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Writing About Human Rights

Academic writing

Essay paper writing


Recently, the topic of human rights has been actively discussed all around the world, and the idea of ​​freedom has been firmly established in the public consciousness. That is why writing human rights essays and research papers is quite relevant today.

Many people speak and write about human rights. This problem has been at the top of the agenda for a long time and is constantly discussed in newspapers and magazines, as well as on TV screens. It is also regularly raised by statesmen, political leaders, and parliamentarians in their speeches and reports. And now, it is your chance to make your voice heard. In this article, we will tell you how to write a decent essay or research paper on the topic.

What is human rights?

You can provide several definitions of this concept in “What are human rights?” essay:

  • These are the rights inherent to each individual, regardless of a nation, country, gender, and ethnic group he or she belongs to. It also does not depend on the color of the skin, the religion the person professes, the language they speak, and other similar criteria.
  • It’s worth mentioning in a human rights definition essay that people may claim equal legal protection and must bear the appropriate punishment for violating the freedoms of other individuals. Human rights are interrelated, interdependent, and indivisible.

Death penalty violates human rights” essay

Human rights topics for a research paper

Finally, if you weren’t inspired by the ideas listed above, here are some great topics for your research paper:

  • Child labor history
  • Male and female leadership models
  • Gay marriage is a matter of respect for human rights research paper
  • The violation of human rights in Belarus
  • The violation of the rights of children in Taiwan
  • Is there any link between ecological problems and human rights?
  • The American Indian Movement
  • How did World War II affect human rights?
  • Human trafficking in 21st century

If you are not sure how to approach the topic you have chosen, find a relevant human rights research paper example on the Web. Once you do, check the arguments presented by the author, how they have done a research, and what they had to say on the topic in general.

International law & human rights

In reality, human rights are determined by the constitution of a particular state. The state, with its bodies and officials, interprets and grants its citizens the freedoms recorded in international documents.

There cannot be a single criterion for assessing the situation with human rights in a particular society. However, there is a universal standard, which is written in the international documents and is offered to the world community to follow and incorporate into their country laws.

If you write an essay on international human rights law and organizations, you may use the following documents as sources:

  • The UN Charter, where you may find the principle of non-discrimination of people on the basis of race, language, religion, and sex, as well as the appeal to the world community to cooperate for the promotion of human rights.
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, which specifically defines human rights and freedoms.
  • The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
  • The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights plus its Optional Protocol (Covenants were adopted in 1966 and entered into force in 1976).
  • Various international regional human rights agreements (the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1950, the European Social Charter of 1961, the American Convention on Human Rights of 1969).

Human rights in international relations essay

How to write human rights research paper?

Research paper writing is quite a challenging process, which requires reading and analyzing a lot of sources. That is why, we have decided to make the process a bit easier for you by providing you with the best writing tips:

  • Choose the topic that really concerns you. It has to be both suitable for your class and interesting for you to research. This way, you will be able to ensure that the process of writing and searching for relevant information will be pleasant for you.
  • Find and analyze relevant sources. As you are working on a research paper about one of the hottest topics, you have to be very careful with the choice of sources. Make sure that each piece of literature is up-to-date, credible, and is found on a decent website if it’s an Internet resource.
  • Cite all the sources. Research papers require referring to the ideas of scientists or professors, which must be properly cited. Otherwise, your paper will be considered plagiarized. 
  • Proofread your paper. Revising your papers is essential as it helps to avoid many typos and logical mistakes. So never neglect the polishing stage.

