Complete Guide on How to Craft a Winning Geography Term Paper

Writing guide
Posted on January 10, 2019

The Peculiarities of the Geography Term Paper

geography term paper

The Geography term paper is a written assignment that should be written by those students who attend particular courses, such as Ecology, Oceanography, Geomechanics, Earth sciences, and Geology. Students may be required to complete the Geography term paper at the end of one of the courses mentioned earlier. Usually, a term paper is based on in-depth research, and therefore, it has many features in common with a research paper. Similar to the structure of the research paper, this type of paper should contain several pages since you have to describe the selected topic in detail. In order to receive a high mark for your Geography term paper, you have to conduct your own research, apply different statistics, charts, and other people’s research, as well as structure your paper in accordance with all professor’s requirements. What is more, you may extend one of your previous research papers or utilize the information mentioned there for your term paper. Thus, writing a Geography term paper is not an easy task since it requires you to conduct in-depth research and analyze various sources.

The Geography term paper should contain personal thoughts, critical analysis, and factual information. Therefore, you should include your own ideas about the selected subject and propose new solutions to the chosen issue. What is more, Geography is closely connected with other fields, such as Geology, Ecology, and Earth Science, which is why you may conduct a precise investigation through the prism of those fields. Hence, you can apply knowledge of different disciplines to make your Geography assignment more detailed and thorough.

Find a Perfect Topic for the Geography Term Paper

Usually, the professor provides students with a list of acceptable topics for the term papers. Sometimes you may be required to create a topic for your term paper on your own. In this case, you will be able to select a topic of your interest. You should remember that the topic of your term paper should be part of the course. Thus, you shouldn’t choose a completely new topic. Plus, you have to select a relevant issue for the paper because it will be easier for you to find some credible sources. It can be explained by the fact that if you select a recent event for the analysis, you will be able to present your vision of the situation or propose your solution to the issue. Furthermore, you have to choose a topic carefully since it is the first thing that the readers see. It should attract the reader’s attention and present what you want to describe.

Besides, you should always bear in mind that your topic should not contain more than fifty-one characters. As you can see, many aspects should be taken into consideration while creating a topic for the Geography term paper. The following list of topics is acceptable for your Geography term papers:

  • The Influence of Deforestation on the Arid Area;
  • How Volcanic Eruption Affects the Ozone Layer?
  • The Possible Solutions to the Hazard of Landslide;
  • Geomorphological Changes in Central Europe;
  • The Influence of Modern Ways of Farming on Soils;
  • The Consequences of Floods in South America.

Browse Appropriate Sources for the Geography Term Paper

Before you start writing the term paper, recognize the central points of the selected topic. To do it, you should investigate the topic either in the library or on the Internet. If you decide to use the Internet, you should always remember that not all websites contain reliable information. You have to omit using the websites that end in .com and .net. There are many other online sources that may help you with writing the Geography term paper. You should consider the websites that are maintained by the government or educational institutions since they are supposed to be credible enough to utilize them in academic writings. Apart from that, there are many other websites that don’t end in .gov or .edu, but they’re still credible. What is more, you can apply various types of sources in your term paper, such as interviews, speeches, textbooks, maps, and even encyclopedias. The following geographic online sources may be useful for you while writing the Geography term paper:

  • The World Factbook (an online source that contains different information on diverse countries of the world. The articles are written by professionals in Geography and closely related fields, and describe different disciplines, such as the Economy, Geography, and Social Environment);
  • The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Geography (the database of articles divided into three sections, namely encounters and collaborations, openings, and making sense);
  • GeoRef (an online database that identifies various books, articles, and other publications that relate to Geology and Earth Sciences);
  • Web of Science (an online multidisciplinary database that identifies journal articles in all social science disciplines, including Geography).

The Importance of the Prewriting Activity

Once you have understood the key aspects of the selected topic and found necessary information, proceed to the pre-writing activities. With the help of these activities, you will be able to gather interesting ideas and create an outline. There are plenty of pre-writing techniques, but only the most effective ones are going to be presented.

