A research topic needs to be narrow enough--specific enough--so that you can accomplish many things in just 3 pages. You'll need to briefly explain your thesis or research question, give your reader background information or explain key concepts. You need to take a position, and make a strong argument using supporting evidence. And, you'll need to reach and write a conclusion. To do all that in just a few pages, your topic must be very narrowly focused. The tools on this page can help. Experiment and find the approach that is right for you.
Optional worksheets will help you narrow down your topic using the 5Ws described in the video on this page.
4-minute how-to video by the Ohio State University Libraries explains 5 simple questions that will help you to narrow down your topic quickly: Who? What? When? Where? Why?