Focusing Your Topic

While you are gaining background information, consider how you might focus your topic. Restate your topic more concisely based on information you have gathered. Stating your topic as a question is often helpful.

For example, our sample topic so far is pretty general: I want to write about endangered species.

After generating some questions about the topic and doing some background reading in encyclopedias, these discoveries were made:

So, after considering that I am only going to write a short 3-5 page paper, I may decide to limit my topic to just the United States. A more focused research question might be: "What is the history of the endangered species list in the United States?"