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Course Materials

Course Objectives

When you have successfully completed this course, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Understand what geography is and understand why it is important.
  2. Identify the elements of culture that create the cultural geography of the world and describe their origins, distributions, diffusions, and regional patterns.
  3. Explain the purposes of general conference and synthesize and discuss the main messages of the most recent conference.
  4. Interpret the world using the spatial concepts of region, landscape, diffusion, interaction, and cultural ecology.

Course Materials

The text for this course is The Human Mosaic, 9th ed., written by Terry Jordan-Bychkov and Mona Domosh.

I hope you will enjoy reading it. I have been using this text in my classes for the past ten years and it is one of the best introductory books on the subject I have ever read. It is well written, easy to understand, and very interesting. The bulk of the material you need to learn to successfully complete this course is found in the textbook. With only a couple of exceptions, there is a chapter associated with each lesson.

Read the assigned material carefully, including the “profiles” and other sections associated with each chapter. Study the key concepts, and review the material before you take the examinations. While reading the text, examine the maps and figures carefully. They provide much information on the subject and will help you study for the exams.

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Introduction to Human Geography has seventeen lessons. The first lesson introduces you to the field of geography, three lessons ask you to write an essay about some aspect of cultural geography, and the remaining lessons teach you about the various elements of human geography, including population, religions, politics, and ethnicity.

Each lesson includes a set of objectives, discussion material, and a list of key terms and concepts. For each objective, there is a short discussion which identifies and explains the major concepts and ideas. The discussions introduce and supplement the material in your textbook. Most of the information you will learn comes from the text. Read it carefully. Occasionally I suggest other types of material, such as Internet sites, that will help you understand the subject. Please use them. They will make the course more interesting and help you learn more about human geography.

Self Checks

After reading the discussions and related sections in the text, complete the Self Check exercises. They will provide a good overview of the material you need to learn. The questions will be very similar to those on the quizzes and the examinations.


The quizzes consists of ten multiple-choice questions that cover the material for each lesson. While quizzes are open-book/notes, remember that reading and understanding the material well enough to answer the quizzes without referring to the book or manual will be of great benefit to you when you review for the exams.


The second major part of the class consists of writing assignments. To successfully complete the course, you will need to write three essays. They are designed to illustrate certain concepts of cultural geography, including migration, sense of place, and cultural landscapes. The reason I want you to write the essays is to get you to think about the subject matter. Another purpose of the essays is to get you to write more.

Writing is a very important skill! The ability to write well is a major goal of education, a requirement for many careers, and a necessity for success in graduate school. However, many college graduates are not well prepared to write. Therefore, part of your grade in this course will be based on your written work. The grade you receive on your essays will be based on the quality of your writing, your ability to follow directions, and your capacity to think. I have included a sample grading sheet so you will know the criteria used to grade the essays. Readability, content, organization, logic, clarity, grammar, and spelling are all important.

I will use these criteria to grade your written work:

The paper successfully meets all aspects of the assignment and treats each requirement and component fully.
The paper is well organized. Ideas, details, and examples are presented in an order that makes sense.
The paper is interesting. It is easy to read and it flows smoothly.
The introduction clearly states the thesis and purpose of the paper.
All of the material in the body of the paper supports the thesis.
There is sufficient detail, making the subject clear and interesting.
There is an appropriate conclusion.
The writer carefully selects words to make the message clear. There are few cliches and little jargon or slang.
Sentence structure is correct and varied. The writing sounds natural and is not forced, choppy, or stilted.
The writer is sincere and honest. It is obvious that he or she cares about the topic and the ideas.
There are few, if any, errors in usage, grammar, spelling, or paraphrasing. The paper does not need to be proofread.
The paper has the correct format: double spacing, appropriate margins, page numbers, and font (style and size).

Formatting Your Essays

For each essay assignment, you will submit your first rough draft, your final essay, and a critique of your essay (detailed instructions are with the specific essay assignments). To make sure I can open and read your papers, please save them as Word .DOC or .DOCX files.

Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, GEOG130_JaneSmith_PersonalMigrationEssayRoughDraft.docx.

Submitting Your Essays

It’s very important that you submit all of the assignments for an essay collection at the same time. Here’s how to submit your completed portfolio assignments:

  1. Click the Essay Submission link in your course.
  2. Click Open.
  3. Attach all of the relevant assignments by clicking the Choose File button, then locating the file you wish to submit.
  4. To attach additional files, click Add Attachment and use the Choose File button to locate and upload the next file. Make sure you attach every file you need to include in the portfolio assignment.
  5. When you are finished, click Submit.
  6. You will be asked if you are sure you want to submit this assignment. Click Yes.
  7. You will receive a message that tells you that you have successfully submitted your assignment. Click OK.

Remember: Do not submit any assignment until you have completed all of the assignments for the essay!

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You will take one midcourse exam and one final exam. The midcourse exam covers material from lessons 1–7. The final exam covers material from lessons 8–14. There is no comprehensive exam for this course.

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The final course grade will be based on the scores you receive for your quizzes, three essays, and two examinations. The course components are assigned the following weights:

Quizzes (1% each) 13%
Essays (12% each) 36%
Midcourse Exam 25%
Final Exam 26%

Grade Scale

Your letter grade will be calculated according to these percentages.

A 100–88 C 63–54
A- 87–84 C- 53–51
B+ 83–80 D+ 50–48
B 79–71 D 47–38
B- 70–67 D- 37–35
C+ 66–64 E (fail) 34 or below

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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