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GGRB28: Geographies of Disease

This guide will help students in GGRB28 with finding articles for the annotated bibliography and other resources for the final research assignment.

Step 1: Choose a Topic

Use a similar who, what, where, when, and why and how method to help you narrow down your topic. Pick one aspect to focus on your research. 

Topic 1: Pick one specific rural community or a health issue affecting rural communities in Canada and evaluate it based on the course topics and health geography concepts. 

Topic 2: Choose one public health challenge (e.g., obesity, aging population, substance use, vaccine hesitancy, safe housing) and explore how health geographers have engaged with the topic and their contributions to the research. What are the key issues highlighted or addressed by health geographers and how are they related to the course concepts and themes?

Topic 3: Pick two social determinants of health that impact the health for specific communities in urban spaces and evaluate them based on the course topics and health geography concepts.   

Step 2: Background Research, Brainstorm, Scope, & Narrow Your Topic

Describe the what, who, where, and when of your topic based on your background research.


  1. Who (people or organization) are involved? 

  1. What is happening? What's the issue?  

  1. When does it happen or when does the issue occur?  

  1. Where does it happen or where does the issue occur? 

Use your background research and anything you may have found already to describe these aspect of your research scope(s). 

You can use the worksheet to help brainstorm your ideas, and ultimately the brainstorming and writing will help you narrow down what specific aspect of your topic you will focus your research.

Google Web Search

Step 3: Activity 2 Narrowing Your Topic (In-class portion)

Based on your assignment topic selection, answer one of the following questions in Padlet to help you narrow your topic.

Topic 1: What is 1 health issue affecting rural spaces in Canada? Where and who does it affect? What is 1 class concept that relates?

Topic 2: What is 1 public health challenge? Who is impacted by this challenge? - consider identifying the specific community, age group. What is 1 way that health geographers have explored this issue? What is another way that health geographers have explored this issue? What is 1 course concept that relates?

Topic 3: What are 2 social determinants of health? What specific urban community does this impact? What is 1 course concept that relates? 

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