UTS Library

31265 Communications for IT Professionals: Narrowing a Topic

In this guide:

Narrowing a topic and developing a research question

You may already have chosen an interesting topic, but still don't know what your research question is. Gathering information will help you explore new possibilities and narrow your topic.

• Gather background information:
- Use reference sources to get a general overview, e.g. AccessScience, Wiley encyclopedia of computer science and engineering.
- Find some review articles from a database, e.g. Web of Science, Scopus.

Make a concept table:
    Sample topic: Privacy issues of healthcare data

Main terms

privacy issues

 healthcare data


confidentiality issues

 health care data

 health data

 medical data

 medical records

 medical information

Related terms

any aspects, components, methodology or technologies related to the keywords

security issues




filter private information

policy of privacy issues

 data use

 data access

 data sharing

 data mining

 data analysis 

 • Ask yourself:
- What subtopics relate to the broader topic?
- What questions do these sources raise?
- What do you find interesting about the topic?

Concept Mapping: A diagram or graphical tool that visually represents relationships between concepts and ideas. 
- Place your main topic or term in a central position
- Create lines out to related terms, including what connects them to the lines.

Watch video on How to Create a Concept Map using Paper, Microsoft Word or Google Drive