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Human Rights: Narrowing Your Topic

An introductory research guide for high school students.

IBO

You may be passionate about human rights, but that doesn't mean you know which specific issue you'd like to write about. The IB expects you to come up with your research topic on your own and we encourage you to read widely to discover your area of interest. The library has provided some links below to help you with defining your topic. We have included advice on how to narrow a topic and some news resources where you can read about current humanitarian crises. Additional research help is always available by contacting the library. 

Narrowing Your Topic Activities

Narrowing Your Research Topic

Consult news sources, videos, and encyclopedias, such as Wikipedia, as a starting point for your research. Wikipedia cannot be cited as an academic resource, but it can help in choosing a more specific topic. Use the references, further reading and external links at the end of the Wikipedia article to gather additional information. Many of these references are academic and may be used in your research.

Consider the following questions when narrowing your topic:

  • Who is your audience? Is it someone with no prior knowledge about the subject, or someone that works in the field? Try to choose a topic that will be of interest to both you and the audience. 
  • Will your chosen topic fulfill the requirements of the assignment? Before you delve too far into your research make sure that you are following the guidelines of the assignment. 
  • What type of information is needed to fulfill the assignment? Are you expected to have a certain number and type of resources? (books, journal articles, news stories, etc.)

Unicef News

This collection of stories from UNICEF highlights current events related to human rights. Click the "website" link at the bottom of the list to view more articles.

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The Guardian

This collection of articles from The Guardian's online edition highlights current news stories related to human rights. Click the "website" link at the bottom of the list to view more articles.

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