China’s population aging1
GEOG 345 China Research Project
This is an independent research project. You are supposed to select a geographic scope (e.g. a
region of China, a province, a city, or the whole country) 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
The objectives of this research project are threefold: 1) to encourage you to explore, in some depth,
geographic issues in a region of China; 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.
July 9 – Project guideline provided.
July 9 ~ August 4 – research topic sharing/discussion (You can receive extra credit by posting your
research topic on the Research Project forum by Aug. 4.)
August 8 – research paper due. Please submit it on Titanium by 11:55 pm.
The research paper is worth 18% of your course grade.
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://www.library.fullerton.edu/asp/askalibrarian.aspx).
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
345), the title of your research project, as well as your name and student ID.
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
1) China’s population aging
2) China’s One-child Policy and its consequences
3) Developing sustainable tourism in Western China
4) China’s “missing girls”
5) Huang He: China’s Sorrow
6) Rural to urban migration (floating population) in China
7) Sustainable development in East China
8) China’s “One Country, Two System” principle
9) China – US trade
10) Buddhism in China
11) Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in coastal China
12) The impact of the Olympics on China
13) China’s growing role in Africa
14) The development of Hsinchu – Taiwan's Silicon Valley
15) The problem of desertification in Nei Mongol
16) The role of China in the global economy
17) The Silk Road
18) Urban development in China
19) Environmental transformation in China
20) China’s film industry
21) The Three Gorges Dam project and its environmental and human consequences
22) Gender inequality in rural China
23) Sustainable agriculture
24) The rise of Pearl River Delta
26) The widening rich-poor gap in China
27) The beautification projects in Beijing
28) Fertility levels among different regions of China