Crafting the Top-Notch Geography Essay: a Guide for Successful Writing and Editing

Writing guide
Posted on January 9, 2019

The Key Principles of a Geography Essay

The Geography essay is an obligatory assignment for all students who study geography and other related subjects, such as geology and environmental studies. One of the central aims of this type of paper is to check students’ understanding of the presented material. Besides, a professor may assign a Geography essay with the aim of encouraging students to investigate some issues or matters. This type of essay should describe or present a subject which is closely connected to Geography, for example, the factors that induce climate change, the influence of floods on the soils, or the role of the geographical information system. As a result, you should conduct in-depth research in order to receive a high mark. Apart from that, you have to create a good structure and content for your Geography essay. The process of creating the content for the essay is not an easy task because you should present your understanding of the ideas and concepts. You can extend other people’s ideas, but you have to be very careful with it since your paper should be original, unique, and free from plagiarism. What is more, you should organize your ideas in accordance with the particular essay to not confuse the readers. In general, there are plenty of essay types but you have to choose only one and strictly follow its requirements. Consequently, the most popular types of essay are going to be described to help you to select the best one which will assist you in presenting the chosen topic.

Types of Essays Used in Academic Writing

Generally, there are many types of essay that can be applied during the process of writing. In spite of the significant number of essay types, not all of them are appropriate for a Geography essay. For example, a narrative essay is not suitable for describing or explaining some geographic phenomenon as its central point is to tell a story. In addition, there is a great need to mention that different essay types require a specific topic to be explored due to its structure requirements. Hence, you should consider the most popular essay types to choose the most appropriate one.

Descriptive Essay

The primary aim of this essay type is to describe the issue or phenomenon in detail, and therefore, you should investigate the topic thoroughly. The descriptive Geographic essay requires you to present the topic of your essay from various perspectives. You have to be very careful with this essay type since you should properly cite the ideas of other people in order not to be suspected of plagiarism. Therefore, one can claim that this type of essay perfectly suits when you desire to describe or explain a particular geographic matter.

Comparison and/or Contrast Essay

This essay type requires you to analyze two or more subjects and present their similarities and/or differences point by point. Therefore, you have to select these subjects and compare and/or contrast them according to a few particular points. For example, you can compare and/or contrast the ways how different countries cope with the consequences of floods. Thus, you should investigate the effects of floods in each country and what measures those countries have taken. As a result, one should state that this essay type requires in-depth research and profound knowledge of the matter.

Cause and Effect Essay

The cause and effect essay is one of the most popular types for writing a Geography essay due to the fact that it allows you to describe one of the geographic phenomena and present its influence on the Earth. This essay type asks you to analyze the causes of a certain phenomenon or explore the results of particular events. For example, you may choose any natural calamity and demonstrate its possible effect on a specific region in the future, or you may present the real consequences of the selected geographic issue from the past.

Argumentative Essay

The argumentative geographic essay is supposed to make a claim that will be supported by various examples and evidence. The evidence and examples mentioned earlier should be retrieved from the reliable sources. You may begin writing your argumentative geographic essay by deciding on a particular matter, such as a controversial issue. Then, you have to conduct research to obtain as much information as possible. You should apply different kinds of information, such as observances, interviews, statistics, reports, and studies, throughout the essay to support your arguments and convince the reader. As a consequence, one may claim that this type of essay is quite complicated because you should support every single claim you make. It means you have to keep a lot of information in your head and juggle facts like a pro.

