Defining & Focusing Your Topic

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Step 2: Write down everything you know about your topic, no matter how trivial or out-there.

  • Make a list of things you already know or think you know about your topic. Include ideas and opinions you have on the topic.

  • Use this list to help you begin your information search. Make sure to keep an open mind! You may not know as much about your topic as you think you do.

Step 3: Write a topic statement.

  • Once youíve thought a bit about your assignment and the topic youíve chosen, itís time to think about what you want to say about your topic.

  • Write down a topic statement, a concise summary of what your paper is going to be about (example: Gender stereotypes play an important role in Legally Blonde, Daddy Day Care, and Flashdance. In all three films, the stereotype of the feminine is explored and debunked.)

  • Make a list of the key points you want to make about your topic.

  • Refer to your topic statement throughout your library research to be sure that you are collecting resources that are relevant.

Click here for a worksheet to help you define and focus your topic




Use the list of ideas about your topic and your topic statement in selecting search terms.

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