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GEOG 320

Reflection Essay Instructions

The purpose of this essay is to teach you to observe the significance of items on the landscape and to demonstrate mastery of the five main themes of geography. The cultural landscape reveals much about the values, history, and identity of a location. The association of the landscape with a particular area is a hallmark of human behavior and one with potentially serious consequences. Often the very things you correlate with this sense of “home” are in actuality a reflection of the five main themes of geography.
In this essay, you must address the following sections in 1,000–1,250 words. You must include a cover page and a reference page with at least five scholarly references from .edu or .gov websites, books, or journals. Wikipedia references will not count towards your minimum number of references.
· Stroll through an area near your home that is considered a noteworthy area, such as a city or county seat of local significance. Pay particular attention to the landscape and describe what you see. For the purposes of this activity, landscape means any natural elements (trees, mountains, etc.) or indications of human imprint (signs, buildings, statues) that appear vertically to the human eye and block the horizon. Describe the items you see that you believe have made a particular impact on, or are of importance to your town or area.
· How do the items described lead you to identify with this particular area, and what items on the landscape do you associate as being key sights or landmarks of your home? What sense of values, both past and present, are expressed in this human imprint, or how has the natural landscape affected the human imprint you observed?
· Finally, after identifying the features on the landscape and describing what makes this area home or unique in terms of physical or human geography, look for any indications on the cultural landscape that can be described in terms of the five main themes of geography. For example, a railroad crossing may be a reflection of the movement theme. Signs on the landscape may direct traffic in a certain direction, the theme of location. Are there tall buildings reflecting the value of real estate in terms of relative location to a particular business district? The theme of place could also be the explanation for valuable or less expensive real estate.
· You are encouraged to describe what makes this particular area home; the preceding examples are merely a guide to the nearly infinite messages waiting to be interpreted on the human landscape. By demonstrating knowledge of the five main themes, you can demonstrate an awareness of some of the spatial considerations that may reflect the values and past of this particular area.


You must use the following section heading outline when writing your essay.
1. Introduction
1. General Overview
1. Region Relevance
1. Location Relevance
1. Place Relevance
1. Movement Relevance
1. Human-Environmental Interacti

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