Answered By: Allison Ball
Last Updated: May 11, 2018     Views: 460

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, the more time you will save because you will be able to 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.  For example, if you are researching the job market, you could choose to focus on 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. For example, "What are the challenges faced by college graduates entering the workforce?"

By location 

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

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. For example "Why is violent behaviour prevalent in drug addicts?"

When developing a research question, think about the 5 W's and 1 H: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How? The more of these you incorporate the more specific your research question will be.

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