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ENG 101 - Human Rights Abuses

This guide will help you find information about a country and human rights abuses that occur in that country.

3. Narrow Your Topic

Narrow SignOnce you've done some initial background reading, it's time to narrow down your topic to what you really want to write about.  Remember your assignment requirements and consider what you've read thus far.

Ask yourself:

  • What human rights abuse are you interested in learning about?
  • In what countries does this abuse take place?
  • What political, economic, religious and cultural forces have led to this abuse?

Think how you can persuade your audience that this abuse must be stopped and also consider some suggestions on actions that might be taken to stop/prevent the abuse.



As you think about what concepts you want to write about, think about what particular words might be found in a good article about that topic.

Keywords for this topic will primarily be the name of the country and the abuse topic. If you are searching a phrase, put quotation marks around the phrase. For example:

India and "child labor"

Some search terms for human rights abuses might include: "human rights" ; "human trafficking" ; "child labor" ; "child soldiers" ;  "slave labor" ; "female genital mutilation" ; torture ; etc.

After doing your search, look at the suggested subject terms or synonyms for the abuse. There may be other terms that describe the abuse that you should search also.  For example:

Female genital mutilation is sometimes referred to by its acronym FGM, and other times is referred to as "female circumcision." 

Keywords work best by trial-and-error. Never do only one search. Some keywords will work better than others, and some keywords may lead you to different articles than you found in your first search.  Search the databases with the keywords you selected to find relevant articles. And remember to ask a librarian if you need assistance coming up with keywords or looking for sources.