GEOG 340 Asia
This is an independent research project. You are supposed to select a region in Asia and an issue that
is of particular importance to that region (and of interest to you). You are required to research the
issue and write a research paper of approximately 7-15 pages that discusses the nature, origin, and
outlook for that issue. You may consult the instructor for possible research topics or/and talk to a
librarian for useful academic references.
The objectives of this research project are threefold: 1) to encourage you to explore, in some depth,
geographic issues in a region of Asia; 2) to help you develop some basic research skills (e.g. data
acquisition, library searching, etc.); 3) to help you develop your written communication skills.
Feb. 16: project guideline provided
May 7: research paper due. Please submit it on Canvas by 11:55 pm.
May 14: virtual research presentation. Please post your PowerPoint presentation on the Virtual
Research Presentation Forum by 11:55 pm.
The research paper is worth 12% of your course grade, and virtual presentation is worth 5% of your
What to include in your paper?
In your research paper you should firstly introduce the region of your study (e.g. where is it, what is it
like, who lives there, etc.) Then you need to analyze the nature of the issue, describe the research data
and methods (if any), characterize geographic patterns discovered, provide possible explanations for
the observed patterns, and discuss the future outlook or policy implication of the issue. In other
words, in addition to describing what the issue is, and what its impact is on the region, you need to
think about and discuss when and why the issue arose in the first place, and what is likely to happen
in the future (i.e. worsen or improve?).
You can find a short list of possible topics on pages 2-3, which you are free to do, but there are
hundreds of other possible issues as well.
You are required to consult sources such as books or journal articles. You should make reference to
at least one academic source other than the textbook. You must clearly cite any sources you use.
The referencing system you use is up to you (e.g. APA citation style or MLA citation style), but it
must be consistent, and the reader must be able to determine exactly where you got the material from.
Students may ask a librarian for useful academic sources (a 24/7 online reference assistance service is
available at: http://library.fullerton.edu/services/ask.php).
Your research paper should be of about 7-15 pages in length (including the title page and
bibliography but excluding tables, figures and maps). You may place all your tables and maps after
the text and bibliography. If you have multiple tables and/or maps, they should be clearly numbered
(e.g. Table 1, Table 2, etc.). Your paper should be typed and double-spaced in 12 point font with one
inch margins. You should include a title page which clearly indicates the course code (GEOG 340),
the title of your research project, as well as your name and student ID.
Virtual Research Presentation
Students are supposed to do a virtual presentation by posting a PowerPoint (5-8 slides in total) on
discussion board. In PowerPoint students may show their main research findings and share interesting
facts and pictures about the issues studied. The first slide of the PowerPoint should contain student
name and title of research, and the last slide should contain the major references used. Be creative in
making your virtual presentation!
Please note that the topics below are only some suggestions to get you going. There are a lot of other
possibilities and you can choose anything that interests you. Make sure it relates to a specific region.
1) The socioeconomic consequences of population aging in Japan
2) Chinas One-child Policy
3) Developing sustainable tourism in Thailand
4) Population growth in Bangladesh
5) Ethnic conflicts in Sri Lanka
6) The rise of Pearl River Delta
7) Gender discrimination in South Asia
8) China and India the population super giants
9) Major languages in Pakistan
10) Chinese Feng Shui and its manifestation in landscape
11) Special economic zones in Thailand
12) The impact of the Olympics on China
13) Religions in India
14) The development of Hsinchu – Taiwan’s Silicon Valley
15) Tsunami impact on aquaculture in Indonesia
16) The White Revolution in India
17) Entertainer immigrants in Japan
18) Urban development in Manila
19) Environmental transformation in newly industrializing countries of East
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