Think about your assignment, and how much information you can fit in that many pages. Is your topic so broad you could never fit everything in? Is your topic so narrow you're worried about finding enough to talk about? Once you decide on a topic of interest, you may need to broaden or narrow your topic scope. As you start your research, you should get some idea of whether your topic is too broad or too narrow from the number and relevance of the results of your searches in the databases.
- There will be too many results! It will be difficult to choose papers that could all contribute to a single paper, as each one will focus on a different aspect of anxiety, a different population, or situation. A better topic may be something like travel anxiety and airports
> Ways to narrow your topic:
- Is there a particular population you are interested in (children, men, college students, elderly, ethnic group, occupation, etc.)?
- Choose a more specific area of the condition (mental illness -> schizophrenia, memory -> eidetic, etc.)
- What perspective or take on the topic most interests you (care and treatment, prevention, causes, outcomes, economic factors, etc.)?
- Try adding more terms to your search, or using the facet menu on the results page to narrow things down.
- how did the Facebook unauthorized advertising experiments impact people trying to lose weight
- In this case, you could broaden either one of your main concepts and look at effect of targeted advertising in weight loss (not Facebook specifically) or outcomes of the Facebook unauthorized advertising experiments (not focused on weight loss specifically) - in this case, you might need to do both for effects of targeted advertising on the unaware.
> Expand your search:
- Try related terms and synonyms: check the database thesaurus for suggested terms.
- Researchers may use terms that are different from the ones you are using - is the term you're using the one used in class or the casual term?
- Skim through the abstract page of papers you do find for suggested keywords and subject terms: this can often suggest a new direction or focus, too.
- Talk to a librarian!
> Not finding enough information?
Just because you are not finding anything does not automatically mean your topic is too narrow. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is your topic so new it's unlikely that much has been published yet? Remember that a publicity announcement or news article may appear before a scholarly article has time to be peer reviewed and published an an academic journal.
- Which databases have you been searching? Have you tried a subject-specific one or just Google or a general database like Academic Search Premier? Look for database suggestions in the Articles & Databases tab of this guide, or talk with a librarian.