When approaching a topic such as geography, like many other subjects, it may be a bit difficult to identify a specific area to research-especially considering the vastness of some fields. Unless given prior direction from an instructor or an assignment detail, the first major issue you want to tackle is what type of geography you'd like to explore. The field of geography is made up of three main divisions; human, physical, and environmental geography.
If you have a scientific or empirical research model in mind for your project, you may be looking towards a topic in physical geography. And if you feel somewhat influenced by fields such as psychology and sociology, then you may be more interested in the qualitative and theoretical studies conducted within human geography.
And finally, environmental geography lies between the two and can be approached from both angles, physical and human, as by definition it addresses human interactions with the environment. The field of environmental geography also may address major societal concerns such as the consumption of resources and population decrease and increase. Considering this, an environmental paper may take an empirical or theoretical approach, or a qualitative or quantitative one, depending on the characteristics of the topic and the best means of satisfying any research question connected to it.
If you find yourself leaning towards the more humanistic aspects of geography you can start your topic selection by identifying exactly which key components make up human geography. In essence, since human geography deals with various facets of human life the subcategories that comprise it have much to do with our daily lives. Some of these things include culture, economics, health, and politics. And the foremost amongst them is the cultural perspective; so much so that human geography is sometimes referred to as cultural geography (suggesting the overall impact of this subcategory on the topic of human geography).
Choosing a cultural geography topic
The cornerstone of cultural geography is how humans interact and carry out their lives from place to place (or spatially) with respect to specific cultural elements. Each of these elements can easily be used as a starting point of research (you can use them to brainstorm ideas for related topics). A partial list of these cultural elements is provided below.
- Recreational activities/sports
- Gender roles
- Principles and values
- Marriage and other pivotal relationships
Sample topics that may be crafted based on these titles
Any one of these categories can be taken to produce a suitable research topic. For instance, if you are interested in clothing for a particular region you may choose to investigate how the clothing traditions of that area evolved over time and what particular influences attributed to the current or past clothing practices of the people.
Likewise a similar angle can be taken with food or cuisine. You may decide to analyze the impact of several cultures on American cuisine for example, as well as how the demands of certain foods may have changed from place to place within the continental United States.
Also gender roles are always special areas of interest as they deal with how a society addresses and handles its most significant roles; the role of the man and the role of the woman. A research topic covering this area may decide to address the differences in patriarchal as well as matriarchal societies with regards to space and time and how certain spatial factors may have impacted these roles in societies.
The other more scientific approach to geography is known as physical geography. This area will more than likely involve quantitative studies in which students will choose to examine specific elements of the earth's surface. Physical geography, by definition, looks at the physical structures, processes, patterns and changes that occur throughout the Earth as they relate to human beings and their ability to function. Some key issues connected to physical geography (which may spark an interest for research) are:
- Oceanography - a field related to large bodies of water; seas and oceans
- Climatology - this field studies long term weather conditions and categorizations
- Meteorology - relates to the earth's atmosphere, and short term weather forecasting
- Glaciology - examines things connected to ice such as glaciers and snow
- Hydrology - is related to small bodies of water on the Earth's surface as well as the hydrologic cycle
Without much difficulty any student should be able to take one of these categories and devise a reasonable enough research topic to be investigated. One example is with glaciology. A study in glaciology may look to examine polar ice sheets, for example, based off of satellite data as well as current information provided in geographic databases. Since most students won't be able to make it to Antarctica this type of research is great for providing empirical studies without physical samples and in-person measurements.
Up Next: Refine your topic
So now that you have a basic idea of which areas to concentrate on, what's next? The next step is to conduct preliminary research on your prospective topic to more precisely identify what to research. This involves checking a few basic sources for information;
- General and Geography-specific dictionaries
- Encyclopedias - For example you can utilize 'The Encyclopedia of Geography' to gain more information on your specific area of geography
- Conduct general internet searches or database searches through your local library - Database searches can be done using systems such as 'Academic Search Premier' or 'GeoBase'
Utilizing these basic search methods before delving further into your research (for example, before you undergo an experiment, specific study, or read several titles) will enable you to better refine your topic and thoroughly identify what needs to be studied in your particular area of interest. This step is a crucial one, as unless you are very familiar with a particular subject area there is really know what for you to nail down a research topic specific enough to be studied right away (though it can happen from time to time!). Overall the best means of narrowing your topic is to follow through with the preliminary research to find out what your topic comprises, its main objective, and some idea as to what other researchers have already accomplished in this area.
Content of this article
- Outline sample
- Introduction writing
- Body writing
- Conclusion writing
- Topic List
How To Write Essay About Geography
A geography essay is an article that explains the appearance and existence of phenomena like physical features and some human-made features. It tries to explain how natural resources like rivers, mountains, and valleys came into existence. It also explains their significance. Most students have a difficult time writing papers on geography due to its complexity. This article is meant to improve your essay on geography writing skills. As most students do not know how to start a geography essay, below is a geography essay outline. This paper is a guide on how to write a geography essay.