Research paper outline

Even the best research can be spoiled if there is no properly written outline. Having a well-detailed plan, you will never lose any important points or even parts of your paper. Let’s consider the classic outline for a research paper:

  • Introduction. A great introduction to a research paper about human rights is impossible to write without having an interesting hook sentence (perhaps, with some fact or statistics) and a strong thesis statement.
  • Main part. Here, your main task is to conduct a literature review, collecting the ideas of the most outstanding professionals in the field. You will also need to add to your thesis statement underpinning it with evidence and examples. Besides, you will have to work on methodology, discussion, and a few other sections depending on the requirements of your professor.
  • Conclusion. In this section, you will have to summarize all the findings and restate your thesis statement.

argumentative essay about human rights

Best ideas for research paper

  • The death penalty

This measure still exists the United States. For example, in 2014, 35 people were executed (lethal injection for all), including 2 women and 2 foreigners. The executions in 2014 were carried out in 7 states: 10 in Texas, 10 in Missouri, 8 in Florida, 3 in Oklahoma, 2 in Georgia, 1 in Arizona, and 1 in Ohio. In the US, there is a trend towards a gradual abolition of the death penalty, although the number of people awaiting execution is very high. In 2015, there were 2,851 such people.

  • Right to privacy

In 2013, a scandal with the National Security Agency, which collected personal data from millions of US citizens and shared this information with other government agencies, was widely discussed. It became known that the CIA paid $ 10 million to the telephone company to get access to the database of calls from citizens and foreigners. The problem is that the FBI is eligible to conduct a kind of preliminary investigation (evaluation) of the activities of any person, even if there is no reason to suspect him or her of a crime.

  • Hate crimes

According to the FBI, 5.9 thousand crimes were committed due to hatred in 2013. 49.3% of them were motivated by racial hostility, 20.2% - by sexual orientation prejudice, 16.9% - by hatred for religious reasons, and 11.4% - by hatred on a national basis. Unfortunately, with years, the number of such crimes doesn’t get any lower, with more than 7 thousand cases being reported in 2018. Therefore, while it might seem that the world is changing to become a more welcoming place to people of different views and backgrounds, there is a long way to go for people to start accepting each other’s differences.

  • Rights of migrants

Describing human rights issues in a research paper, you may mention rampant violations of immigrant rights. Between 2000 and 2013, 20 Mexicans and Mexican-born US citizens were killed by agents of law enforcement agencies. Six of them died on Mexican territory.

  • Unjust sentences

In 2013, 87 unfairly convicted people were released from prisons, including the ones who were previously sentenced to death. From 1973 to 2015, 156 prisoners were released from death row in the USA, including 6 in 2015. For example, in March 2015, all charges were dropped from Debra Milke (Arizona), who spent 22 years on death row.

  • Healthcare

In 2010, 13% of American adults were not covered by health insurance. Nevertheless, public spending on medicine is enormous. In 2013, 37% of mandatory federal budget expenditure or 5.2% of GDP were allocated for it.

  • Religion

In 2017, President Trump signed a decree imposing a 90-day ban on entry into the United States for citizens of six countries with predominantly Muslim population: Iran, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Sudan. However, the federal courts decided to block this initiative. There were several such decrees, and until the last moment, the executive and judicial authorities criticized the legality of such measures.

  • Education

The United States provides free elementary and secondary education. At the state level, there is a system of benefits for universities receiving budgetary funding, as well as the practice of allocating grants. In 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act established a system of support for low-income families, funding educational literature and libraries. Since 1965, the only federal program Head Start prepares children from low-income families for primary school (about one million kids annually).

  • Gun control

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution grants the freedom to own firearm. In 2007, 31,224 people died as a result of the use of weapons: 12,632 persons were killed, 17,352 - committed suicide, 613 - died in the accident, and 351 were killed by the police. In 2007, 66,678 people were injured by the use of weapons. These include 44,466 firearm attacks and 679 persons being harmed during police operations.

Human rights topics for essays

There is a great number of good human rights topics to write an essay about, so it is really easily to get lost among them. That is why we have created a list of top human rights essay ideas for different types of papers, along with a list of generic topics for you to choose from.

