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GEOG 3003 - Cultural Geography: Research Paper

Research Paper

Cultural Geography of the Family

Using your revised research proposal and academic sources as a framework, the second stage of the course project will involve constructing a written and visual history of your chosen line (maternal, paternal, or proxy). The final paper should be at least 1500 words excluding maps, visuals, and family tree.

A complete project must include:

  1. family tree traces one family line (maternal or paternal, or proxy) working back from at least five generations up to the present day. You may use the excel template provided or another template of your choosing.  (CulturalGeog-FamilyTreeTemplate.xls)
  2. At least three images (either representative or actual images of family members, locals, landscapes, etc. as appropriate). For example, if the ancestor line migrated as a result of the Irish Potato Famine, you may choose to include (and cite) historical images taken from this period.
  3. A series of at least three Google Earth maps which traces and illustrates in detail your line’s migration history.
  4. A written section, explaining numbers 1 and 2 and detailing the history of your chosen line.
    1. Within this section you must speak to the reasons for and results of your chosen line’s migrations and integrate specific class concepts into the paper.
    2. Use your research proposal as a starting point and framework – make sure to include A brief general summary of the historical and geographical background (for example: country(s) of origin, religious identification, economic) of your maternal, paternal, or proxy line.
    3. Use the categories provided to ensure that you address core course concepts – you need not address ALL of the following, only those that are relevant to YOUR chosen narrative and for which you can provide verifiable, cited, evidence. Remember – you are not answering a list of questions, but telling the narrative story of your line using evidence. Incorporate OR reference your maps (see Map 1) and images (see Image 1) within the paper when appropriate.
  5. A full APA bibliography, including interviews conducted with family members. Minimum of six sources as outlined in research proposal.


Course Concept Categories and Example Questions

  1. Migration
    1. What were the immigration vs. emigration locations? What types of migrations were involved?
    2. What push/pull factors led to migration (what historically was happening at the time)?
    3. What “wave” of migration was your ancestry traveling within, do they fit the model?
    4. Would the migrators have been influenced by any laws regulating immigration? How were your different ancestors received upon arrival? Where did they go and why?
    5. How does internal migration of your family relate to the internal trends in the US?
  2. Language
    1. How did the spoken language change from location to location?
    2. What language families and/or branches were involved?
  3. Religion
    1. Was religion influential in the migration of your ancestors?
    2. How did religion change from location to location? Did the immigrant’s religion change? Is it a universalizing or ethnic, what branch, etc.?
  4. Ethnicity
    1. What is your “ethnicity?” How would your past ancestors have answered that question?
    2. When and how did acculturation and/or assimilation occur?
  5. Political Geography
    1. Were world political events (e.g. wars, government changes, etc.) influential?
    2. How did your past migration correspond with the political evolution of the US?