Sample Broad Topic: Medicine and Society
How did societies cope with epidemic diseases such as Cholera?
You will often need to narrow down your subject by picking parameters and asking critical questions:
Where? in what geographical area?
When? what time period ?
1800-1900 (esp. 1832, 1834, 1892)
Who? Which population(s)?
immigrants to Toronto
What? what aspects of Cholera in society?
political and/or sociological results...
...of the prevention and treatment measures.....
...taken by the province and/or municipality
...for the sake of public health
It is also useful to ask How scholars in the field approach this topic:
How? do scholars write about this topic? what is their approach? how is this topic covered in the literature?
Where does your voice/argument fit within these discussions?
Still lots of questions to answer:
Which results exactly? attitudes towards immigrants
Which measures exactly? municipal by-laws regarding sanitation
Your argument or assertion will develop as you conduct your research:
Improved prevention and treatment measures for Cholera, by the municipal government, for the sake of public health, in Toronto in 1834 resulted in fewer mortality rates than in 1832.
What effects, if any, did these measures have on immigrants to Toronto?
For example, did it increase/decrease racism, stigmatization and/or isolation?