What could go wrong?
You are likely to run into a number of problems if your topic is too narrow:
How to fix it:
To broaden a topic replace its central concepts with more general concepts. If you don't know enough about the topic to identify its central concepts, you may want to check some background resources.
(This section is adapted from part 3 of Duke University's Guide to Library Research)
How to fix it: an example
Too-narrow topic: "The economic failure of the Bates Mill in Lewiston, Maine during the mid 20th century"
Broaden a narrow topic by asking about more general concepts: Can my issues or events be classified with similar issues or events? Can my time or place be extended?
» more general concept » most general concept
• Economic failure
» Economic history » History
• Bates Mill
» Water-powered fabric mills » Fabric mills
» Maine » New England
• Mid-20th century
» 20th century » No specified time period
The history of fabric mills in New England