In just about every context, “Focus on a Topic” means pick one. Don’t discuss more than one topic in a paper. Focus on one topic. Of course, the topic may have different themes and ideas, but think about what you want to write about, and write about that “one” thing, not the many. In some cases, “Focus on a Topic” can have other implications also.
Within a conversation it is easy to get off the path into ramble. Typically, the conversation heads down a certain path, but each time you insert a ramble or a digression, you get off the original path. The same is true in physically walking down a straight path and getting off the path because some thing or someone catches your attention.
“Focus on a Topic,” in this respect, means don’t get off the original path of the topic you choose. Believe in the topic you have chosen and believe that you will be able to support it. Don’t offer digressions and rambles as fillers. If the support and data you choose have no relevance to your topic, throw them out. If you are plagued with the challenge of offering more analysis about your topic, within a paragraph, then continue to break down each example you have supplied until the example is in its simplest form. In math, a fraction is broken down until it can’t be simplified anymore. The same is true in writing when it comes to analyzing a literary work. Stay fixed on your topic.
When offering examples, continue the process of analysis and reduce the example to simple form. In other words, answer all of the questions that need to be answered. If there is any question left to ask about your example, then you have not finished the process. Answer who, what, when, where, why, for what reason, how, and in what way. When you focus on each example, the nature of each, then you are likely not to incorporate a foreign element. “Focus on a Topic” in this sense means stay within the circle of your topic; any deviation from this path represents a willingness to substitute something that doesn’t fit.
Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.