Broadening/Narrowing Your Topic
If your topic is too narrow, you might not find enough information. You can broaden it by exploring related issues, comparing it with a related issue, increasing the time span or population covered. You might also find that your topic is too recent to be covered in academic journals.
If your topic is too broad, you might find too much information. You can narrow your focus by limiting the population or time period covered or by looking at a smaller piece or specific angle of the topic.
The document below is a guide intended to help you narrow or broaden your research topic.
Sources such as encyclopedias and hot topics databases can be good places to get a sense of what some of the areas of interest within your topic are.
Before you can begin searching for information in a print or online resource, you need to identify keywords related to your topic. Check out this page for more information about using keywords in your searches.
Database searching is good for looking for materials on a specific topic in many different journals at the same time. These databases don't use phrase searching, so be sure to break your searches into the main ideas or keywords.
Scholarly articles are written by professors, scholars, or other experts in a field and are written for other experts. They are published in scholarly/academic/peer-reviewed journals. They are evaluated by other experts before they are published to ensure that they are of high quality. You can access scholarly articles in the research databases. For more information on evaluating scholarly articles, check out