It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
ENG 1100 - Academic Writing and Reading: 2a. Refine Your Topic
A research guide of recommended information resources for ENG 1100
Use this handout if you are getting too many or too few results. Download this document before adding your responses. Editing this document in your browser may lead to losing your entries when downloading/saving.
Is Your Topic Too Narrow?
If you are not finding enough information, your topic may be too narrow.
Narrow Topic: Does cartoon viewing cause violent behaviors in children under the age of five?
Broader Topic: What are the negative effects of television viewing on children and adolescents?
Consider broadening it by
Exploring related issues.
Comparing or contrasting the topic with another topic.
time period covered;
geographic area discussed.
Choosing an alternative topic that is not so recent -- your topic may not be covered in books and journal articles yet.
Choosing an alternative topic that is not so popular -- your topic may be covered in popular magazines and tabloids only.
Is Your Topic Too Broad?
If you are finding too much information, your topic may be too broad.
Broad Topic: How can we solve the problem of organized crime?
Narrower Topic: How valid is the argument that legalizing currently illegal drugs would diminish the crime rate?
Consider narrowing it by:
Time period -- 1960s, bronze age, etc.
Geographic location -- Denver, New York, Australia, etc.
Population -- age, race, gender, nationality or other group.
Smaller piece of the topic:
Genre -- jazz (music)
Event -- Battle of the Bulge (WWII)
Aspect -- government regulations (pollution)
Discipline or Subject -- music (in early childhood education)