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Making Sense in Geography and Environmental Sciences

A Student's Guide to Research and Writing

Fifth Edition

Margot Northey, David B. Knight, and Dianne Draper

Publication Date - April 2012

ISBN: 9780195445824

320 pages
6 x 9 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $24.95

An indispensable research and writing guide for students in any area of the discipline


Part of the bestselling Making Sense series, Making Sense in Geography and the Environmental Sciences, Fifth Edition, is an indispensable research and writing guide for students in any area of the discipline.

Maintaining the signature straightforward style of the series, the fifth edition outlines the general principles of style, grammar, and usage, while covering such issues as writing essays and reports, creating powerful visual aids, and properly documenting sources.

Concise and accessible, with new information on technology-based research, this latest edition continues to be an invaluable resource for students throughout their academic careers and beyond.


With over twenty-five years of proven success, the Making Sense series is known for its clear and concise approach to research and writing in all areas of undergraduate study.

Current. Up-to-date, detailed information ensures students are well-equipped with the knowledge they will need to communicate successfully.

Comprehensive. The book offers step-by-step instructions on effective researching and writing for academic essays and reports, as well as information on using computer-generated images and graphic presentation software. It also includes advice on preparing for tests and exams and avoiding plagiarism.

Practical. Offering practical advice and a rich variety of examples, the book helps students overcome common pitfalls in grammar, style, punctuation, and usage.

Accessible and concise. The student-friendly writing style assumes no prior knowledge of the discipline and allows readers to use this book either as a quick and casual reference or as a text that can easily be read from cover to cover.

Helpful learning, review, and reference tools. Pedagogical features--including new learning objectives, chapter introductions and conclusions, writing checklists, three updated appendices, a "mini" index of main points discussed in the text, and a useful list of proofreading symbols--help students grasp the material.

New to this Edition

  • Fully updated. All dates and examples have been updated throughout and new material on evaluating Internet sources and technology-based research reflects continuing trends in the field. Examples of new material include: conducting research, evaluating sources, and integrating findings, (Ch. 2); hand-held devices used to provide feedback in class and for tests (Ch. 3); grade determination for group work (Ch. 8); and lab exams (Ch. 10).
  • Current documentation guidelines. The fifth edition includes the latest guidelines for CSE, APA, and MLA style documentation and referencing, giving students the tools they need to properly document their work.
  • Revised and reorganized. Chapters have been reorganized and streamlined, while cross-referencing has been increased throughout, helping students make connections between topics and better understand the material.

About the Author(s)

Margot Northey is a specialist in communications and the former dean of the School of Business at Queen's University.

David B. Knight is a geographical research and performance consultant and a former professor of geography at Carleton University and the University of Guelph.

Dianne Draper is a professor of geography at the University of Calgary.

Previous Publication Date(s)

April 2010
January 2007
October 2000

Table of Contents

    A Note to the Student
    1. Thinking and Writing
    2. Searching and Researching
    3. Writing and Reading Lecture Notes
    4. Writing a Report on a Book or an Article
    5. Writing an Essay
    6. Writing a Proposal, Research Paper, and Thesis
    7. Quotations and Documentation
    8. Presentations and Group Work
    9. Writing a Lab Report
    10. Writing Examinations
    11. Doing Field Work and Writing about It
    12. Illustrating Your Work
    13. Words: Gender, Race, and Other Sensitivities
    14. Writing with Style
    15. Grammar and Usage
    16. Punctuation
    17. Misused Words and Phrases
    18. Important Definitions
    Appendix I: Weights, Measures, and Notation
    Appendix II: Selected Journals of Interest to Geographers and Environmental Scientists
    Appendix III: Selected Websites of Interest to Geographers and Environmental Scientists