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GEOG 2110: Foundations of Geographic Research

This guide offers resources and tips for students beginning research in topics related to geography and the environment.


Welcome to the course guide for GEOG 2110: Foundations of Geographic Research. Here you will find links to library resources suggested for students researching topics in geography and the environment. If you have any questions, please contact the Geography and Data Subject Librarians.

aerial photograph

Aerial Photography of Farmland by Tom Fisk

Starting Your Research

Reference Sourcessuch as encyclopedias, handbooks and dictionaries, are a good place to start your research because they provide:

  • background on a topic 
  • historical research
  • potential keywords for your catalog and database searches

Books in both print and electronic format provide:

  • in-depth coverage of a topic, broad in scope and usually historical
  • information that is two to three years old by the publication date
  • indexes where you can check if the book contains your topic

Articles in both print and electronic format provide: 

  • the most current source of peer-reviewed information
  • focused research, narrow in scope
  • literature reviews

Websites must be evaluated for credibility, authority and accuracy before using and provide:

  • the most current information on a topic (but not necessarily peer-reviewed)
  • obscure, hard-to-find information

Maps and GIS sources provide:

  • visual context to the area being researched
  • visualization of large sets of data to reveal trends

Additional Links