How to Narrow Down a Research Topic? Top Strategies to Focus

Choosing a research topic is the hardest phase in the life of a student. It defines how much successful the student will be in his career ahead. Students need top guidelines in choosing a research topic. It is necessary because choosing a broad and lengthy topic only enhances your problems instead of reducing them. You have to search a lot and experiment a lot to answer the research questions of a broad topic. Thus, your topic must be narrow and focused on a particular thing. Many students do not know how to achieve this narrowness. Do not worry; this article is here to serve the purpose of narrowing down a research topic. It will discuss all the top strategies that you can follow. So, let’s open our discussion with the following question:

Which is a strategy for narrowing a topic?

Choosing a topic for research is difficult at times. This difficulty is due to a number of reasons, such as the inability to think in the right direction. So, among all these difficulties, which strategy can help students stay on track? This is the main question of our today’s question. You can work on several strategies, but one important strategy is brainstorming.

Brainstorming is the perfect strategy to choose and evaluate different topics. Most of students hire dissertation writing services for brainstorming. It develops an incomparable synergy to relate to different research topics. It allows the students to think about the topic first in their minds and then narrow it. The multiple benefits of this strategy to narrow down a research topic are as follows:

  • It provides multiple angles to reflect on different topics. The multiple angles then make it easier to interpret the topics.
  • The bias towards a particular angle of the topic is a common thing. The brainstorming strategy helps the students in eliminating this bias.
  • Using other strategies to narrow down can take a lot of time. But this strategy is a quick and reliable one. It takes less time to reflect on a research topic and suggest alternates within minutes.
  • This strategy creates endless opportunities to explore the topic. It allows you to extract something new from the topic.
  • It builds trust between you and the topic. It brings mental satisfaction by telling that you have done your part.

What are the 4 steps in narrowing down a topic?

Narrowing down a research topic can also be achieved using a step-based approach. By following those steps, you can make your topic focused and specific for your academic research. Many steps and strategies are wandering in the market to help you narrow down your topic. This article will only look at the top four fundamental steps. Thus, a brief description of those four steps is as follows:

Time frame

The time window holds immense importance in research. It tells the readers which era the researcher is talking about. Defining the time frame first-hand is the first step towards narrowing down a topic. Without this, you cannot proceed further in your exercise of narrowing. Thus, you need to define the time range of your research. For example, you chose the time frame of 10 years from 1980 to 1990. See, now the topic is more focused and specific. You will look for the sources and material that fall in this time frame.


Along with time, the location of the research topic is also important. It further narrows your topic down to a particular location. It is also understandable that a researcher cannot research multiple locations or territories. It is advisable to choose one and the final location for the research to begin. Without this, you will not have a clear idea about your research area and its demographics. So, there are chances of error in such research. Thus, you must consider the location step as it will help you a lot in narrowing down a topic.


After defining the time frame and location of the research, it is time to decide on the category. A category refers to a different grouping in which your research falls. It could be anything, e.g., demographic, social or behavioural issues. Therefore, it is very important to define the category of your research topic. The category could also be a group of people or a set of theories that you are going to use in your research topic.


The last step is defining the main issue. It is right that you had an issue in your mind from the very first step. The problem is that the topic may be too broad with so many angles. In this step, you are particularly going to capture one angle and idea of the topic. It will further narrow down your topic, which is also your goal. Therefore, defining a particular issue to discuss can eliminate a lot of your problems. This step can also be called brainstorming, as discussed above. You think about all the angles and perspectives and choose one.


After a detailed discussion on the top strategies to narrow down a research topic, I hope you know how to do it. Further, let’s narrow down a topic as an exercise. In the example, you will see the use of all the top four strategies.

Original topic: A review of the comic books.

As you can see, the original topic is very broad. It will pose many difficulties to the researcher regarding comic books. Let’s narrow it down with the help of the steps mentioned below:

Time: First up is time; let’s say the time frame of the books is 1938 to 1950.

Location: Let’s say comic books publication location is America

Category: Let’s say that you want to write on superhero comics

Issue: Your issue is the representation of female superheroes

Let’s have a look at the final narrowed down topic.

Narrowed topic: The representation of female heroes in the American superhero comic books published between 1938 and 1950.


Narrowing down a research topic requires some extraordinary skills and steps to follow. By following the steps mentioned above, you can narrow down any topic successfully.