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Help! I Need a Topic!: How Do I Narrow My Topic?

Has your professor given you free license to write about anything? Do you have no idea where to start? This LibGuide will give you a few pointers on choosing a topic you love.

Strategy A

Bring in a Proper Noun

Maybe your current topic is "Factors Leading to the 2008 Recession."

That's a book-length topic --- probably even several books. Instead of trying to tackle that whole topic, narrow its focus on one particular entity. For example, you could examine "How Goldman-Sachs Contributed to the 2008 Recession" or "How the Federal Reserve Contributed to the 2008 Recession."

Strategy B

Focus on a Specific Group

You can do this any way you like: race, age, nationality, income, religion, location ... the options go on. Adding one of these to your topic may add exactly the new angle you need.

For example, there's been a lot of research done on college students --- their money-saving habits, their eating habits, their career choices, their sexual activity, and so on. But how much research has been done specifically on students at HBCUs? Or students at Adventist institutions? Researching "Eating Habits of Students at Seventh-day Adventist Universities" is a lot narrower than "Eating Habits of College Students."

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Eva B. Dykes Library Libguides by Oakwood University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.