Country Reports


Start Your Research

The trick to doing research efficiently is to find articles that are similar to the kind of paper you are writing. That means that you are looking for:

Likewise, sometimes students find webpages that mostly consist of beautiful pictures with captions. A website like this may serve as evidence that "there are a lot of beautiful places in Brazil," but it's going to be harder to find a line or two of text that you can quote. A caption such as "Calle Redondo, on the south side of Rio de Janeiro" is not evidence that you can use.

Let me repeat: Wikipedia is rarely a good source (for the kind of paper you are writing). The information may be accurate (it usually is), but Wikipedia pages are far too detailed and they don't have a point of view. What you want is an article written by someone who loves the country and thinks it's a wonderful place (or someone who hates the country and thinks it's a horrible place). Some of the best articles you will find are blogs written by tourists who have visited the country and write about their experiences in a friendly and opinionated way.

A Simple Truth

Here is a truth that many students fail to appreciate: Spending a bit more time finding a really good source will actually save you time in the long run. Using the first article that you find may feel like you are working quickly and efficiently, but if the article isn't suited to your needs, you will end up struggling much more during the writing process.

Lesson Steps


Do a Google Search.

In the search bar, include the name of your country along with some key words that will narrow your search to the kind of article you are looking for.

Below are some examples. In the left-hand column are examples of search terms that you can use if you're writing a "pro" paper.

In the right-hand column are terms you can use if you're writing a "con" paper.

In either case, what you don't want to do is simply type "Russia" into the search bar and hope that Google can read your mind.

Good Bad
  • Russia beautiful
  • Russia wonderful
  • why I love Russia
  • reasons I love Russia
  • 10 reasons why I love Russia
  • 10 best things about Russia
  • fantastic Russia vacation
  • Russia horrible
  • Russia crime
  • Russia pollution
  • Why I hate Russia
  • 10 worst things about Russia
  • Russia miserable
  • Reasons I hate Russia.

Browse through some articles until you find one that you can use. The best articles (for your purposes) are ones written by opinionated authors with strong points of view. Their opinions are great evidence that your thesis is true.


Bookmark the article so that you can find it again easily. (If you don't know how to bookmark a webpage, ask me!)