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DLM 120 Imaging the Future: Science Fiction Ethics and Us: Home

Strategies to Define a Topic

How can you define your topic?

We suggest two great ways to define your topic:

1. Ask yourself who, what, where, when, why and how questions about your topic. Using cyber security as an example of a "too broad" topic, we can ask who? (what countries are responsible for hacking? who performs hacking for corporate espionage? who is affected?); why? and what? (why do people hack? what do they gain? what do they risk? what impact do they have?); how? (types of malware, types of social engineering) and where? (on networks, computers, phones, smart devices). To define you topic, your might decide to research how a specific group of hackers exploits a specific type of malware to extort money from corporations.

2. Create a concept map. To create a concept map, write down your broad topic in the middle of a piece of paper. Then brainstorm associated ideas. Similarly to the above example, the terms you write down will likely be good directions to take when defining your topic.

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