How to Narrow Down a Research Topic Succesfully

how to narrow down a research topic

Narrowing a research topic can be hectic, but it is important to do it upfront to ensure your research workflows well. However, this depends on the number of words, the research should have. Do you know how to narrow a research topic? We will provide an overview on narrowing down a topic.

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How to Find a Research Topic?

This depends on your field of study, through this, you will be able to research a relevant topic that you can work on. Getting a research topic should be based on what you want to focus on. A narrow topic will help make it easier to do your research.

  1. Enquire From The Professor – While searching for a research topic, request advice from your professor or supervisor to ensure you get the best topic for your course. In some cases, the supervisors can narrow down on the type of research that you can do. Thereby, making it easier for you to choose a topic.
  2. Check The Resources Available – It depends on the number of resources you have. It wouldn’t be right to do a topic that will require you to travel a long distance to go collect your data. Even though there are various ways you can collect data online, it is better when it is an accessible place to get information upfront.
  3. What is Your Interest or Hobby? – Your research topic should be based on your hobbies or interests. It shouldn’t just be a topic, but one that you feel most interested in. This will give you the zeal to research more and do your best to provide the best paper to your professor. Your interests will make sure that you are highly motivated to carry out your research in college or university. As time goes by, when you further your studies, you can still do broader research on the same.
  4. Previously Done Research – While choosing a topic, ensure there is evidence of previous research on it. It might be hectic if you decide to just do a topic that no one else has ever dealt with. Remember to stick to your field and not just do anything for the sake. There is a wide variety of narrowing a topic examples that you can use as a starting point. The topic needs to be researchable to prevent you from getting issues when carrying out your research.
  5. Ideas From Books – Getting a place to begin may be hectic at first. You can even get an idea from books you have been reading and strike an interest. Always choose a topic that sounds interesting. There are a wide variety of books that you can use to get ideas. However, try to get a narrow topic from the broad topics.

How to Narrow Down a Topic

Now that you have gotten a suitable general topic, we can work on how to narrow down the topic. You can either decide to use one or two of the methods. However, using a combination of the methods is most suitable.

Ask Yourself the Three W’s And H.

While choosing a topic you need to ask yourself, why, what, where, when, how, and who? This will help you know whether the topic of interest is good

One of many narrow topic examples includes: Examine food security impact on health in America. Who? People in America

What? Food security

When? Currently in the 21st century

Where? America – which state specifically?

Why? The impact of food security on health

How? Food security impact.

Through that, you can see whether your general topic is relevant and how to break it down.

Ask Further Questions

On this, you need to consider whether the topic is going to be of importance a few years from now or is just going to be relevant at the moment. In this, ask yourself about the problems, the effect on the target group, how the target group benefits, and the group responsible for it.

Hence, in this, you will research how food security impacts the target people. What problems can be faced if it is not achieved? On this, get to know the motives and effect on the people the food is intended for.

Narrowing down a research topic helps you get a better overview of what you are researching. You can check other scholarly articles to know what people have previously researched and the gap left to fill.

Consider Using the SOCRAPR Model

Take your research topic and narrow it down using the SOCRAPR model. With this, consider these different aspects.

  • Similarities – How is food security now compared to earlier years?
  • Opposites – How has food security changed over the years?
  • Contrast – How is food security affecting the kind of health people have?
  • Relationship – This is between the accessibility of food and its impact on health.
  • Anthropomorphism – This is in terms of human values – how the lack or plenty of food affects human behaviors.
  • Personification – Give descriptions of human qualities.
  • Repetition – Will food security establishment be a recurring thing?

Compare and Contrast Other Research Papers

You need to compare and contrast previously done papers on the same. This will provide a greater overview of what to expect. While comparing, you will get some great ideas on what to expect and the kind of points that you can write.

You can choose a topic that deals with comparing or contrasting two elements. For example, how food security had an impact on health in the 20th century as compared to the 21st century.

Try to read any scholarly articles you can get on the same and gather all the information that seems relevant to your research.

Remember to familiarize yourself with the topic and know how a compare and contrast research topic is done. Think about the topic as two mini papers you are doing while comparing.

The Dangers of Not Narrowing Down A Research Topic

If you work with a general topic be assured that it will be hectic to do the research. However, if you narrow down the topic to minimal it will be easier to narrow down the topic.

  1. Too Much Irrelevant Information.
    If you do not narrow down a research topic, you will have too much irrelevant information. This will make it hard to know the kind of information to include or omit. It is like going to a store with a wide variety of clothes that look fabulous. You will be caught in between and not know the best one to choose. Hence, narrowing down, makes it easier to choose the resources to use.
  2. Difficulty in Coming up With A Clear Framework.
    It can be hectic to come up with a clear framework to address a research problem. However, if you are working with a straight topic, you will be able to get a clear framework to do your research. A broad topic can make it hard to find the right method you can use for analysis.
  3. Lack of Specific Information That Fits.
    When the topic is too broad, you get too much irrelevant information or relevant information that will make it hard to decide what to put and what to leave out. Getting the specific information that fits can then take you a while.

Hence, broad topic examples can affect how well you will carry out your research. The topic should be educational for at most relevance. Yes, there might be enough information that doesn’t fit your study.

The Best Tips on How to Narrow Down a Research Topic

This is how you can narrow down a research topic through the aspects, methodology, time, place, and type. However, you can either use some of the tips or a combination of all. In the end, it depends on your preference.

Consider the Aspect

From what view would you want to research your topic?

For example in our food security topic, consider finding out, whether the impact on health is different in different age groups; the young and the old.

This will help make you focus on what’s relevant most. Get to know how the initial topic can be partitioned into smaller components for analysis. This will make it easier to focus on the specifics and get relevant information

Methodology to Use

What kind of research methodology are you planning to use in your research? This will help provide a better overview of the research that you should expect to do.

Is it going to be a qualitative or quantitative research paper? Narrow down to what kind of methods are most specific for that specific region. Collection of data is a major factor that you shouldn’t take for granted.


Narrowing it down to a specific area will help make the research much easier to do. However, if it is a global issue, you can consider choosing a larger area. Your scope of the study should cover all the relevant information to make your research paper a success.

For example, where specifically in America? How many states are you planning to study?


Get to know your two major variables and see how they relate to each other. Designing a study around the correlation of different variables will put you in a better place.

For example food and health. Those are our major variables as we try to find out how best they relate. Other examples are: cause and effect, compare and contrast, currently or historically, male and female, and opinion and reason.

Thereby, this will make doing the research easier.


At what phase, century or time do you want your research to be based. Is it during the historical or current period? Studies need to be based on the current timeframes. For example, food security impact on health in Washington DC during the 21st century. Having a specific timeframe makes it easy to perform the research. Remember that different periods have different circumstances and causes.

Don’t Know How To Narrow Your Research Topic?

Remember to narrow down a research topic, you need to first choose a general topic, giving a specific description of the topic, ask yourself questions on the topic, mention the specific aspects in the topic, narrow down the specifics of the topics, turn the topic into a sentence or statement, and get to know the specific place that you want to do the research. How to narrow a topic is easy if you follow all the relevant steps.

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