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STL 226: Social Studies for Elementary Majors: Topic Narrowing

Narrowing your Topic for Better Results

See the National History Day Theme Graphic Organizer (PDF download on the right side of the page) to help narrow your topic.

What is Debate?
Debates are often formal or informal meetings where people argue opposing views. Some debates have two sides, while others involve three (or more) perspectives.

What is Diplomacy?
Diplomacy usually means negotiating, compromising, and communicating with people or nations to find a nonviolent solution to a perceived problem.

Debate and diplomacy can occur independently or be intertwined.

Narrow Your Topic

Once you have chosen a broad topic, consider how you can narrow that to a manageable topic for the project. Ask these questions:
Where?
When?
Who?
(What) Related Events?
Why?

Example:
2021 Theme: Communication in History: The Key to Understanding

Broad Topic: World War II
     Where: Pacific Arena, Europe, United States, Africa
     When: Events leading up to the war; events leading up to US entering; specific battles; dropping of atomic bombs; etc.
     Who: generals, troops, leaders, civilians, etc.
     Related events: US war preparation, Japanese war preparation
     Types of Documents: army documents, newspaper articles, interviews, documentaries

Final Narrower Topic: Development and use of the Navajo language for use as code language in the South Pacific arena of World War II.

Subjects: Development and use of the Navajo language for use as code language in the South Pacific arena of World War II