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Eng 102 - Hamlet (Grigg)

This guide is designed to help you complete Ms. Grigg's Hamlet research paper in English 102.

3. Narrow Your Topic

Narrow SignOnce you've done some initial background reading, it's time to narrow down your topic to what you really want to write about.  Remember your assignment requirements and consider what you've read thus far.

Ask yourself:

What aspect of Hamlet do I want to focus on?

Madness in Hamlet

Love in Hamlet

Sexuality in Hamlet

Friendship in Hamlet

Revenge in Hamlet

Deception in Hamlet

Death in Hamlet

What interests me about the topic?

What do I want to write about?

As you start to narrow this down into a thesis, you'll want to continue to look for more sources. As you read, you might tweak or adjust your topic/thesis.  In order to help you find more related sources about your topic, you'll want to identify keywords to help you search.

Keywords

As you think about what concepts you want to write about, think about what particular words might be found in a good article about that topic.  Think of related keywords:

Madness Love Deception

melancholy
madness
sanity
crazy

marriage
romantic
Ophelia

appearance and reality
appearance vs. reality
ambiguity

Keywords work best by trial-and-error. Never do only one search. Some keywords will work better than others, and some keywords may lead you to different articles than you found in your first search.  Search the databases with the keywords you selected to find relevant articles. And remember to ask a librarian if you need assistance coming up with keywords or looking for sources.