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Writing Up Your Geography Fieldwork – Part 1

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On the Day

The Geographical investigation is worth 100 marks or 20% of your grade. The first element in ensuring you get high marks in the GI is to listen and write down notes on the day of the trip. The tendency is for students to treat the GI as a day off from school, however, two months after the trip, it will be difficult to remember exactly what you did. You will be relying on remembering how you performed the various tasks and the results you got, so make sure you have these things written down. Also, make a note of any problems you encounter in completing your tasks as you will get marks for this when writing it up.

Section I – Introduction

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This section is worth five marks. The marking scheme requires four points so I would suggest you give five. This simply involves giving the aims of your fieldwork. For a fieldwork on coastal erosion, the following would be a good example:

Aims               

  • To determine the factors that influence erosion along the coast
  • To study features of erosion
  • To determine if erosion is affecting beach sediment
  • To determine if rock type influences the rate of erosion
  • To examine if the erosional processes of attrition, solution and hydraulic action are actively occurring

Section II – Planning

Although this section is also worth five marks and also requires at least four points, you will need to write more here. The key to this section is detail. Don’t give vague points on how you seemingly prepared for the field trips. You need to give actual relevant ways that you could have prepared or did prepare. For example, giving a website where you researched something is vague – giving the full URL of the site is detailed. Also, saying you revised topics in your book is vague – giving the name of the book as well as the chapter and page number is detailed. Below are some good points of preparation for an erosion based fieldwork:

  • Revision of the relevant topics in your textbook – name and author.
  • What aspects of coasts did you revise and why? – must be relevant to your aims.
  • Did you do any additional research? If so, where? Name other books/authors. If you researched topics/the location where the fieldwork took place online, you must give the website/URL.
  • Outline the equipment that was required.
  • Where did you get it from? Class discussion and demonstration on how equipment should be used, practice using equipment to familiarise yourself with it.
  • Preparation of recording sheets which you would use on the day. What type of record sheets did you need to prepare – need to record measurements, need to record observations, needs to record sketches – what was suitable for each?

Class and individual examination of an Ordinance Survey Map of Liscannor region. O.S. Discover series Map 57. Scale of 1:50,000 – located Spanish Point, Cregg Beach and Lahinch Beach.

How by looking at the map did we expect to find features of erosion here?

Other aspects of the fieldwork that needed to be researched – safely using Hydrochloric acid in the field – did you research this? – where?

The Powers Roundness scale – (type into search engine). Rock Comparison charts (print off colour copier – what website?)

Checking the weather as it might influence our findings www.meteireann.ie.

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