Determining the scope of your paper to fit the length is important. Like a detective who wants to narrow a lead of a crime and suspect, you begin with a broad topic and continue to refine the topic to a specific aspect of a topic. A topic such as terrorism is too broad for a short paper.
When you are looking for factual information, it is important to know how to phrase your topic sentence. You might want to consider phrasing your topic as a question to ensure that you will answer the basic question of who, what, when, where, why, and how.
An example of a question can be: What is the relationship between United States intelligence operations and counter terrorism?
A helpful technique for narrowing a topic is to map out how you will refine your topic. Begin by putting terrorism at the top as your starting point and show your routes to subtopics.