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Choosing Your Topic REDIRECT: Example Topics

What is a manageable topic?

A manageable topic is a topic that isn't too broad or too narrow.  A topic that is too narrow will find very few, if any, results.

Broad topics:

A topic that is too broad focuses on one important concept. This kind of search will will find thousands of results for you to look through. These are examples of broad topics:

  • leadership

  • cancer

  • health care

Narrow topics

A topic that is too narrow usually has many concepts, or focuses on a specific geographic area or group. This type of search will find few, if any, results. These are examples of narrow topics:

  • burnout of neonatal nurses aged 30-40 in Chicago
    • keywords: burnout, neonatal nurses, 30-40, Chicago


  • academic achievement of 3rd graders in Florida private schools
    • keywords: academic achievement, 3rd graders, Florida, private schools


  • the effect drought has on bird migration along the Mississippi River in Wabasha County, Minnesota
    • keywords: drought, bird migration, Mississippi River, Wabasha County, Minnesota

Manageable topic

A manageable topic generally focuses on two to three important concepts. This allows a search to bring back enough information without having to look through thousands of items.These are examples of  manageable topics:

  • How does leadership impact employee retention?
    • keywords: leadership, employee retention


  • Does socioeconomic status impact academic achievement in elementary schools?
    • keywords: socioeconomic status, academic achievement, elementary schools

What makes these topics problematic in terms of research?


This is very broad. What about obesity? Causes? Effects? Relationship to other issues? Add concepts to build a topic that is a better research choice.

Does mentoring improve the academic achievement of African American males in high school?

This is a fairly specific topic that includes concepts that are often researched. The topic may be fine for your paper, but you may need to remove some of the concepts when you search for articles. For example, many researchers will not limit their study to one gender, but they may include a gender breakdown in their results.

Does maternal attachment affect the ability of future accountants to comply with Sarbanes Oxley?

This exact topic is probably not of interest to researchers. While there are some researchers looking at maternal attachment and others who research Sarbanes Oxley, it's extremely unlikely that research has tied the two together.

What factors influence the growth of farmers' markets in Miami?

The addition of a location to this topic may result in very few results. Depending on the type of research you are doing (discussion, paper, dissertation), you may want to remove the geographic limit. Both the scope and the purpose of your research project will affect whether this topic needs to be refined.