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ENG 101: English Comp (Baker): Narrowing your topic

1.)  Where did this occur? What time frame? Population? 

Look at the news, social media, events. Is this something that has just been starting or is it something with history? If it has history, then what time frame are you looking at. 

2.) Looking at some of the details above, focus on different perspectives related to your topic:

What are the different positions? Pros and cons. What are people saying? 

3.) Now, what's your position? What is your argument? 

Now that you have done background research, you have a position that you could research further. 


Finally! Gather facts to help support your argument or position. 


Focusing your Topic


Where? Is it the United States? A region? Another country? Remember, getting too specific might make it difficult to research


Time Frame? Last five years? Last week? A time period? If you write about something that’s too recent, you might not find information about it


Perspective? Is this an opinion paper? What is your position? Evidence?


Purpose? What are you trying to prove? What is the purpose? Who is your audience?


Population?  Men? Women? Teenagers? Children? Who are you writing about in your topic?


Anything else? What detail is missing?  




Fill in the sentence below to help you with your research; don’t forget to use the chart to help you.  The issue or research question of this sentence is your guideline to the information or evidence you need to find to prove your conclusion or results.

I am researching _________________ (topic) because I want to find out _____________(issue/research question) in order to __________________________ (results /conclusion)

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