Choose a Topic You Don’t Mind Debating

Usually, the professor provides you with the list of appropriate topics for your Geography essay. However, you may have to select the topic for your paper on your own. Therefore, you will be able to choose a topic of your interest and the process of writing will bring you a lot of pleasure. Therefore, the field of Geography covers plenty of contemporary issues and matters. Consequently, the spectrum of topics is broad enough, and you will not face any problems while choosing the topic for your essay. To select an appropriate topic, you should investigate the recent events and choose the most debated and discussed issue in the community. Thus, you will be able to find a significant number of reliable sources for your Geography essay. The following topics are considered to be appropriate for your paper:

  • The Factors that Cause Earthquakes in South America
  • The Influence of Global Warming on the North Pole
  • How Floods Affect the United States’ Economy?
  • The Effects of Toxic Dumping in Oceans
  • The Role of Resource Conservation

How to Select Appropriate Sources

To start writing your Geography essay, you should search for some reliable sources. With the help of these sources, you will be able to find some interesting ideas and thoughts which you can develop in your paper. In general, the professor may ask you to go to the library to find appropriate sources for investigation. However, if you do not have enough time and ability to attend the library, you can use the Internet. In this case, you should ask the professor to provide you with the particular websites to avoid misunderstandings. In general, the particular websites, such as those which end in .edu and .gov, are considered to be reliable. Besides, you may find various geographic databases, online journals, and books which will help you to explore the selected topic. The list of reliable sources provided below is supposed to be appropriate for your Geography essay:

  • GEOBASE (is a website which identifies the journal literature in various fields, such as ecology, oceanography, geomechanics, geosciences, and Earth sciences).
  • The Geographical Review (is a website which identifies different books, articles, and publications on earth sciences and geology).
  • GeoRef (is a scholarly journal which contains diverse essays about new fields of study in geography, and therefore, it includes various reviews of books, atlases, and monographs).

Writing the Geography Essay: How to Start Moving from the Dead Point

geography essay

In general, there are four steps one should take to start writing the Geography essay. First of all, you have to understand the central points of the essay topic. Then, you should choose particular objects to be discussed. This step requires you to generate ideas and gather all necessary materials with the help of various credible sources mentioned in the previous paragraph. Second of all, you should create the detailed work outline. This will help you to organize and write your paper easier and quicker since you will know what exactly you should write in particular paragraph. Third of all, you should divide your writing process into fragments since you should not write the entire essay at one time.

In addition to the first step, you may consider the following pre-writing strategies. The strategy which is called Brainstorming or Listing requires you to generate a lot of information within a short period of time and write it in the form of a list. With the help of this pre-writing strategy, you may create a topic sentence for each paragraph or even a thesis statement for the entire essay. To start, you have to recollect or search for some terms that are suitable for your topic. Then, you should develop those terms into ideas, and as a consequence, to explain or describe those ideas to receive a complete sentence. This type of pre-writing activity works especially well if you work in a team as some people will generate ideas while only one will write them.

The next prewriting strategy is called Clustering or Mind Mapping. It allows you to expand your ideas further and explore the relationship between them. For this strategy, you have to put your central ideas in circles and draw some lines which will symbolize the arguments or supportive ideas. Besides, you should link the new ideas to the central ones with lines. Therefore, when you finish completing this pre-writing strategy, you will receive a web of ideas. Furthermore, you can apply the following pre-writing strategy which is called Freewriting. This technique is similar to Brainstorming, but here you should generate a lot of information by writing non-stop. You do not need to edit your sentences since you should focus on the ideas, but not grammar or spelling.

The last pre-writing activity is called The Journalists’ Questions. The core idea of it is to ask six particular questions to yourself. Those questions include “Who?”, “What?”, “Where?”, “When?”, “Why?”, and “How?”. This kind of pre-writing activity perfectly fits the descriptive essay type since it helps you to describe the selected subject in detail. As a result, if you complete all of the techniques mentioned before, the further writing process will be much easier because you will have the accurate outline of your paper.

Structure Your Geography Essay Properly

This part of the writing process requires you to organize the ideas gathered during the prewriting activity. Therefore, the outline prepared beforehand can help you to write the entire essay. The structure of the Geography essay may depend on the selected essay type. Hence, if you have chosen an argumentative essay type, you have to create a paragraph for each argument. However, in general, each essay type contains Introduction, at least two Main Body paragraphs, and Conclusion. If you structure your paper correctly, the reader will perceive your ideas properly. As a consequence, the effects of toxic dumping in oceans has been taken as an example to present the approximate structure of the Geography essay.


