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How To Narrow Down A Research Topic So You Get Best Results

how to narrow down a research topic

A research topic offers a starting point to any form of research. Research topics are usually vast with so many possibilities to write on. However, there is a difference between what you should write about and what you find. You have to narrow down your topic so that you can focus your search to look for precisely what you want. Otherwise, you may be filling out pages with extensive research that doesn’t provide the answer a reader is looking for.

What Is A Narrowed Topic

A narrow topic is a statement of refined concepts focused on a specific cause, group, or area.

Strong research papers have a clear focus topic hence it’s crucial to work on narrowing down your topic before working on the actual research paper. By narrowing down a topic you can define your way forward instead of finding answers in vain. The instructor expects you to narrow the topic to something that will be interesting for you and the class. If you want to learn some interesting ideas and tips on how do you narrow down a topic then let’s get started. You will also find some general topics and specific topic examples to help you understand the difference between the two.

Importance Of Narrowing A Research Topic

Focus is important in every field let alone research.

Focusing or narrowing down a research topic will allow you to manage information effectively. The more focused you are on your topic, the clear your answers are likely to be.

When assigned the task to research you must choose a topic to investigate. It is crucial that the scope of the topic is not too broad or general.

A broad topic will have endless possibilities on what to write on so it will get difficult to tackle it properly. If a topic is broad you may find too much general information that doesn’t allow you to develop a proper framework needed for the research. For a broad topic, you may find so much information that you trail off from the right path and end up adding unnecessary information to your research.

A general topic is also a big no because the research topic should be specific to offer clear guidelines for the proceeding research. Narrowing a topic may seem like a difficult task but it saves you from wasting your precious time searching for unnecessary information. If you start by narrowing down your topic at the beginning of your research you will have a clear understanding of the way forward.

It may be crucial at the beginning of your research to start off with a broad topic, but from there onwards, you must narrow your topic for precision and focus. Research papers that have clear topics are likely to score better as they show clarity and understanding from the initial stage. Also, when a research topic is clear the reader will be more enthusiastic about reading the complete research.

What’s Too Broad?

It can be very irritating if you do all the research but the instructor tell you to change the topic as it seems too broad. This is a common problem but how can you identify if a topic is too broad?

  • If your topic is summed up in one or two words such as smoking, education, pollution, corruption, or overweight teens then your topic is broad.
  • If you visit the library and find a whole section of books that you can use to look for information for your topic, then it’s too broad.

A good topic should cover a specific issue or a question. It should be researchable and you should be able to spot four to five sources to find information related to the topic. If you are not able to draft a thesis statement for your research paper, then this is another indication that your topic may be too broad.

Choose a topic and ask yourself if you are able to divide it into smaller parts or try to simplify it. If yes, then you may want to rethink your topic. The key to creating a narrow topic is to think small. If a topic has the desired details then there is less chance that you will get deviated from the right research path. And a detailed topic will entice the reader’s enthusiasm to read more.

How Do You Narrow Down A Research Topic?

Narrowing a research topic is a common challenge faced by most college and university students. Even if you have been given a specific research topic it may not be too narrow for the research to begin. Hence, in any case, you will be required to do a bit of narrowing to have a clear understanding of the topic.

Here are some strategies to help you narrow the topic:

  • Choose a Topic
    You can use the broad or general topic is given to you by your instructor and narrow it down. You can also come up with your own topic and then narrow it down. Either way, you have to ensure that your narrowed topic is focused. Remember choosing a specific topic for research is a starting point of a research paper so make sure to choose the one. You can take feedback from your friends or instructor to be sure that the topic is specific enough to work on. As you begin writing you will notice that it’s easier to write on a topic that’s not too broad.
  • Time
    Ask yourself what time in history would you like to focus on. You can emphasize the historical era, the middle ages, and the modern era. When you are clear about the time frame you want to write on the research scope will shrink making it easier for you to do your research. If you don’t define the time frame of your research your reader will be ambiguous as to what era the research is covering.
  • Location
    Decide on the location you would like to focus on. You can think of geographical locations such as a particular country to base your research on. If a location is not defined the research may seem too general and create questions in the mind of the reader.
  • Category
    A category is a group of items that have similar features or characteristics. In this context, a category can be a group of people, a particular species of animal, and similar theories. Think about what category you want to choose for your research. Defining a category will make the reader clear about what the research is going to be about.
  • Issue
    Choose a perspective, point of view, or issue you want to write about Don’t try to mix two or three concepts as this will get you confused about what you want to write about. Remember, there will be several ideas in your head about how you want to perceive your research topic but you have to squeeze them down. Don’t get excited and mix two different aspects which may result in an incomprehensible research topic.
  • Gender specification
    One way to narrow down your topic is to specify the gender you will be talking about in your research. However, some topics cover both the genders such as teens then you may look into other methods of narrowing down the topic.
  • Methodology
    You can identify the methodology to be used to gather information so that the domain that addresses the problem is more clear. This may include a case study or any research paper that you may use to collect information for the research paper.

Start with a broad topic and follow the steps above to narrow down the topic. You will notice as you follow the steps your topic will start looking more precise and specific. It’s important your topic answers questions of who, what, why, when, where, and how.

Broad And Specific Topics

Here is a comparison of aspects of broad and specific topics. This should help you in your process when you’re thinking on how to narrow a topic, and what the difference is between the two.

Broad Topics Specific Topics
Includes a wide range of subjects and topics Includes specific issue and addresses it
They are not specific but provide a good starting point to narrow down your topic They are more specific and are better for research
You will find too much information for it You will find limited information for it
Such topics can be explained using fewer words Such topics are already specific
Such topics cover wide aspects Covers a particular aspect

Broad And Specific Topic Examples

Finally, checkout the following examples from our research paper writers for hire of broad and narrow topic examples. This can give you some inspiration for narrowing your topic once you have to decide what to write about. It can give you some good ideas that will inspire you further.

Broad Topic Examples Specific Topic Examples
  • Challenges faced by college graduates to enter the workforce
  • Why do employers hire fewer college graduates?
  • Communications
  • How can students use cell phones effectively in classrooms during high school
  • Children facing malnutrition
  • Malnourished children in Indonesia and how they recover if they are provided supervised nutrition
  • Women and cancer
  • Analyzing the connection between breast cancer and cigarette smoking
  • Teens and video games
  • How does violence in video games affect teen appetite?
  • Acid rain
  • What measures can be taken by the US government to stop acid rain?
  • Censorship
  • How do Chinese internet censorship efforts affects its citizens?

Can’t Decide On Essay Topic?

Surely, by now you are convinced that a narrow topic is a game changer when it comes to writing an essay. We hope that we were able to answer all your questions about what is a narrowed topic and how to narrow down a general topic. If you need help with your essay then you can trust our online essay writing service to help you embark on your educational journey. You can buy custom essay with us, since we have professional writers dedicated to offering quality services at cheap rates. So, if you are looking for an expert writer who can help you score top grades in your research paper then contact us now!

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