Narrowing a Topic that is too Broad
You'll want to be sure that you select a topic that has a clear focus. Topics like social movements or homelessness or surveillance are much too broad in themselves, so you will need to narrow the focus.
Some common ways to narrow a topic that is too broad:
Expanding a Topic that is too Narrow
It is also possible to choose a topic that is too narrow, for which there may not be enough information published. In my experience, topics that are particularly difficult to research include:
In SOCY 122, the topic you choose for Assignment 1 (the annotated bibliography) will come from a reading of your choice from the provided list of readings on your course OnQ site. Your TA can talk with you about whether your topic idea is too narrow or too broad. Topics that take you into the literature produced by psychologists have been purposely avoided. The TAs have been instructed not to approve topics of the following nature: psychology, medical science, human/child development, self esteem, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, body image, mental health issues such as ADD or learning disabilities.
If the explanation you develop for your particular issue resides inside the person (biology, DNA, self esteem, anxiety, depression, aggression, chemical imbalance or any number of other internal processes of humans) then you are not using a sociological or social-psychological frame of reference. If the explanation you develop for your issue resides within the social structure (the economy, the workplace, the education system, the political structure or processes, culture, gender relations, race relations, etc.) then you are thinking in terms of a sociological frame of reference.
This short video, produced by NCSU Libraries, correctly points out that picking your topic is intertwined with finding and reading sources. When you first select a topic, it is just an idea that you test with some exploratory research. Let the published research help guide you in adjusting (narrowing or broadening) the scope of your topic.