From Topic to Question - Narrowing your Topic
|Example||Types of Sources|
TIP: Think of the 6 Question Words to help you narrow: Who, What, Where, When, Why, How
|Climate Change||Background Information (Wikipedia, Books)|
|Broad Question (What)||What is the effect of climate change on the environment?||Secondary Sources (Scholarly Articles)|
|More Specific Question||How is climate change affecting glaciers?||Secondary Sources (Scholarly Articles)|
|Research Question (Who, What, & Where)||How is glacial melting affecting wildlife in Alaska?||Primary Sources (Research Articles, Newspapers, Data & Statistics)|
TIP: How specific you get depends on the assignment and how much time you have to complete it.
Your question needs to be narrow enough to work on in the time allotted and broad enough to find sources. If your question requires data collection or obscure primary sources, it may not be feasible for a semester-length paper.
(Adapted from an original by Shonn Haren, Wichita State University Libraries, 2015; Borrowed from IUPUI University Library, 2019)