; regulations|
Used by permission from Kelly Miller, Head of College Library and Director of Teachning and Learning Services, UCLA Library