Here are some basic tips for limiting a topic for any research paper.
Choose: a topic that interests you. If it's something you like, you'll enjoy it.
Make sure: that your topic is not so broad that you are overwhelmed with information.
Make sure: that your topic is not so narrow that you can't find enough information.
Limit: your topic to a time period if necessary. For example, 2, 5 or 10 years.
Limit: your topic to a geographical area if necessary. For example, the United States or Kentucky or Louisville.
Consider: how much information you need. For example, your professor may require 3 scholarly articles, 1 book, and 1 newspaper article. It's best to know what you need before you even start looking.
Start: your research early to eliminate stress and anxiety.
Stumped about what to write about? Here are a few places to get ideas. Your instructor may have used other similar terms for your research assignment, such as hot topics, taking a stand, advocacy and argument, pro and con, or persuasive essay/speech. Because of disagreements in controversial topics, books and articles often have biases, conclusions based on emotions or beliefs, facts taken out of context, and authors lacking authority. It is important to carefully evaluate all sources of information, especially websites.
A topic is too broad to be managable when you find that you have too many different, and oftentimes conflicting and only remotely related, ideas about how to investigate the research problem. Although you will want to start the writing process by considering a variety of different approaches to studying the research problem, you will need to narrow the focus of your investigation at some point. This way, you don't attempt to do too much in one paper.
Here are some strategies to help focus your topic into something more manageable:
NOTE: Apply one of the above first to determine if that gives you a manageable research problem to investigate; combining multiple strategies risks creating the opposite problem--your topic becomes too narrowly defined and you can't locate enough research or data to support your study.