How To Narrow Down Your Topic

When tasked to write a short essay, such as one containing 1,000 words, having too broad a topic can give you a serious problem in keeping the word count low. Broad subjects tend to require more evidence and facts to effectively argue, resulting in extended word counts that could prove harder to trim (even with a precise writing software) than you originally bargain for.

The moment you ascertain that a topic is too broad, you have to take immediate steps to remedy it. How? By narrowing it down into a more manageable, more precise one.

1. Identify the main elements of the topic you’ve decided is too broad. Write each element down and test different ways you can apply it to your essay. Most of the time, one or two of the smaller components will sound like a good fit. The shorter the essay, the more closely cut your topic has to be.

2. Look at the big picture. Instead of drilling down, move up into the more general field or subject that your topic belongs to. Take note of the most important aspects of that subject, then see how you can relate it to your chosen, using the resulting intersection as your new subject matter.

3. If you’re in school, always a teacher or an advisor to help. Those who have been exposed to the subject for extensive lengths of time will usually have a good idea of how you can better drill down a broad topic.