Too Broad or Too Narrow?
Choosing a topic is much harder than many students realize. Most students - new and old - choose a topic that is too large (broad) for the scope of the assignment.
If you’re topic is too broad, you will be overwhelmed with sources. If your topic is too narrow, you might not find anything.
Doing background research can help you:
|drug addiction||Too broad|
|effect of safe injection on AIDS rates in North Vancouver||Too narrow|
|beneficial effects of safe injection in Vancouver||Looks promising|
For the initial stages of your assignment, it's OK to have a general topic idea as long as you’re flexible and curious.
Don't be a fickle researcher! Just because you find too much or too little information when you start searching, doesn't mean you have to switch to a completely new topic. Let your discoveries guide you to a topic that can work for you, not against you.
Remember to use your list of synonyms and keep an eye out for new keywords as you search.
What do you think is the most important factor when you're choosing a topic for an assignment?