  • Techniques for More Effective Brainstorming. This technique is perfect for teamwork, but it can also be applied when you write the paper on your own. The central idea of this technique is to write as many ideas as possible quickly. You may use bullet points or make a list in order not to waste time organizing the complete sentences. For example, if you decide to investigate the factors that cause a volcanic eruption, you may think about the countries with the largest number of volcanoes and compare what features they have in common. As it can be noticed, this type of pre-writing technique requires you to have additional knowledge of some other fields.
  • Freewriting to Get Yourself Out of a Creative Rut. This pre-writing exercise is similar to the previous one since you should generate ideas non-stop. There is one essential difference – you have to write complete sentences. At the same time, you should not think too much about grammar and spelling since the primary goal of this technique is to create the first draft of your term paper. This type of pre-writing exercise is not for everybody because it requires strong writing skills. However, if you can handle the previous pre-writing technique, you may try to complete this one since you will have the central ideas for the paper.
  • Apply Mind Mapping Techniques. This particular pre-writing technique requires you to focus on the central ideas and expand them. For this exercise, you have to put the primary ideas in circles and draw some lines to write some supportive ideas or connect some other related ideas. Therefore, if you want to compare the geographic features of two different areas, you should divide the paper into two parts and draw two circles on each part. Those two circles will represent common and different features. This technique is a great option for visual people since it allows to visualize the ideas in one’s head easily. With the help of the techniques mentioned before, you will be able to create an outline for your term paper since you will have all the necessary ideas for all paragraphs.

The Structure of the Geography Term Paper

Now you’ve reached the point when you should develop the ideas collected during the pre-writing activities into a good structure for your term paper. All academic writings have a similar structure. It means that all of them have an introductory section, the main body segment, and the conclusion.
Besides, each of those parts has its special structure which will be described below. Let’s take the influence of deforestation on the arid area as a sample topic to see how the approximate structure of the Geography term paper should look like.

Introduction Where the Story Opens Up

This part of the term paper should not be too long since it should briefly present the issue that you want to describe. Furthermore, you are not allowed to insert any in-text citations and quotations. The introduction should contain background information, some key ideas, which will be expanded in the
main body paragraphs, and a thesis statement, which will be explained and supported there as well. The following thesis statement may be acceptable for the selected topic “The Influence of Deforestation on the Arid Area”: “In the particular arid areas, such as Africa, Central America, some parts of South
America, and Australia, intensive deforestation induced the starvation of a significant number of people and animals since most of the local rivers and lakes had dried.”

Main Body: a Place for Specific Evidence & Supporting Details

In this section, you should write more than two paragraphs since you should have more than two arguments that will support your thesis statement. Unlike the introductory paragraph, here you can apply various in-text citations and quotations and properly cite them to make your paper free of plagiarism. There are two major referencing styles, namely APA and MLA. For the APA referencing style, you have to mention the author/author’s last name and the year of publication. For the MLA referencing style, you don’t have to provide the year of publication. Instead, insert the number of the page where
you found the information. To make your term paper smooth, you should apply different linking words. As you may notice, there are plenty of details to take into consideration while writing the main body paragraphs.

Conclusion: Shape the Impression that Stays with Your Readers!

The concluding part of the term paper is quite similar to the introductory one since both of them should be of the same size and free from in-text citations or quotations. In this paragraph, you have to restate the thesis statement and support it with arguments mentioned in the main body paragraphs. You are not allowed to write the information that was not mentioned in the previous paragraphs. In general, the conclusion should look like a shortened version of the entire term paper.

Proofreading to Get Your Paper to Absolute Perfection

Having finished writing the term paper, you have to re-read it to ensure that you have not made any grammar, spelling, or stylistic mistake. Pay special attention to the punctuation and word choice since you may forget to put a comma after a linking word and before the “and” when listing elements. Furthermore, you should always remember that you have to use a particular vocabulary while writing academic papers. Besides, it is advisable to re-read the paper the next day because then you will be able to look at the text from a fresh perspective. Apart from that, you can ask another person to check your term paper. However, you should select the person who has strong writing skills and will be able to detect and explain the mistakes. Ask that person to tell you whether the paper is coherent and cohesive. If it is not, ask what part of the paper should be changed to improve its quality. As a result, if you follow
most of the recommendations presented above, your professor will be satisfied, and the term paper will receive a high mark.


  1. “Choosing Appropriate Resources.” Butte College Library, 2018,
  2. “Geography Term Paper Guidelines.” University of Wisconsin Whitewater,
  3. “Guide to Sources in Geography & Geographic Information Science.” Illinois Newspaper Project|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2017,
  4. How to Choose a Term Paper Topic. 2018,
  5. Lahl, Allison. “Before You Start Writing That Paper… A Guide to Prewriting Techniques.” SLC | UC
    Berkeley, Student Learning Center, University of California, Berkeley, 2008,
Upgrade your essays with these FREE writing tools!
Get started now