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How Do I

Is Your Topic Too Broad?

If you are finding too much information, your topic may be too BROAD.  Consider narrowing it to a more specific...

Time or Period 19th Century, 1920's, Renaissance
Location U.S., Eastern, rural
Population age, race, gender, nationality, ethnic group, occupation, religious affiliation, political affiliation
Event Battle of the Bulge in WWII, Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Aspect Legislation, Ethical, Cultural, Social

Broad Topics

  • Global Warming
  • Video Games

Narrower Topics: 

  • How will climate change impact sea levels and the coastal United States?
  • The effects of violent video games on teenage boys

Is Your Topic Too Narrow?

If you are finding too little information, your topic may be too NARROW, specialized or current.  Use the following strategies to broaden your topic:

Generalize Generalize your topic.  If your topic is the health effects of fracking on rural communities in South Carolina, broaden it to include rural communities in the United States.
Currency If your topic is very current, there may not be relevant journal articles or books available yet.  Choose an alternative topic that is not so recent.
Related Explore related issues that may have more available resources.
Expand Expand or remove a time period, location, population, event, or aspect.

*Note, be sure that you have searched thoroughly before deciding that your topic is too narrow!  Have you tried searches using synonyms and alternate terms?  Have you tried searching in a variety of databases?

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

Broader Topic:  What are the negative effects of TV on children?