1. IntroductionThe term paper represents you and your learning partner(s)s research of a geographical topic. It ought to be an application of geographical concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of social, cultural, political, economic or environmental phenomena. The goal is to gain experience in geographical studies employing such concepts as location factors, spatial correlation (association), and spatial patterns. For a list of concepts and their definitions, check the index and glossary at the end of the textbook. You are expected to arrive at a scientific and carefully argued “explanation” for a particular analytical problem or event. This requires careful observation and critical thinking. Analytical problems are areas of research and theoretical development that remain open to continuing research and scholarly contention. For example, what are the environmental consequences of replacing a wooded tract with a shopping center or an industrial park? Or, what is the relationship between water budget and housing growth? How do we account for rates of social mobility in post-industrial societies? How must the theory of nation states be modified in the age of globalism and transnational corporations? What, or which variables, determine the rate of population growth in third world countries? Typically, the analysis of problems or issues of geographic nature involves using maps and statistics. As a researcher, you need not only to explain what, where, and why, but more importantly, you need to “take sides,” arguing in favor of one or another solution or policy choice. Check http://geography.about.com/, and readings posted on our course web site to see case studies that contain geographical analysis.2. Finding Literatures for the Term Paper As you begin to look for materials related to a topic, you will need to engage in online search for scholarly work in geography. Please consult our textbook and the course web site for a list of reputable web-based resources, or discuss your resources through email with me. A good place to start is the International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, available through the CSUMB library web site. Inside the encyclopedia, click geography, you will find many good articles related to geographic theories and methods.Searching in library catalogs for books with titles such as “economic geography” or “earth science” will also yield good results. Such books often have entire chapters in them that are useful for your study; check the table of contents to see if the book addresses your information needs.Another good starting point is a database called GEOBASE. It covers the worldwide literature on geography, geology, ecology, international development and their related disciplines. Using key words, such as “urban geography,” “population theory,” “global warming,” and “geographic information systems”, you can find many excellent geography journal articles. Keep in mind that for the purpose of this term paper, you should be interested in concepts, theories and methods that ultimately associated with issues and problems of geographical nature.3. Additional Requirements of the Term Paper(1) This term paper should be approximately 15 pages in length (double line spacing, including cover page, tables, charts, maps and bibliography).(2) Your paper should cite all references used, including all of the books, journal articles, and web sites that you collected information from. In the bibliography, please include a minimal list of 10 sources, and at least five of them must be peer reviewed journal articles. Use the APA Citation Style to write your references.
Must minimally have an introduction section and a conclusion section aside from the main body, which contains discussion and elaboration of the sub-topics or themes as is in standard essay writing practice. Format your paper using double line spacing within paragraphs, 12-point font and appropriate headings and subheadings (e.g., Introduction, Literature Review, etc.).
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