Formulating an enquiry

Fieldwork in geography is all about following an enquiry.

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

Types of enquiry

An enquiry is a question that a geographer sets out to prove or disprove. A hypothesis is very similar, though it is a statement rather than a question. 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
High waves reach a sea front in bad weather
Natural landscapes and processes are physical enquiries
A busy street scene in Chester, UK
City studies are human enquiries