Section 1 Choosing and focusing a topic > Creating and refining a research question > Review

Putting it all Together

So far we've covered:

  • selecting a topic and focusing it
  • creating a research quesion
  • narrowing and broadening a topic

Now let's illustrate all this step by step with a sample topic.

Imagine that you have been assigned a twenty-page paper on some topic relating to the environment. 

First, you will need to find a subject within this very broad topic. One helpful strategy would be to consult an environmental encyclopedia. As you skim articles in the encyclopedia, you will get  ideas for a topic and for ways to make that topic progressively narrower and narrower. Thus, you might proceed in the following way:

© Reeves Library, Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary greyhound image © Morgan Conn, used with permission. Site designed by Ashley Garrett and Dorothy Glew.