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ENGL 308 Payne: Review: Topic Exploration

When is a topic too narrow or too broad?

Your topic may be too broad:

  • It becomes difficult to find sources due to the sheer amount of information available. For example, 20,000 articles on gun control.
  • You are finding it difficult to form an opinion about the topic. 

Consider identifying a sub-topic within the broader one "gun control" such as "Does increased gun control policy lead to decreased gun related violence in Indiana?"

Your topic may be too narrow: 

  • If it is very difficult to find sources. 
  • If it focuses on something very new/current.

Consider taking a step back from a highly detailed aspect of the topic to consider broader terms: "people are using eHarmony to develop superficial, unfulfilling virtual relationships" to "people are using social media web sites to develop superficial and unfulfilling relationships."