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ENGL 100 - Expository Writing (Manhattan)

Library Research Guide

How to Develop a Good Research Topic

Produced by K-State Libraries

Is My Topic Too Broad or Narrow?

Now that you have learned what to do when your topic is too broad, consider another scenario:

Though having a topic that is too broad is a common problem, you also need to make sure your topic is not too narrow. If your topic is so limited by geographical area, details, or is very current, you may not be able to find any information about it when researching. 

Below is a table that shows examples of topics that are too broad, too narrow and just right.

Too Broad

Just Right

Too Narrow

Housing segregation in the United States The effect of racism on home lending and its relationship to housing segregation How race affects buying homes in Manhattan, Kansas
Negative effect of environmental toxins The exposure of different racial communities to environmental toxins The exposure of Nicodemus, Kansas to outdated farming pesticides
Discipline of children from different cultures How does race effect the severity of discipline in early childhood education? Corporal punishment in Johnson County, Kansas elementary schools