Skip to main content

Montessori High School - Refugee Camps: 1a. Select a Topic

A guide to doing research on refugee camps and related topics.

The Research Assignment

Before selecting a topic or starting your research, make sure you understand your assignment and its requirements. Consider the following:

  • Have you been assigned a topic or can you pick your own?
  • How many pages/words do you need to write? How long is your presentation?
  • Do you need to include specific types of sources? (e.g., scholarly journal, book, government document)
  • When is the assignment due? How much time do you have to do your research?
  • Is currency of information important?

When in doubt, consult your instructor.

Topic Ideas

Choose a topic that interests you! Review Developing a Topic.

Can’t think of a topic to research? 

  • Scan your textbook for broad topic ideas.
  • Peruse current magazines and newspapers to see what catches your eye.
  • Browse encyclopedias.
  • Look at "hot topic" databases, such as Opposing Viewpoints, which feature articles on current events and controversial issues.
  • Discuss potential topics with your instructor, a librarian or a classmate.

Developing Research Questions

Once you have selected an initial topic, the next step is to develop research questions. To begin:

  • Write down what you already know or don't know about the topic.
  • Using the information you wrote down, develop questions you'd like to answer when doing your research.
    • Use probing questions such as why? how? what if? should?
    • Avoid questions that can be answered with yes or no. 

Need more help? Use the Brainstorming Keywords worksheet.