Thursday, 26 January 2012

Explain why are some places more 'switched on' to globalisation than others?

Contrasting places: Tomboktou, Mali and Hong Kong, China

This post is for Year 12 students at Bethany School.  Today we were discussing the question in the title above. The aim of this post is to provide some extra guidance to help you improve your geographical writing.  If you are unable to view the graphics, click here to download the PDF and the PowerPoint presentation. Here are some tips:

  • Read The Question carefully: Circle the command word and underline any key words.
  • Apply Geographical Ideas: Key words in the title suggest that you refer to the ideas of 'switched on' verses 'switched off' and globalisation.  Cities are the most connected places on Earth and as global hubs they are the most 'switched on places'.  Can you think what the main reasons for this could be?
  • Explain: The question also asks you to explain, which means you will need to think of REASONS WHY some places are more 'switched on'.  You could provide 3 main reasons.  Remember to use the P.E.E approach of Point, Explain, Example/Evidence.  
    • POINT - Make you first point (Reason for being switched on)
    • EXPLAIN - Explain why this factor makes it more switched on
    • EXAMPLE/EVIDENCE - Refer to your real place.  Write in some detail about it to demonstrate you are writing about a real place (Real people, real places, real geography!)
  • Structure: Think carefully about which structure to use.  Here's an example:
    • Introduction - define key terms
    • Main body - talk about your main reasons.  Use P.E.E
    • Conclusion
What are the key reasons then?
The diagram below shows some reasons why some places are more switched on than others.

The Essential Historical Perspective
To really understand the reasons why some places are more connected to global capitalism we need to look at the history of a place.  For example Dubai in the UAE has rapidly become a switched on place over the last 40 years.  The BBC Country Profile for UAE clearly outlines the key historical developments and policy decisions which have led to Dubai being a global hub.  In contrast the BBC country profile for the D. R. Congo shows how recent civil war has been a real obstacle to development and establishing links to the global economy.  The BBC also asked the question, 'Can the failed state of Congo recover?' This among other factors have led to the D.R. Congo being the poorest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita (Source: Gapminder).

The presentation below will hopefully extend your thinking further.  Some of the slides have been updated.

I'm sure if you use these ideas you will improve your geographical writing!