With about 190 countries in the world today, researching a country -- perhaps one you have never heard of -- can introduce you to different cultures and political ideas, broadening your understanding of the world. To write a report on one of these countries, you'll research several topics, examining its geography, history, and present-day culture and economics.
Describing the Land
When you begin to research a country, you will need to find some basic facts about the nation, including its capital city, population and continent. You might begin by looking at the physical geography of the country -- its mountains and rivers -- or whether it is near an ocean or is mostly a desert. You can also include a description of the climate. For example, if you wrote your report on Tanzania, you could mention the capital city, Dodoma, and its largest city, Dar es Salaam. You could also note that the country is home to Mount Kilimanjaro, which is the highest mountain on the African continent. Your report could include a map of the country to give a clear picture of its geography.
Researching the Culture
Learning about a country's culture and customs allows you to describe what daily life is like for the country's people. You could describe the most popular or traditional foods eaten in the country; in a report on Tanzania, you could mention pilau, a dish made of spiced rice, potato and meat. Research and write about common types of music and customary clothing. Include holidays and other traditional celebrations, such as the Tanzanian Uhuru Torch Race, which celebrates hope, love, respect and peace.
Investigating the History
You can include a summary of the founding of the country, and name any famous past rulers in your report. For example, you could write about how Tanzania has existed in some form since the eighth century and became Tanzania as a combination of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964. You could also talk about how Tanzania's founding president, Julius Nyerere, was an early supporter of African socialism. Write about any wars the country was involved in. Describe or include a drawing of the country's flag.
Understanding the Economy
Your report should include a description of any major exports -- the products the country creates and sells around the world. Describe the major crops grown and any animals that are raised in the country. For example, a report on Tanzania could include the fact that 75 percent of the population is employed in agriculture, which produces coffee, cotton, cashew nuts, cloves and tea. Determine whether the country has any natural resources, such as minerals, that it exports to other nations. You can also include a report on the major products the country buys from other countries.
- Enhancing Writing with Visuals, Grades 3-5 (Meeting Writing Standards Series); Kathleen N. Kopp;
- CountryReports.org: Country Report
- Scholastic.com: Cool Country Report
- Writing with Results; JoAnne Moore; 1995
- Tanzania Tourist Board: Mounta Kilimanjaro
- United Republic of Tanzania: Food in Daily Life
- United Republic of Tanzana: Uhuru Torch Race
- United Republic of Tanzana: History
- United Republic of Tanzana: Economy
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