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Defining Your Topic by Broadening

If you don't find enough information on your topic when you begin searching, you may need to broaden your topic. You can broaden your topic by selecting terms that are more general. Broadening your topic by searching for more general terms is a good research strategy for increasing the number of sources you find.

For example,Salmon is more general than Chinook Salmon and Fish is more general than Salmon.

Chinook Salmon above Salmon above Fish


For example, instead of asking, "What is the effect of drinking on driving?" ask:

"How does substance abuse affect driving?"

Once you've formulated a new question, you will have to repeat the process of picking out the significant terms and making a list of synonyms and related terms.


Chapter 1 — Page 6