Common Ways to Refine a Search Topic

Narrowing down a research topic is never easy, but a good topic is crucial to effective research. A broad topic can prevent you from choosing appropriate sources of information, defining a research problem, etc. Therefore, you should narrow down a general topic to a topic of interest before exploring it in detail.

That being said, do you have trouble narrowing down your research topic? Don’t worry, because here are some common ways to do it perfectly.

Three common ways to narrow a search topic

Let’s start by discussing the three most common ways to narrow down your search topic:

The 7-step model

This is a simple pattern you can follow to find a good research topic. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Write down your area of ​​general interest

Suppose you want to research “social media”. Write it down and go to step 2.

2nd step: Bring in the demographic factors.

Adding them will help narrow the scope of your search topic. You can now change your topic from “Social Media” to “How Social Media Helps College Students”. Guess what! You are already doing a good job narrowing the subject. Let’s go to step number 3.

Step 3: Give more details about the topic under discussion – Be specific.

At the end of this step, your topic should look like this: “Does social media help students get good grades?” » You are now ready for step 4.

Step 4: Focus on one aspect of the subject.

Familiarize yourself with the factors that can make social media useful for students to get good grades. The topic will now change to “How does informative content on Facebook help students learn quickly?”

Step 5: Gather more details about the topic and make a list.

You can check out recent surveys on how many students use Facebook and how it relates to their academics.

Step 6: Condense the topic.

Now, at this point, you need to put some effort into reducing the clutter and making your topic read as one sentence. If it’s already a single sentence, you can skip to the last step.

Step 7: A little tweaking.

Add things like correlation and time to your advantage here. Therefore, our finalized research topic would be “How do Facebook content creators help students get good grades?” »

The SOCRAPR model

If you are not comfortable with applying the 7-step model, you can rely on the SOCRAPR model to narrow down a research topic. This is how it works.

S – Similarities: What does social media look like today compared to years past?

O – Opposites: How have social networks evolved over time?

C – Contrast: How does social media affect students’ academic abilities?

R – Relationship: what is the relationship between social media and students?

A – Anthropomorphism: What are students missing who are not on social networks?

P – Personification: Consider the good qualities of social media.

A – Recurring: Will students have to use all social media platforms, or will the most popular suffice?

Compare and contrast other research papers

If the SOCRAPR model seems too technical to you, don’t worry, there is another way. He studies the completed research papers and analyzes their similarities and differences. This will give you a fair idea of ​​what to expect when researching a particular topic.

Continuing our example research topic on social media and students, we can start from:

“How helpful was social media to students in 2015 compared to today? »

Why is it important to narrow your search topic?

You might have a good idea of the importance of educational research. Therefore, you know how important it is to avoid a large or complex research topic. Refine a search topic:

  • Helps you avoid irrelevant information.

If your topic is too broad, you’ll have no idea what to include or what to omit. Therefore, you may add details that are not at all relevant to your search. Refining a search topic will keep your search specific.

  • Helps you choose an appropriate analysis method.

A clear research framework is essential, and a narrow research topic makes it feasible.


Despite the universal understanding of the importance of research in education, it sometimes gets hectic for students. Maybe the topic they choose is too complex or too broad. The latter will haunt them as they delve deeper into the research and could end up causing them to add too much irrelevant information. Therefore, narrowing down a topic is crucial to write a quality research paper.

If you still have a problem with writing a quality research paper, you can outsource it to the best academic writers at Perfect Essay Writing. They share years of writing expertise good research topics.

Authors biography :

Emily Johnson is an avid writer who works as Senior Research Writer for She enjoys conducting in-depth research, collecting complex information, and then explaining concepts in layman’s terminology for the readers’ proper understanding.

Jessica C. Bell