Once you have a general topic, you can develop it by using a chart technique (see box at right). Using the chart technique will help to focus your topic.
Sometimes you have a general idea for a paper like "animal behavior" or "America in the 1920s" These topics are too broad; there is too much information. "
Developing a Topic...
You can immediately start using a chart to develop your topic, but usually it's worth scanning an encyclopedia or book to pick up keywords and important ideas, people, dates, etc. The more ideas you can put in the chart, the easier it will be to select a topic.
Use a blank chart (created by Wilfrid Lauthier University Library, Waterloo, Ontario) to begin focusing your topic. The more ideas you can put in the chart, the easier it will be to select a topic.
Usually topics evolve as the research shows you more aspects, but this technique should get you started.
Special thanks to Vija G. Mendelson, who created these awesome videos