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WGS 4790: Home

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Developing your topic

Picking Your Topic Is Research

This video from NC State Libraries explains the process through which you might develop your topic. It's a short (about 3 minutes) overview that is helpful in thinking about how to approach topic development.

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.

Background Research

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. 

  • Sage Reference Online - contains the full text to 100+ specialized encyclopedias covering the Social Sciences
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library - a large collection of subject-specific encyclopedias including the arts, education, law, literature, multicultural studies, nation and world, and more

Research databases

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