Geography essay structure and outlining
The study of geography is far and wide. There two broad areas; natural and human-made. This essay on geography will focus on how human activities like industrialization and farming have affected nature.
Over the years, climate change has been a topic of discussion as a bomb waiting to explode. Industrialization has led to a shift in climate due to the emission of CFOs that have resulted in global warming. The effects of climate change can be felt in its different capacities. By 2020, the effects of global warming will be so severe that the earth will almost be inhabitable.
- Global warming has led to the expansion of deserts. Deserts such as the Sahara and the Kalahari have become drier and expanded due to lack of rain in the surrounding areas.
- Melting of glaciers- the Arctic and the Antarctic have experienced a reduction in their ice mass due to global warming. The ice is gradually melting.
- Mutations of animals- due to the effects of global warming, animals have begun mutating, therefore, becoming more resistant.
Human beings have contributed to the change in climate, yet the more technology moves forward, the more the damage is likely to be in future. We need to derive a method of keeping the air, water, and soil pollution free.
With this outline for a geography essay, it is easier to see the essay tackles.
Tips concerning introduction writing
There are many tips on geography essay writing to guide you through your paper. This section highlights some of the simple tips for introduction writing that one can use.
- First, you need to know the geography essay outline before you start writing the essay. Consider the geography essay topics of choice. It is important in developing a geography essay draft that guides you into the kind of research to carry out. Ensure that the topic is one that you understand fully for easy geography essay writing.
- In a geography essay introduction, explain the phenomena you are writing about in details stating its exact location.
Tips on body (paragraphs, length, and transition)
- The body of a geography essay includes both theory and specific real life cases. It answers the what, where and the why questions. Geography essay prompts you to have a relevant case study about the phenomena.
- It should be factual. Mention specific names and location and ensure they are accurate.
- Ensure that diagrams used are well drawn and labeled.
- Ensure that what you write relates to the thesis.
- Keep it as objective as possible for example do not say the Big Bang Theory is a lie.
- It has to be well organized into categories, discussing different factors in well thought out paragraphs.
- The transitions should blend well in cases where one paragraph is not enough to explain the phenomena and its implications.
Writing the conclusion
How to conclude a geography essay is a challenge for many students. In the geography essay conclusion, give a general outlook of the phenomena of study and your opinion based on the case study done. The conclusion for a geography essay should state the recommendations and solutions that you think should be put in place to bring changes. It explains the significance of your findings. Do not introduce new information in the conclusion, but ensure that it matches the argument presented in the introduction.
Sources for geography essay choice
The geography essay topic chosen will guide you into finding out the best source to use. There are very many sources of geographical data. Find a source that is accessible such as libraries and the Internet. Papers on geography can also be used as a reference.
Students can use the internet, topographical maps, Atlas, Globe, literature review and observation as their sources. Observation, however, requires you to dedicate a lot of time for field work. Books in the libraries are very helpful especially when you need diagrammatic representation.
The atlas is convenient for finding the accurate location.
Finalizing the essay
A geography essay is not complete without a glossary that explains the definition of technical terms used in the essay. A glossary is a requirement in all papers on geography.
- Ensure that the diagrams (if used) are clear and well labeled. State the sources of these charts and provide links for further reading. These pictures act as a geography essay writing guide for the readers.
- Proofread the essay for accuracy. Ensure that the argument proposed does not deviate from the topic. This makes sure that your geography papers writing can be defended as true.
- Check for punctuation, correct referencing for content and spelling.
Geography essay tips for topic choice
These tips are important for students that want to learn how to write a geography essay.
- The choice of topic is the first step to passing papers on geography. Choose a topic that you are conversant with. This makes it easier to write without too much geography essay writing help.
- The topic should be catchy and precise to capture the attention of the reader.
- The topic should not be overly broad. It allows you to defend your argument.
Top 20 geography essay topics
- How do volcanic activities occur?
- Discuss the Supernova theory
- The effects of the rising climate change
- What is a human-wildlife conflict?
- How does climate affect vegetation?
- Discuss the ocean topography
- How does the principle of relativism relate to geography
- Explain how currents have affected fishing in Japan
- Discuss longitudes and latitudes and the concept of time
- How does the moon affect tides?
- Discuss the earth and solar system
- What causes tsunamis and hurricanes?
- Explain what causes the occurrence of rocks
- Statistical Geographical data
- Elaborate the significance of faulting
- Explore the effects of the Himalayas and its surrounding
- Determine how sextants identifies position in the sea
- Identify how do physical features affect human activities?
- Explore the implications of farming on soil pollution
- Why do deserts occur?
- Discuss how water bodies affect the rain cycle