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Citations & More

Learn to choose a topic, cite and organize your sources, and get help polishing your paper

Choosing a Topic

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Narrowing a Topic

Answer the following 5Ws when narrowing a topic -- Who?, What?, Where?, Why?, and When?. The following is an example of how a topic might be narrowed:

Topic:   Immigration

Narrower topic: Immigration policy

Narrower topic: Immigration policy reform

Narrower topic: Immigration policy reform (What?) -- Public opinion (Who?) -- United States (Germany, United Kingdom, France, etc.) (Where?)

Narrower topic: Immigration policy reform (What?) -- United States (Where?) -- 20th century (When?)

This 5 minute, 20 second video illustrates the practice of narrowing one's research and writing topic. The video was created by Henry Madden Library, Fresno State University. For information on how to find sources for your topic through the NNU Riley Library, contact or stop by the Research Help Desk in the Learning Commons