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On writing in Geography (for use in syllabi)

Geographers study processes and phenomena in terms of their spatial dynamics and interactions, and as a result, writing in Geography focuses on topics that range from processes in the natural world, through relationships associated with globalization and uneven development, to studies of how people perceive their daily environment and create place-based meanings.  The different subfields of geography utilize widely varying writing styles to communicate a broad range of information, taking into consideration the intended audience and the kinds of information to be communicated.  The best writers in Geography strive to be both clear and elegant, to inform and to help readers draw connections they might otherwise miss.  Depending on the subject matter, good writing in the field requires geographers to develop strong arguments supported by personal observation, visual and numeric data and, often, social and/or historical analysis.

Sample syllabus in Geography

Geography 1301 | Introduction to Human Geography
Weekly in-class writing activities, two sequenced projects

Geography 3381 / Global Studies 3381 | Population in an Interacting World
Researched literature review and response papers

Geography 3985 | Senior Project Seminar
Sequenced assignments that develop into a polished senior project

Sample assignments in Geography

Geography 1301 | Research Project 1: Cultural Landscapes
Ethnographic analysis with field notes, mapping, and a 3 page essay draft and revision

Geography 1301 | Research Project 2: Environmental Debate
Research report, class debate, and 3-4 page persuasive essay

Geography 3381 / Global Studies 3381 | Literature Review - Research Project
Annotated bibliography andan 8- to 10-page essay draft and revision

Geography 3985 | Assignment: Partial Draft
Drafted essay sequenced after a polished statement of problem, annotated bibliography, and detailed outline

Samples of responding activities and handouts

Geography 3381 / Global Studies 3381 | General Comments and Suggestions for Revisions
Grid for the instructor to assess a draft

Geography 3381 / Global Studies 3381 | Instructions for Writing Response Papers
Compliation of instructor comments on early drafts to guide revision

Geography 3985 | Peer Review of Partial Draft
Instructions for in-class review

Sample grading grids in Geography

Geography 1301 | Project Grading Criteria
Criteria for research essay, such as development of thesis, use of evidence, clarity of ideas, and mechanical correctness

Geography 1301 | Project Self-Evaluations
Tools for student self-assessment of writing and oral presentation

Geography 3381 / Global Studies 3381 | Research Project
Rubric categorizing research content, coherence, sources and correctness

Geography 3985 | Complete Draft Grading Sheet
List of criteria for a long research paper

Research strategies in geography

Selected Resources for Geography

The Internet Public Library, Geography (IPL)

Open Directory Project, Geography (DMOZ)

Additional writing resources for instructors in geography

Library Services for Faculty

Additional writing resources for students in geography

Writing Guidelines - Geography (Wikidot)