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Broadest To The Narrowest

Grade 10
Sep 6, 2022

Study each set of topics given below carefully, and then write B in the blank for Broadest Scope and N in the blank of Narrowest Scope. The first one is done for you as an example. 

  1. a. Mercury                                                                                                       __N__ 

b. Planet                                                                                                           __B__ 

  1. a. Earthquakes in the history of Indonesia                                           ______ 

b. The last major earthquake was in January 2021                           ______ 

  1. a. English grammar rules                                                                            ______ 

b. How to form complex sentences                                                         ______ 

  1. a. Protecting Mountain gorillas                                                                 ______ 

b. Protecting animals’ species at risk                                                     ______ 

Study the following examples. 

  1. Preservation efforts for places of historical or cultural significance  
  1. Preservation efforts for UNESCO world heritage sites  

In the above sentences, “Preservation efforts for places of historical or cultural significance” has the broadest scope. It is the most general. 


And the sentence, “Preservation efforts for UNESCO world heritage sites” has a narrower scope. It focuses on preservation efforts for a specific subset of historically or culturally significant places. 

What is meant by order the topics from broadest to narrowest? 

  • A topic with a broader scope is more general and covers a wider range of ideas.  
  • A topic with a narrower scope is more specific and covers a more limited range of ideas. 

Topics can be broad or narrow in scope, but narrow topics are generally easier to develop fully in the writing because they are more focused. 

Topics become narrower when the topic is limited to a particular aspect of the topic, such as 

  • a more specific time period 
  • place or group of people. 
  • Steps to Narrowing a Topic 

Topic: Indian space exploration (From General to specific) 

A. First start out with a general topic. Take the topic and break it down into categories by asking the five W’s and H. 

  1. Who? (Indian Space Exploration) 
  1. What? (Manned Space Missions) 
  1. Where? (Moon Exploration) 
  1. When? (Space exploration in the 1980’s) 
  1. Why? (Quest to leave Earth) 
  1. How? (Rocket to the Moon: Space Exploration) 

Now consider the following question areas to generate specific ideas to narrow down your topic. 

Example topic: Indian space exploration (from specific to narrow ideas) 

  • Problems faced? (What are the problems faced in space) 
  • Problems overcome? (How to overcome problem of zero gravity) 
  • Motives? (Settling in space in future) 
  • Effects on a group? (Renewing faith in science: aftershock of the Moon mission) 
  • Member group? (NASA engineers etc.) 
  • Group affected? (The group of people like scientists, technicians involved) 
  • Group benefited? (Corporations/companies that made money from the Indian Space Program) 
  • Group responsible for/paid for _____ (The common people who pay taxes and their money(billion) utilized) 

Finally, refine your ideas by considering changing a topic from broadest to the narrowest using any of the following ideas. 


S = Similarities  

O = Opposites  

C = Contrasts  

R = Relationships  

Look at the following flow chart to make the topic Broadest to Narrowest. 

Broadest topic   

General topic (generalize the given topic)

Specific topic (break it down into categories by asking the five W’s and one H.) 

Narrowest topic 

  Order a topic from the broadest to the narrowest ……. 

  We should know 2 things  

  1. Firstly, the topic is the subject or principal focus of your writing.  
  1. Secondly, the scope of a topic is the range of ideas that the topic covers. 

Therefore, order the topics from broadest to narrowest means  

  • A topic from a wider range (scope) of ideas to topic of limited range(scope) of ideas.  
  • A topic with a broader scope is more general and covers a wider range of ideas.  
  • A topic with a narrower scope is more specific and covers a more limited range of ideas. 

Look at the following Example  

Topic 1: Plays written by William Shakespeare 

Topic 2: Romeo and Juliet. 

Romeo and Juliet is a specific play written by William Shakespeare, so Topic 2 has a narrower scope and topic 1 is Broadest topic. 

Topics become narrower when you limit yourself to a particular aspect of the topic, such as  

  • A more specific time period 
  • Specific place, or group of people 
  • Solution. 

The problem encountered if a topic that is too broad is chosen  

  1. The topic cannot be adequately analyzed in the assigned length of the paper. 
  2. The topic may be over‐generalized or summarized rather than analyzing the topic. 
  1. What makes a topic broad? 
  • A topic is too broad when it has too many different ideas or resources about that topic is found.  
  1. Why is there a need to narrow the focus? 
  • While writing process with as many ideas as possible is started, there 
  • May a need to narrow at some point so that attempting to do too much in one essay is avoided. 

How to make a topic from Narrow scope to Broadest scop. 

  1. If the topic is so narrowed and focused, it can become too academic or pedantic.  If the topic is too narrow, try making it broader by asking the related questions. 
  1. The topic is too specific – Generalize what is being looked for.  Example: if the topic is spread of a disease for a specific ethnic group in Chicago, USA, broaden the topic by generalizing to all ethnic groups in Chicago, USA  
  1. The topic is too new for anything substantive to have been written. If it is research on a recently breaking news event, it is likely to only find information about it in the news media. Be sure to search databases that contain articles from newspapers.  
  1. Use different databases.  Use the Library catalog to find other databases in the subject area which might cover the topic from a different perspective. Also, use excellent search techniques to ensure you are getting the most out of every database.  
  1. Change the Words.  Are you using fewer common words or too much jargon to describe your topic?  When reading background information, note how your topic is expressed in these materials.  

Let us practice  

  1. Identify the topics and categorize each of them stating whether narrowest or the broadest in scope  

Topic 1. Career prospects for healthcare professionals. 

Topic 2. The increasing demand for workers in therapy and rehabilitation professions. 

Topic 3. The rise in job opportunities for physical therapists.  


Topic 1, “Career prospects for healthcare professionals” has the broadest scope. It is the most general. 

Topic 2 “The increasing demand for workers in therapy and rehabilitation professions” has a narrower scope. It focuses on the career prospects for a specific category of healthcare professionals. 

Topic 3 “The rise in job opportunities for physical therapists”, has the narrowest scope. It focuses on a specific therapy and rehabilitation profession. 

  1. Select the correct answer. 

Which is the best example of a topic that is broadest? 

  1. Learning history encourages a more multicultural viewpoint on the world 
  1. The history of the of the Indian Rajput 
  1. The importance of teaching history in schools 
  1. The positive effects of teaching history to students at a young age 

Ans. A. Learning history encourages a more multicultural viewpoint on the world is broadest topic 

Broadest To The Narrowest


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