How Do You Narrow down the Topic of Your Research Paper?
The challenge that is faced most commonly by researchers when writing a research paper is narrowing down of the research topic. Mostly the supervisors give a topic extracted from the dissertation theme to create topic but rarely is that topic narrow enough to be frozen as the title of the paper. It surely may require further narrowing down to some degree.
A bad topic is the one that is so broad that it cannot be managed and has too many ideas that may not be related, are conflicting. Narrowing down the focus of your investigation from the beginning itself ensures that you don’t attempt too much unnecessarily in your paper and then have redundant literature or data than can’t be put to appropriate use.
Find these useful tips to have a more manageable topic for your research paper:
- Perspective/ Aspect: For any research problem that you choose, look at just one aspect of the problem and not all the possible perspectives like for example, if you wish to study the impact colour in Indian ceremonies, may be just focus on one type of color and one type of ceremony rather than a generalised view.
- Parts: there can be further narrowing of the aspect into studying only one particular component of the study so that the results that come out from the analysis are more precise and focussed
- Area of analysis: remember that a large area of study does not necessarily mean a good study, the size of the chosen area has little contribution in making the study outstanding. Narrow down the focus of the study as a large area also dilutes the relevance of the topic by bringing in other aspects.
- Relationship: Find any two variables that you think relate to one another. Depending on your topic, chose between cause and effect, problem and solution, compare and contrast, group and individual etc.
- Time Span: The shorter is the time span of your study, the narrower is the focus. Do not stretch it for a very long time period
- Type: have chosen class of people, goods, places or society that becomes the centre of your study.
If you do not work around creating a narrow topic, you may end up doing a lot of work that may not be of much use and create duplication of work or nonspecific results. Take help of some expert, if you can’t do it yourself.