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Tips for a Good Geography Paper

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.

  • Interesting topic, engaging way of framing the topic
  • Clear, comprehensive organization
  • Appropriate and correctly formatted citations
  • Points supported with evidence

Writing Steps

  1. Choose a Topic (if one is not already stated in the prompt)
    1. Make sure the topic is narrow enough to find specific information, but not so narrow that you cannot find enough information
  2. Gather Information
    1. Take advantage of UVM’s geography research databases (new tab) to find scholarly journals, books, government documents, etc. (Remember you can also ask for help from a subject librarian! Laurie Kutner is the librarian for geography.)
    2. Use class readings and discussions as supportive material
  3. Writing the Paper
    1. Introduction: provide an overview of the topic, state the significance of the topic, include a thesis
    2. Body: present data/evidence and connect it back to your argument and course concepts
    3. Conclusion: restate thesis, connect conclusions drawn from research back to thesis, suggest future areas of research/larger significance of topic
  4. Citations
    1. Check the course syllabus/assignment instructions to determine which citation style is expected
    2. Use in-text citations for any statements that are not original ideas or common knowledge
    3. Make sure to cite charts, tables, photos, or maps that are obtained from another source and make reference to them in the paper