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PSY 103 - Research Project

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 discuss. Remember your assignment requirements and consider what you've read thus far.

Ask yourself:

What aspect of the topic do I want to focus on?

What interests me about the topic?

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


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.

Unlike Google, our databases work best using just a few search terms (no phrases or sentences). If you are using more than one search term, put phrases in quotation marks and use AND to connect two search terms. For example:

"Oprah Winfrey" and wealth

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.