Geography Research Paper Guidelines

I need help with a Geography question. All explanations and answers will be used to help me learn.

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Geography Research Paper Guidelines


My personal experience with geography.

You will use the bold lead sentences below to start each of your own sentences/paragraphs. So, write about each of the following:

  1. Besides the fact that it was a GE requirement, I chose to take a geography course rather than another subject because… (Perhaps you’ve been feeling like you lack knowledge of world country locations, perhaps you want to travel international some day, perhaps you think it will be helpful for other college courses or your future career path, etc.)
  1. Geography education in my country of origin (name the country) was this… (Perhaps you grew up in the United States and the only geography education you received before college was learning the U.S. states and capitals in 5th grade.)
  1. My personal experience with geography before taking this course was this… (Perhaps you traveled to Italy with your parents when you were 15, perhaps you loved looking at maps on the walls at your uncle’s house, perhaps you have a friend from China and you have attended their “Red Egg and Ginger Party”, perhaps you saw a show on The Travel Channel about Chile, etc.
  1. I would like to learn more about this geography-related topic… (This can be something we’ve touched-on in the course already or not. Example: “I’d like to learn a little more about “international shipping” – how do the items I buy at Target arrive here from where they were made, and did they go through the Panama Canal? Another example: “I’m curious how The Travel Channel chooses it’s destinations”)

  1. I would recommend that other students take this course because… (Perhaps you feel proud that you now know where most of the countries of the world are located and you think that everyone should, perhaps you think that everyone should know the difference between geography and geology, etc.)
  1. So far, this was my favorite thing that I have learned in this course…

(Perhaps you enjoyed learning about the man-made island development in Dubai, perhaps you enjoyed learning about the Three Gorges Dam in China, etc.)


Body/Writing: 55 points

Map: 5 points

Photo: 5 points

References: 5 points

=70 points possible


The body of the paper must be between 2-3 full pages of writing (double-spaced) PLUS a map, photo, and references. So, your paper should have approximately 5 pages total.

Spelling and grammar count for part of the grade – be sure to run the spellchecker on your word processing program. (In MS Word, it’s under Tools -> Spelling and Grammar). Your paper should have a logical introductory paragraph and end with a conclusion paragraph.

Have someone you know review your paper for you before you submit it – especially if English is your second language.

Warning: do not copy whole sentences or paragraphs from the web… I check for this and its considered plagiarism if you do it. Instead, read your source material, take notes, and then write the paper in your own words.


You must include a map related to your topic. The map will most likely be found on one of the websites you used for research and/or you can do a Google Images search for one.

For example, if you mentioned that you want to visit (or have visited) Tikal National Park in Guatemala, find a map that shows the layout of the national park and/or where the site is located.

If your writing does not refer to a specific country (example: your topic is Global Positioning Systems), then choose a country and research the topic as it relates to that location (example: GPS use in Russia).


Find (Google Images) or include a personal photo of the topic. Perhaps it’s you on a recent international vacation or perhaps it’s you as a kid looking at a paper map. Be sure to include photo credits (who took it, where you found it, etc.) Cite the source and date retrieved just below the photo.


Temple 1 in Tikal National Park in Guatemala. Picture courtesy of Raymond Ostertag. Retrieved from: on November 20, 2018.


Include a list of references (you need at least two) at the end of your document on a separate references page. Also, cite any direct quotes or source material (including websites) within the text of your paper in proper format. References should follow this format:

Example of a periodical reference:

Kanfer, F. H., & Busemeyer, J. R. (1982). The use of problem-solving and decision-making in behavior therapy. Clinical Psychology Review, 2, 239-266.

Example of an online document reference:

Van Wagner, K. (2006). Guide to APA format. About Psychology. Retrieved on November 16, 2028 from

(I highlighted the “retrieved-on” date because it essential! What date did you visit the website?)

More examples here:

DO NOT use Wikipedia as a text source!! It is editable by anyone, and therefore not a reliable primary source. It is ok to use an image from Wikipedia as long as the copyright allows for the use of it.

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