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Hot Topics: Develop & Refine the Topic

Concussions in FootballConcussions in Football: Develop & Refine the Topic

This page walks you through the the process of refining the research topic of concussions in football. We've already gone through the steps of:

green checkmark1. Browse for Ideas

2. Pick a Topic

Pick a Topic

listed on the main Pick a Topic page. Next, it's important to develop and focus your topic more with the next two steps:

right arrow3. Do a Little Research

right arrow4. Refine Your Topic


3. Do a Little Research

Read a few articles about concussions in football. They could be from the place you were browsing, news articles you find through Google, a library reference database such as Britannica Academic, or even a Wikipedia article.

► See the Find Sources page for this sample topic for links to library resources.

You want to get a bigger picture of the issues around the topic. A quick search in different places shows more specific issues and things related to concussions in football.

Source Search Results / Article Topics
Google search on football concussions filtered to news youth league, high school, and college football; new helmet technology; testing for concussions (see screenshot below)
Britannica Academic (library database) search on concussions and football "chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)" article other sports where CTE is an issue (e.g. ice hockey, baseball, boxing, soccer, wrestling)
Wikipedia "Concussions in American football" article concussion prevention, litigation against the NFL, efforts for improving recovery from concussions


4. Refine Your Topic

Based on the background research you've just done, narrow in on a more specific topic. Your project will be much more manageable if you focus on one piece of the larger topic. Here are some examples of narrower takes on the football concussions topic:

  • Youth football league response to the problem of concussions
  • Making high school football safer through helmet technology
  • How to support college athletes who have experienced repeated concussions
  • Whether football should continue to be so prominent as a youth sport
  • Or maybe you decide to research concussions related to ice hockey instead of football. *

Happy with your topic?

Find SourcesMove on to the next step of finding more sources on concussions in football.

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NPR News on Concussions

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