What could go wrong?
A topic that is too broad will be difficult or impossible to adequately address in the space and time allowed. You are likely to run into a number of problems if your topic is too broad:
How to fix it:
Narrow your topic by combining it with related concepts: places, events, people, etc. These concepts must fit with the original topic to create an interesting and feasible topic.
If you aren't sure which concepts would work well, you may need to use background resources to learn more about your topic.
(This section is adapted from part 3 of Duke University's Guide to Library Research)
How to fix it: an example
Too-broad topic: "Censorship"
The Penn library system has hundreds of books and thousands of articles about censorship.One way to narrow "censorship" to a manageable topic is to combine it with related concepts:
...United States, New York City, England, etc.
...Now, Early 20th century, Victorian Period, etc.
...Socialists, Immigrants, Women, Catholics
• Related events?
...Civil War, McCarthyism
...Newspapers, Television, Movies, Comics, etc.
Censorship of newspapers during the Red scare
Censorship of books in Victorian England