This part of the essay always contains only one paragraph. The introductory part has a peculiar structure. It begins with background information, then continues with some arguments, and ends with a thesis statement. One should mention that the thesis statement should represent the claim that will be described and supported during the entire essay. Therefore, the thesis statement like “The toxic dumping in oceans have a dramatic effect on both human beings, flora, and fauna” can be quite suitable for the chosen topic, namely the effects of toxic dumping in oceans. Apart from that, this part of the essay should not contain any direct quotations and in-text citations. As a result, it can be stated that the introduction has to be well organized to attract readers but not confuse them.

Main Body

The main body paragraphs should contain two and more paragraphs to support the thesis statement properly. Unlike the introductory paragraph, you are allowed to apply various quotations and in-text citations to support your claims. If you desire to insert a direct quote or in-text citation, you should strictly follow the selected referencing style. Usually, students are asked to utilize either MLA or APA referencing style in their papers. For MLA referencing style, you have to put the selected text into inverted commas, and then, you should mention the last name of the author/authors and the number of the page where you have found the inserted text. Therefore, your in-text citation should look like the following sentence “The human beings have already removed almost two-thirds of the large ocean fish. One in three fish populations has collapsed since 1950” (Author’s/authors’ last name page number).” The same sentence in APA referencing style will look like the following sentence “The human beings have already removed almost two-thirds of the large ocean fish, and one in three fish populations have collapsed since 1950” (Author’s/authors’ last name, year of publication).” If you desire to know more about referencing styles, you may visit the website which is called “Purdue OWL.”


The concluding part of the essay is similar to the introductory paragraph since it should be one paragraph long and should not contain any quotations and in-text citations. Furthermore, you should restate the thesis statement and support it with the help of the arguments mentioned in the main body paragraphs. You must remember that any new information should not be applied in this paragraph. In general, this part of the essay has to resemble the short version of the entire paper.

Polishing Your Geography Essay to Make it Shine

This part of the writing process is as important as the other ones since you can eliminate plenty of mistakes that were made during the previous steps of the writing process. To know how to polish your essay, ensure to read it again, but not immediately after having written the essay. You should put aside the text and get distracted. Therefore, when you return to your paper, you will be able to look at it from a new perspective. You should pay special attention to the particular details, such as the use of the personal pronoun “I,” contractions, and vague language. Hence, if you used the personal pronoun “I,” you should substitute it with the indefinite pronoun “one.” The contracted forms of auxiliary verbs should be replaced by full forms. The vague language has to be eliminated or substituted with suitable academic phrases.

What is more, you should check not only grammar but punctuation as well since many students forget to put a comma before “and” while enumerating points and after linking words. Furthermore, you can ask your friend to check your essay for mistakes. You should remember that the selected person should have strong writing skills in order to be able to spot and explain your mistakes. Besides, you may ask the person to tell you what can be changed or added to make the paper better. As a result, if you complete most of the advice mentioned before, your Geographic essay will receive a high mark. That’s the stage of work where most students get stuck not knowing what online or printed sources of information to use. Instead of procrastinating until you have no time, approach online writers at a professional custom essay writing service to find out what sources are worth your attention. You will save a lot of precious time.


  1. “Prewriting Strategies.” KU Writing Center, 25 July 2017,
  2. “Steps of a Basic Essay.” Nova Southeastern University,
  3. McWhorter, Kathleen T. “The College Student’s Guide to Writing Five Types of Essays.” Center for Academic Support,
  4. Australian Geography Teachers Association. “Contemporary Geographical Issues.” GeogSpace, Education Services Australia Ltd., 2013,
  5. “Department of Geography, Environment & Society Writing and Research Guide.” University of Minnesota, 2018.
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