Simple Methods to Come up with a Narrow Topic for a Research Paper
There are times when it is necessary to narrow down your topic for your research paper. For a fact, your paper needs to be narrowed the way your instructor prefers it to be. Indeed, through conducting preliminary research, you can figure out whether or not you will even require refining your subject matter.
Here are a few methods on how to come up with a narrow topic for your research paper:
Take in mind that the amount of resources is always a great guide. For instance, if you were aware that you did not need over ten sources for your research paper and there are more than fifty references, then, this is a good indication to narrow your topic to a more particularized subject. Alternatively, if you are working a 15-page paper and you find it hard to search for over three references, then, you will need to widen your topic.
The next method is somewhat subjective. This means that it is crucial to point out how well-known the subject matter is with the general public. Consider if your topic would not be engrossing to any audiences such as fellow students or in a university setting. Reconsider your topic if you think that it won’t be interesting to your target audience.
There are some effective steps in narrowing a topic:
- Begin with a general subject matter. Take the subject and try to break it down into categories through covering the 5 Ws and 1 H questions.
- Then, consider question areas in order to produce particularized points or ideas to narrow your topic down such as the issues encountered, if the issues are settled, the motives, the effects it has on a group or member group, the benefits and the group who need to pay for or be responsible for that.
- Lastly, it is necessary to refine your points or ideas through considering similarities, opposites, contrasts, relationships, interpreting reality in terms of human values (anthropomorphisms), personifications as well as repetition- in short you have to adhere to the so-called S.O.C.R.A.P.R model.
In reality, it is very typical for students these days to work on a research topic but the hardest part of handling is when you need to narrow down a topic that is too broad for you to cover. If you are fortunate enough, you shall find out prior you conduct vast research since much of the research you conduct from the start shall be useless once you completely narrow your subject down.
It is worthy of note that it is beneficial to run your initial research idea by a librarian or an instructor to obtain a professional and expert advice.