Choosing a topic to write on can be challenging sometimes. Narrowing and setting limits to a broad topic will help you to achieve a more manageable one.
It’s midnight; you are at your computer staring at the screen. You have the urge to write but find it difficult to come up with a very good topic. So, you become frustrated, turn off your computer and go to bed. Can you relate to such an experience?
Choosing a good topic to write about can be difficult at times, especially if you are doing a research paper or an essay. Most times you will choose to write about something on your own because you find it interesting, and you want to share your thoughts with others. However, there are times when you are given a broad topic to write about, and you may become confused.
For example, if someone asks you to write on the topic “Voting”, this might pose a problem because there are so many things that can be written on such a topic. Therefore, in a situation like this you will need to set limits on your topic.
Setting Topic Limits
Broad topics have to be limited. Meaning, you have to decide what it is about the topic you want to write about. This is when your pre-writing skills are needed. If you pre-write you will be able to choose one of your ideas or facts as your limited topic. Then, you can let your interest determine how you limit the topic.
Say, for example, you have an interest in the physically disabled, then your topic about voting could be an argumentative one like “Blind persons: should they or should they not vote?” Your interest could lead you to many more topics; it all depends on your choice. You can also narrow a broad topic into stages.
Narrowing a Topic In Stages
Narrowing broad topics by using stages will result in more manageable and interesting topics, and you will be able to shape the topic to suit your interest.
Say, for instance, you are given the topic “Sports” to write about; it is very clear that this topic is too broad. Therefore, you could limit the topic by using these three steps:
1. Write down the general topic: Sports
2. Limit the general topic: College baseball
3. Write a more limited topic: Qualities of a good baseball coach.
The above shows that from the topic “Sports”, you can get a more limited topic, which is “Qualities of a good baseball coach.”
Following these steps will ensure that you produce a very good topic that is not too broad but controllable and limited enough to write about.
Remember that readers want to be engaged, so choosing a very good topic is an essential part of active writing. If our topics are not intact to the contents of our writing then our readers will not be able to find the relevant information. Choose your research topics wisely and good luck with your writing.