What is Geography?

Geography explores the patterns of human and natural phenomena, and their interactions in specific locations and environments. There are two branches of geography that have typical writing styles:

Human geography: looks at how people relate to the physical world and their spatial distribution across the planet

  • Research papers, short essays, reading journals, personal reflections
  • Example: Reading journal about the social construction of race, short essay about Native American dispossession of land

Physical geography: looks at natural processes of Earth

  • Research papers, lab reports, reading analyses
  • Example: Research paper about the impact of dams on fish populations, summary and analysis of news article about climate change

Writing in Geography

Human geography and physical geography styles and methods can be very different. Many of the tips listed below can be applied to geography writing in general, but check your specific assignment instructions and rubric for more detailed expectations and requirements from your professor.