Formulating an enquiry

Fieldwork in geography is all about following an enquiry. A geographical enquiry is an active, questioning approach to learning.

A step-by-step guide to geography fieldwork, investigating sound levels in a typical high street

Types of enquiry

An enquiry is based on a question that you set out to answer. A hypothesis is very similar, though it is a statement rather than a question that you set out to prove or disprove. Both can be either physical or human in nature:

  • physical enquiries will look at natural landscapes, eg rivers or coasts
  • human enquiries will look at environments that are created by people, eg cities or tourist resorts
A photo of natural landscapes and processes
Natural landscapes and processes are physical enquiries
A photo of a city street
City studies are human enquiries