A topic is too narrow if you can’t find enough information to answer your research question.
A topic is too broad if you are overwhelmed by the amount of information you find.
You can narrow or broaden a topic by adding or eliminating:
--a time period (year, decade, century)
--a specific population (male, female, child, adult, nationality)
--a geographic area (state, region, country)
Research questions should be grounded in fact, able to be answered by means of evidence-based research, so avoid "what-if" questions.
Unless specified by the assignment, research questions that center on philosophical, ethical, or religious issues are not appropriate, so avoid "could/should" questions.
A bland question is one that does not require much inquiry to answer. If your question can be answered by one source, it is too bland.
To answer an interesting question, you may need to answer several bland questions.
Once you've narrowed your broad topic to one that fits your assignment parameters, turn it into a research question (or thesis). Then identify the most descriptive keywords in your question or thesis, and use these keywords to navigate information sources for books, articles, and websites.
Broad topic: Teen suicide
Narrow topic: Use of anti-depressant drugs and teen suicide
Research question: How has the widespread use of antidepressant drugs affected teen suicide rates?
Keywords: "antidepressant drugs" "teen suicide"
Choose from an array of topics in the Humanities, Health & Medicine, and Environmental Sciences. Read encyclopedia articles to gain a better understanding of the topic and associated issues.
Use the Browse by Topic tab to find in-depth reports about many social issues.
Gale In Context: Global Issues
Use the Browse Issues tab for access to topic overviews on hundreds of current topics.