Write an essay of 1,500 words (at least eight pages) that focuses on a chosen and agreed-upon topic examining the relationship between people (or society) and their environment/resources. You must contact your Open Learning Faculty Member to discuss your proposed topic before starting your essay.

2 Essay Assignment

GEOG 1191: Introduction to Human Geography 1… 1

Essay Assignment (100 marks, 20%)

Introduction

This essay assignment is marked out of 100, and contributes 20% of your final grade. The essay is introduced at the end of Unit 2, Module 4; it must be submitted by the end of Module 7.

This comprehensive essay provides you with the opportunity to apply and examine your growing knowledge and appreciation, gained progressively through GEOG 1191, of a topic/issue of your own choice related to people’s and society’s interaction with the environment and its resources.

Instructions

Essay Objectives and Marks Allocation

Write an essay of 1,500 words (at least eight pages) that focuses on a chosen and agreed-upon topic examining the relationship between people (or society) and their environment/resources. You must contact your Open Learning Faculty Member to discuss your proposed topic before starting your essay.

The focus of the essay may be at the local, regional, continental, or global scale. Possible topics include:

· Problems and potentials with respect to maintaining the quality or availability of a particular resource (water, forests, wildlife, ecosystems, open space, etc.)

· Maintenance/loss of biodiversity

· Land-use planning in an urban or non-urban context

· Changing relationships between culture and environment

· The differing views of sustainable development/sustainability between the LDCs and the HDCs

· Differing worldviews such as traditional knowledge and Western-based “scientific” knowledge, and how these worldviews reflect different relationships between people and environment

· The role of maps and mapping in communicating views of the world

· Any topic of interest to you (which you have discussed and gained approval from your Open Learning Faculty Member)

For example, if you selected “loss of biodiversity” as an essay topic, you would need to consider developing a thesis statement about this topic that reflected the course’s theme of humans and their environment. One such topic could be, “habitat loss threatens biodiversity.”

You must clearly identify a thesis statement in your essay; if you would like, once you pick your topic you may verify the appropriateness of your thesis question or statement with your Open Learning Faculty Member.

From the example topic (above), an appropriate thesis statement could be:

“The destruction of habitat from urban expansion will eventually lead to an irreversible loss of biodiversity. As a society, we need to decide what is more important: new subdivisions and shopping malls, or preservation of natural ecosystems.”

Additionally, you are required to tie in course content and themes into your essay. Consider that the course themes will be used to analyze your topic. In essence, you will be selecting “tools” from your geography “toolbox” to examine your topic and thesis statement.

Review the course modules for themes or ask your Open Learning Faculty Member if you are uncertain. There are many themes that could be used to frame your topic and thesis. An example of how to add a course theme to the above thesis example statement is thus:

“The destruction of habitat from urban expansion will eventually lead to an irreversible loss of biodiversity. As a society, we need to decide what is more important: new subdivisions and shopping malls, or preservation of natural ecosystem. To examine this question, this paper will identify and evaluate societal values from a cognitive behavioral standpoint.”

Or as another example:

“The destruction of habitat from urban expansion will eventually lead to an irreversible loss of biodiversity. As a society, we need to decide what is more important: new subdivisions and shopping malls, or preservation of natural ecosystem. To examine this question, this paper will describe the natural processes of the Downsview wetland located in Port Hope, Ontario, as town planners have proposed to build a subdivision adjacent to the wetland. Varying perceptions and values will be considered when evaluating potential impacts on the natural and social systems of this proposed development.”

Discussion

· The paper requires a certain amount of research beyond that supplied in the course modules, the textbook, and your Open Learning Faculty Member. Its successful completion will thus depend, not only on your interest in the topic you have chosen, but also on the way in which you utilize a wide range of information sources.

· You will already be aware of information sources with respect to your topic of interest, but your Open Learning Faculty Member may be able to provide you with additional leads and sources. The key thing in the initial stage is not to jump in feet first, but to think about and visit potential information sources before developing the overall term paper objectives and, thus, its research design.

· Be sure to follow APA formatting.

Grading

Criteria Value
Relevance of essay to course content (demonstrates knowledge of course content) and inclusion of course content into essay answer:

· Selection of appropriate theme(s)

· Correct definition and use of theme(s)

· Inclusion of themes throughout paper

40 marks
Essay topic and thesis:

· Formation of appropriate essay topic and a clear thesis statement

· Development of thesis throughout the essay, supported by appropriate examples

30 marks
External research to support essay arguments

· Use of external research, including at least three scholarly journals or other publications

· Inclusion of between 5 and 10 scholarly references in total

· In-text citations and bibliographic references

20 marks
Grammar, sentence structure, appropriate use of citations (APA style), title page, spelling, etc. 10 marks
Total 100 marks

TRU Open Learning

TRU Open Learning