If you have a need to conduct research for a course at any level, you should understand the significance of narrowing down your research topic. Reasons for narrowing down a research topic are:
Before you begin your search for a research topic, there are some things to consider that could impact the topic you choose:
The process of narrowing down a research topic can be illustrated by the image below ("Choosing & Using Sources," 2016). It illustrates the process of thinking about all potential research topics, then narrowing it down to a specific research question. This diagram can assist you in determining your topic because it illustrates how all possible topics and subjects transform into your final research topic. It is also recommended that you refer to your assignment instructions for guidance on topic selection.
All possible topics: Represents all potential topics in your field of discipline. This is often overwhelming, so it is typical to rule out irrelevant topics to create a "smaller" pool of topics.
Assigned topic: This is a combination of determining topics that are interesting to you and that fulfill your assignment requirements. You might have more than one topic, so you may need to narrow them down further.
Topic narrowed by initial exploration: This results from conducting preliminary research on your assigned topic(s). During this process, you will learn more about the topics you are considering. From there, you can determine if the topic is still of interest.
Topic narrowed to research question(s): From the information you have learned in your preliminary research, you formulate a research question that identifies what your paper/project will attempt to discover.
The video below from Wilsey Library demonstrates how to narrow down a general research topic.