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DESPeration 101 - Introduction to Research: Narrowing & Broadening

This LibGuides will help you approach your research

Narrowing and Broadening your Topic

Most likely you will need to narrow the focus of your topic, since most topics are far too broad to be covered in a research paper. However, sometimes a topic is so narrow in scope that little information can be found on it. In that case, you will need to expand your topic.

You will need to go from a general topic or bigger picture, to a more specific topic and then refine it to a more precise topic or the bigger picture broken down to smaller parts to do your research.


A general topic may be media violence

A more specific topic may be the effects of media violence on children

A precise topic could be the behavioral effects of television violence on preschool children.

Then brainstorm the question that could have bearing on your topic. Like:

How many hours of television do children watch?

How are violent children’s programs identified?

Are there research studies that observed children before and after watching violent programs?