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  • Generating More Than One Topic Idea
    How Purpose Affects Topics How Audience Affects Topics Choosing Workable Topics How to Find a Topic Subjects and Topics Starting With What You Know General Strategies for Coming Up With Topics Strategies for Finding Topics Appropriate to Particular Types of Assignments Generating More Than One Topic Idea Narrowing Topics Deciding When a Topic is Too Broad Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics Generating More Than One Topic Idea I n order to choose a topic you need to have several available to choose from It is best to avoid being committed to one topic at this first stage of the writing process since not every topic will pan out Writers are usually more successful when they have a selection of topics which they can put to the test to determine whether or not they are workable given the writing assignment

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=418&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • Narrowing Topics
    Deciding When a Topic is Too Broad Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics Narrowing Topics T he scope of a topic depends on how much time and space you have to write and how much detail you are trying to use For example describing all the causes of World War II in three pages is impossible You would have to either narrow your topic some more or write hundreds of pages to adequately discuss every cause Defining your topic before you start writing will save you time and help you to research and or to develop your thinking in a clear methodical way It is important to examine the topics we choose to determine whether they are too broad or in some instances too narrow for the writing assignments we are given Once you have decided that a topic is

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=419&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • Deciding When a Topic is Too Broad
    Deciding When a Topic is Too Broad Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics Deciding When a Topic is Too Broad Kate Kiefer English Professor If a writer doesn t present details quickly enough then the topic is usually too broad If the reader can expect the paper to go in one direction but it goes in another the topic is usually too broad or not stated precisely enough If I can ask six million questions about whether the writer will include this or that point the topic is too broad If I do a library search and turn up 200 listings or an Internet search and discover 1 000 hits the topic is too broad A topic is too broad to be workable when you find that you have too many different but oftentimes remotely related ideas about that topic While you want to start the writing process with as many ideas as possible you will want to narrow your focus at some point so that you aren t attempting to do too much in one essay Where essays requiring research are concerned your topic is too broad if you are able to find thousands of sources when conducting a simple library or Internet search For example conducting a search on foreign languages in Oregon will provide you with policies foreign language departments and cultural issues just to name a few When this happens you can try various narrowing strategies

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=420&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow
    Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow Steve Reid English Professor You have to careful so your topic is not too narrow for your audience You don t want readers to say Well so what I couldn t care less One the most important roles a topic plays is impacting an audience If you get so narrowed and focused a topic can become too academic or pedantic For example every year at graduation I watch people laugh when they hear the title of a thesis or dissertation The students who wrote these documents were very narrowed and focused but their audiences were very restricted Though student writers most often face the challenge of limiting a topic that is too broad they occasionally have to recognize that they have chosen a topic that is too narrow or that they have narrowed a workable topic too much A topic is too narrow if you can t find any information about it For example suppose your foreign language subject to foreign language policy in South Dakota Although you might have a strong interest in this topic South Dakota may not have a specific policy about foreign languages If you have chosen the topic teaching Chinese in elementary schools and your research attempts have been fruitless it may be that you are considering a topic that no one else has previously presented In other words no one has determined that Chinese should be a major language taught as commonly as Spanish or French If this happens to be the case keep your topic in mind because it could

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=421&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • General Strategies for Narrowing Topics
    When a Topic is Too Broad Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics General Strategies for Narrowing Topics O ne of the first things writers do when they realize that they need to narrow the scope of their topic is to ask themselves the w questions so familiar to journalists Who What Where When and Why and oftentimes How These questions can help you locate your specific points of interest within your general topic area For example to narrow a topic like foreign languages you could begin with the what and when questions and decide you are interested in foreign language studies in grades K 12 Asking the where question you might arrive at foreign language studies in grades K 12 in Oregon And asking the who question might cause you to limit the topic again to state policy regarding foreign

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=422&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • Research Considerations
    Topics Choosing Workable Topics How to Find a Topic Subjects and Topics Starting With What You Know General Strategies for Coming Up With Topics Strategies for Finding Topics Appropriate to Particular Types of Assignments Generating More Than One Topic Idea Narrowing Topics Deciding When a Topic is Too Broad Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics Research Considerations I f your writing assignment requires research you will probably find that the research process itself will dictate how broad or narrow your topic should be We have all had the experience of doing a library search on a word like environment and coming up with thousands of sources Almost as common is the experience of searching a term like cultural animation and coming up with only one source that seems useful The topics we choose are often directly related to our research

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=426&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • Moving from Topic to Thesis
    More Than One Topic Idea Narrowing Topics Deciding When a Topic is Too Broad Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics Moving from Topic to Thesis I t is important to remember that a narrow topic is not the same thing as a thesis statement Unlike a topic a thesis makes a claim of fact provides a claim of value or makes a recommendation about a topic under consideration For example your narrowed topic might be the underemphasis on foreign language in U S secondary schools A focused thesis statement making a claim about this topic might read U S secondary schools should require elementary students to take at least one course in a foreign language sometime during the 4th through 6th grades Transforming a workable topic into a possible thesis is really just a continuation of the narrowing process with

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=427&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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  • Developing a Working Thesis
    Deciding When a Topic Is Too Narrow General Strategies for Narrowing Topics Research Considerations Moving from Topic to Thesis Developing a Working Thesis Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring Research Arriving at a Possible Thesis for an Essay Requiring You to Take a Position Working With Topics in Different Disciplines Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Choosing and Refining Topics Developing a Working Thesis A working thesis is a tentative statement that you make about your topic early in the writing process for the purpose of directing your thinking early This thesis is likely to change somewhat or to be abandoned altogether as you move through the writing process so it is best not to become too enamored of it There are two components of a working thesis The first is quite simply your topic and the second is your tentative statement about your topic For example if my narrowed topic is Rising property taxes in small towns in the Rocky Mountain region I might add the following statement about italics that topic cause longtime residents and landowners in those towns not to be able to keep their property As I begin whatever research

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=428&guideid=20 (2015-10-15)
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