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ENG 101 Composition - Henck: Narrowing Your Topic

Why do I Need to narrow my topic?

A research topic needs to be narrow enough--focused enough--so that you can accomplish many things your 1500-word essay.  You'll need to explain your research question, give your reader background information or context, explain your subject cleary and your specific sub-questions and evidence in detail. You will need to argue a position supported by that evidence and you'll need to understand, acknowledge, and address an opposing viewpoint.  Finally, you'll need to reach and write a conclusion. To do all that in just a few pages, your topic must be very specific. The tools on this page can help.  Experiment and find the approach that is right for you.  Contact library staff for assistance!

Narrow by asking myself 5 simple questions..

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?

5 W's Narrow Down Topic Work Sheet

Optional worksheets will help you narrow down your topic using the 5Ws described in the video on this page.