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Comparative Geographical Analysis of Two Communities in British Columbia

Purpose of Human Geography

The purpose of the assignment is to;

· get you to become familiar with geographical concepts,
· develop essay writing skills, and
· develop research techniques for geographical analyses.

A Comparative Geographical Analysis of Two Communities in British Columbia This is an individual and independent research to measure your understanding of the subject matter of this course. You must write a research essay on the comparative geography of two communities from the City of Vancouver, BC, listed below.
Arbutus Ridge Mount Pleasant
Downtown Oakridge
Dunbar-Southlands Renfrew-Collingwood
Fairview Riley Park
Grandview-Woodland Shaughnessy
Hastings-Sunrise South Cambie
Kensington-Cedar Cottage Strathcona
Kerrisdale Sunset
Killarney Victoria-Fraserview
Kitsilano West End
Marpole West Point Grey

Your essay should answer which is the better of the two to settle in and raise a new family in the future. Your research essay should cover at least three elements from the following list to secure maximum marks:

· Physical geography
· Population characteristics
· Social and cultural patterns
· Urban and settlement patterns
· Transportation and communication patterns
· Main economic sectors.

Elements of a Research Essay

Research essays have several key elements. They include:

1. Research Topic – it must have at least a single objective to be investigated in a scientific manner
2. Data and datasets– these are the collected facts that allow examination to realize the objective, and can be primary (e.g. field collection), secondary or tertiary.3. 3.Graphics – these include maps, charts and tables, and are important means of:

· summarizing the data, and
· displaying patterns within datasets, both spatial and attribute
4. References - they provide evidence and support for your research (Please adopt and be consistent with any of the three common styles – APA, MLA or Chicago.

 Structure of the Research Essay

The research essay must be:

· word processed, double spaced
· 8 or less pages in length (inclusive of figures and references)
· saved as pdf.

 An ideal research essay will consist of the following:

1. Introduction - this section provides the reason for the research and defines its objectives
2. Method - this section describes how the research was conducted, and includes a discussion of the datasets and the methods used to analyze them
3. Results - this section details the findings of the analysis
4. Conclusion - this section assesses how well the objectives were met, and discusses the potential for future research.

 Time Management

Managing your time effectively is a very valuable and necessary skill to succeed both academically and in the work force. The research essay needs to show evidence of well thought out inquiry. The main stages and the suggested time budget for this research essay are as follows:
· Question formation and data search
· Project outline
· Data collection
· Data analysis
· Report writing
The course presentation provides details regarding the evaluation and academic conduct.


The purpose of this checklist is to;
· get you to identify the elements of your research,
· organize the outline of your research, and
· identify the data sources, method and analysis you will employ in your research.

Define the Problem

· General description
o What is your research topic? e.g. I want choose between community ‘A’ and community ‘B’ to live and raise a family in the future.

· Specific issues
o What is your research question? e.g. I want to live in a community that satisfies my specific criteria of ‘x’, ‘y’ and ‘z’?

· Temporal scopeo What is the time frame/period for your study? e.g. I am going to use data from the last ‘x’ years to project into the future
o Why is it appropriate for your research?

· Spatial coverage
o What is the type of community for your research? e.g. city centre, town centre, suburb?
o Why is it appropriate for your research?


· Identify the data
o What type of data will you need for your research? e.g. economic, demographic, social.
o Where would you get them? Identify sources e.g. municipality strategic plans, crown corporation annual reports, business associations, published books or articles.
o What time frame do they need to cover? e.g. annual reports over ‘x’ years to cover the planning and implementation phases
o What format should the data be in? e.g. text, spreadsheets, maps.

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