Narrowing Your Topic

Think about your message…
In your paper…
WHAT are you going to
SAY about your topic?
What QUESTIONS are you going to ANSWER about your topic?

And how are you going to do it…
in just  (how many )  pages?

Narrowing Strategy 1: Aspect
Focus on a particular ASPECT of the topic:
 Not: Stress
 But: Causes of stress

Narrowing Strategy 2: Time
Focus on your topic during a particular TIME PERIOD
illnesses reported
1990 to 2000

Narrowing Strategy 3: Type
Focus on a specific TYPE or CLASS of people or things as they relate to your topic
Stress in adolescents

Narrowing Strategy 4: Place
Focus on a particular PLACE
    Stress reduction
 education in
    in Hawaii

Narrowing Strategy 5: Add Two Topics
Focus on the relationship between
Stress and depression

Now, a really big tip:
COMBINE different kinds of focuses:
     The effectiveness of stress reduction education in preventing adolescent depression in Hawaii from 1990-2000

Ok, maybe that’s going too far…
Are you really going to find enough information about that?
(Probably not)

But how about this…
What can you SAY about…
   The relationship between stress and depression in adolescents?
What QUESTIONS could you try to ANSWER about …
   The long-term effectiveness of stress reduction education?

A Review of Narrowing Strategies:
Narrow your topic by focusing on:
Its relationship with a second topic
A combination of two or more of the above