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EVC Library Support for Online and Distance Education: Narrowing a Topic


Topic Example:

You could write thousands of pages on global warming, but narrowing your focus to the impact of rising sea levels on coastal wetlands will give you a manageable topic and a clear purpose.



How do I narrow my topic?

When analyzing your topic, ask: who, what, where, when, why and how?

  • Who are the significant players? Who was impacted?
  • What are the components or aspects of the topic will you explore?
  • Where does your event take place? What locations are impacted by your topic?
  • When did the event occur and/or what is the significance of the time period on your event?
  • Why does this topic matter?
  • How does this topic impact society?

Recommended Databases for Background Research

To help you narrow down your topic, you will need to conduct background research to build a better understanding of your topic and the related issues.

The following reference databases are recommended for gathering background research on your topic:

Ebook Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias are a great way to get started on a research project!  These are e-book encyclopedias and can be read online through the computer. Click the title to access the book. If off campus, you will need to log in with your name and student ID number to read the title.

Browse through our other e-Encyclopedias here!