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Sisters in the Struggle: Kentucky Women in the Civil Rights Era, 1920s-1970s: 2b. Refine Your Topic

Ask a Librarian

Is Your Topic Too Broad?

If you are finding too much information, your topic may be too broad. Consider narrowing it by:

  • Time period -- 1960s, bronze age, etc.
  • Geographic location -- Denver, New York, Australia, etc.
  • Population -- age, race, gender, nationality or other group.
  • Smaller piece of the topic:

    • Genre -- jazz (music)
    • Event -- Battle of the Bulge (WWII)
    • Aspect -- government regulations (pollution)
    • Discipline or Subject -- music (in early childhood education).

Is Your Topic Too Narrow?

If you are not finding enough information, your topic may be too narrow. Consider broadening it by

  • Exploring related issues.
  • Comparing or contrasting the topic with another topic.
  • Expanding the
    • time period covered;
    • population considered;
    • geographic area discussed.
  • Choosing an alternative topic that is not so recent -- your topic may not be covered in books and journal articles yet.
  • Choosing an alternative topic that is not so popular -- your topic may be covered in popular magazines and tabloids only.


Broad Topic: How can we solve the problem of organized crime?

Narrower Topic: How valid is the argument that legalizing currently illegal drugs would diminish the crime rate?

Narrow Topic: Does cartoon viewing cause violent behaviors in children under the age of five?

Broader Topic: What are the negative effects of television viewing on children and adolescents?