Titles for human rights essay

  • Essay on improving the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Human rights in religion essay
  • Human rights in international relations essay
  • Voting rights essay
  • Democracy and human rights essay
  • Essay about the contribution of social justice for human rights
  • The growing abuse of human rights essay
  • Personal freedom essay essay
  • Human rights and duties essay
  • Justice and human rights thematic essay
  • The importance of a Universal Declaration of Human Rights essay
  • The American Convention on Human Rights essay
  • Reflective essay on human rights
  • Cultural human rights essay
  • Freedom and equality essays
  • Individual rights essay
  • Equal rights essay
  • History of human rights essay
  • Concept of human rights essay
  • Justice and human rights essay
  • Theories of human rights essay
  • Essay on human rights and development
  • Human rights violation essay
  • Human and natural rights essay

Topics for argumentative essay about human rights

  • Should felons be allowed to vote essay
  • Death penalty violates human rights essay
  • Women rights are human rights essay
  • Importance of human rights essay
  • Should men and women have different rights?
  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights essay
  • Should female circumcision be permitted?
  • Are human rights violated in (a country of your choice)?

If you need an example of an argumentative essay about human rights to see how you might potentially cover a chosen topic, you are welcome to check a few options available in the Samples section on our website.

Human rights persuasive essay topics

  • Does male circumcision violate human rights?
  • Is free education possible for everyone?
  • Does the restriction on immigration by the USA violate human rights?
  • Is democracy the best system to protect human rights?
  • Can human rights be universal for each culture and country?
  • Why are human rights important essay
  • Should minorities be allowed to pray at their workplaces?
  • Do parents have an ethical basis for using force when disciplining children?

How to write a perfect essay on human rights?

Sooner or later, each student will have to write this kind of academic assignment at school or university. It's worth considering a number of important rules if you want to write a really great paper. In many ways, our extended essay guide for human rights will help you and facilitate the task.

Human rights essay outline

Writing even a short essay on human rights requires having a well-compiled outline. If you are not sure how to start an essay on human rights, thinking about a way to structure the paper is the way to go. This will help you to act in an organized way and save time when writing.


Your outline will likely look as follows:

  1. Human rights essay introduction. Here, you have to present the issue you will consider in your paper. Two essential parts of the intro section are thesis statement and hook phrase. How to create a good hook for a human rights essay? You definitely need a short, vivid, and interesting phrase for this part. So, in this case, it’s a good idea to write an interesting fact or shocking statistics. You can also use some relevant quote or ask a rhetorical question. As for thesis statement, you will need to compile a phrase that will be the essence of your paper conveying the main idea which will be supported in the main part.
  2. Body. This is the most extended part of your paper. Roughly speaking, you will have to discuss each point of your thesis in each paragraph, which will cover the: 1) Description of the problem and comment to it; 2) Arguments; 3) Author’s viewpoint (depending on the essay type). Sometimes, only 5 paragraphs (3-4 sentences each) are enough to cover all these points. However, the same structure should be preserved in a long paper with 2-10 pages. You will simply provide more examples and arguments related to the thesis set forth.
  3. Conclusion. How to conclude a human rights essay? In the end, there should be a final statement that confirms your thesis. Do not list all the arguments once again. Several phrases will be quite enough for this part of the paper. Finally, mind that your conclusion of human rights essay should not introduce any new information. If you feel the urge to cite something in this section, you have likely broken this rule.

Best writing tips

Follow these tips to create an A+ paper:

  • Formulate the idea which you want to prove as accurately as possible. It is inappropriate to use the general concept of human rights as this topic is too broad.
  • Proceeding from the formulated idea, it is necessary to put forward a couple of arguments (about 3), which will support your point of view. The arguments taken from scientific literature or legal acts are likely to be seen as credible by your professor, which is why it’s best to do a thorough research before deciding on specific options.
  • Since this is serious academic work, the text should not contain any frivolities, humor, or slang. Write in a way that would help the reader understand what you are trying to convey without having to look up the words or phrases.

Do not be afraid to try!

We really hope that this article was useful for you. In the process of work, you will understand that writing is not only an easy but also a pleasant thing. This practice will help you discover new creative abilities and learn how to skillfully argue your own point of view. Good luck!



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