This library guide is designed to introduce undergrduate students to "starting points" for studies in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.
- Tips for Choosing an essay topic
- Writing the Research Paper video
- Key geography resources for overviews of topics:
- Companion encyclopedia of geography
- Computing in Geographic Information Systems
- Encyclopedia of paleoclimatology and ancient environments
- Encyclopedia of soil science
- International encyclopedia of human geography
- Oxford Reference Online
- State of the world e-book
- Mind Map (free educational tool to help you map out the main idea for your essay topic)
- Brainstorm for the essay (Purdue OWL)
Search Summon to easily find peer-reviewed journal articles on any topic. Remember to refine your search by selecting the following options: Scholarly & Peer-Review, Journal Article and Discipline to obtain high quality, academic literature (see diagram below).
You can also limit your search to many other sources in Summon, such as books/e-books, newspapers, magazines, trade publications, videos, dissertations or conference proceedings. While many sources are published in different formats and written for specific audiences, they do not have solid authority as with the scholarly, peer reviewed literature.
You can also search subject-specific databases to find journal articles. They offer many advanced search features, only contain scholarly literature and search results are more precise.
Subject-Specific databases for geography:
- Arctic Science and Technoloigy Information System
- Canadian Business and Current Affairs
- Environment Index
- Sage Urban Studies Abstracts
- Social Sciences Full Text
- Sage Urban Studies Abstracts
- Web of Science
Note: If the library does not have what you need, you can order books and journal articles from other libraries through RACER but you need to register before you can start using it.
Books in print
- The Sage handbook of geographical knowledge
- 21st century geography: a reference handbook
- The Sage Handbook of qualitative geography
- Physical Geography: the key concepts
- Key concepts in geomorphology
- Key concepts in urban studies
- Principles of hydrology
- Changing cold environments
- Blue Gold - world water wars
- Bikes and Cars - explores circular motion
- Drowned Out - water and poor people in India
- Extreme Ice - climate change and icebergs, glaciers
- Meet the Frackers - controversial fracking processes
- My Brooklyn - downtown, condos, zoning issues
- Slum Cities - global human issue of urban slums
- When the levees broke - Hurricane Katrina devastation
Societies & Associations
- American Association of Geographers
- Canadian Association of Geographers
- Canadian GIS and Geomatics
- International Association for Great Lakes Research
- Royal Geographical Society
- Royal Canadian Geographical Society
- Royal Scottish Geographical Society
- Royal Geographical Society of Queensland (Australia)
Geographers most often use APA citation style. Link to APA Citation Style web guide for basic instructions.
Referencing your sources is an important part of academic writing. Why?
- it lets you acknowledge the ideas or words of others if you use them in your work
- it helps you to avoid plagiarism
- it demonstrates that you are using the scholarly record and that you can provide authority for statements you make in your term paper
- it enables readers to find the source information
Alternate Citation Guides:
- Communicating in geography and environmental sciences (print only)
- Making Sense; a student's guide to research and writing: geography and environmental sciences (print only)
- Writing an annotated bibliography: link to the Youtube video or web page for instructions.
- Writing Services - located on the 4th floor of the library:
- offers students help with learning the mechanics of academic writing
- Make an on-campus appointment