Answered By: Allison Ball
Last Updated: Apr 16, 2020     Views: 2717

Once you have chosen a research topic, you will need to narrow it down into a research statement or question. The sooner you do this in your research process, the more time you'll save because you can conduct more focused searches.

Here are some common ways you can narrow down a research topic:

By demographic characteristics 

Narrow it down by age group, occupation, ethnic group, gender, etc.  

e.g. college graduates in the job market

By relevant issues

Try to identify key issues related to your topic, especially ones that you have an opinion on. You can turn your opinion into your thesis statement or research question.

e.g. challenges faced by college graduates entering the workforce

By location 

Focus on a specific country, province, city, or type of environment (rural vs. urban). 

e.g. challenges faced by college graduates job hunting in Canada

By timeframe 

Decide whether you want to study recent events or a historical time period. This will also help you decide how current the information you use must be.

By causes

You can take the perspective of looking for causes of an issue you are researching.

e.g. "Why is violent behaviour prevalent in drug addicts?"

When developing a research question, think about: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. The more of these you incorporate the more specific your research question will be.

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