All of us remember our geography lessons, reports, and tests from our early years in school. In those years, the study of geography was filled with terms such as tundra, plains, mountain ranges, etc. We prepared reports about the geography of a particular country or region, focusing on physical topographical features. We did not worry about how to write a geography essay since it was descriptive and explanatory without requiring any thought or analysis.
At the university level, however, the study of geography takes on an entirely new meaning. It is not merely about a study of topography but rather, a study of how topography affects people in all facets of their lives – politically, socially, culturally, and economically. Geography essay writing becomes something far more than presenting basic factual information. The geography essay must take factual information and apply critical thinking skills to see cause/effect relationships, to analyze behaviors and policies, to deduce, to evaluate, to compare and contrast, and to synthesize. For instance, one professor of political science recently asked his students, “Do you think America would be involved in the Middle East if broccoli was the chief export of that region?”
Because geography course work at the university level is rather specific, students may not have full freedom in selecting a topic for a geography essay. Nevertheless, it is important to select a topic in which one has an interest since geography essay writing can become a tedious and unwelcome task without such interest.
Often, initial research on a specific geographical region or country may lead to interesting and important topics for a geography essay. Looking at the huge variety of climate and geographical features in a country such as Russia will provide valuable insights on the socioeconomic variances of groups of people within that vast country. The geographical causes of most wars throughout history, not to mention the impact of geography on the outcomes of those wars, can not be underestimated. Natural resources, indeed, can be seen as a major factor in the age of imperialism. Therefore, geography influences the entire human condition.
Like any other essay or research paper, geography essay writing will require a thesis statement in the introduction and the development of that thesis through carefully constructed paragraphs or sections. Coherence, organizational structure, solid transitions, and clear presentation of arguments are critical if one is to successfully “make the case” for his or her positions.
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