Research is important because it will help you know where to find different types of information to solve engineering problems in your career. As an engineer, you will be required to research engineering guidelines, standards, and other sources to prevent engineering failures. Your ability to conduct comprehensive and accurate research is very important though.
Most students find research classes boring or frightening or even both. The commitment levels to produce a good research paper are enormous, and that is what most students fear. A literature review as well as collecting and analyzing research data is the most difficult part of the process. However, the undergraduate research experience can influence your future career choice. It will allow you to develop professionally and personally in ways not possible through in normal lectures. The research experience will give you an opportunity to gain some deeper knowledge of research techniques and processes. You will be able to apply classroom learning in real-world contexts, explore academic literature, and develop an important relationship with your supervisor.
In your career as a civil engineer, you will be mandated required to present their findings on projects. A good number of civil engineers are involved in the research. The satisfaction of a civil engineer is derived from seeing a complex project completed. Engineers are required to have problem-solving and writing skills. Their work entails that they possess the ability to identify and evaluate complex problems. They are often forced to come up with cost-effective, safe, and efficient solutions. Writing skills enable engineers to communicate with other people. They must explain their projects to the government, elected officials, and other engineers. Civil engineers, therefore, must be able to write reports that are clear, concise, and understandable to those with no technical or scientific background.
To earn your degree, you will be required to conduct a research study. You will identify a research topic, perform the appropriate research, and write a project.
A topic is a general area of inquiry and it designates the general subject of the research. It is a specific issue you are to discuss. It is a subject that a person wants to learn about. Research topics are supposed to be interesting and meaningful to the student and the instructor; there must be enough resources available to carry out the work. Also, you must make sure that your research can be accomplished within the time limits available to you. Other things to consider include the availability of intellectual and financial resources available to you.
In civil engineering paper, you will be required to narrow down the general topic down to a more specific topic for your project. Identifying a research topic is one of the most difficult tasks.
Here are some possible topics for a civil engineering research paper:
Your civil engineering research paper will have the following parts:
This part contains the paper’s title, your name, and the year.
The abstract will be a broad overview of your paper, and it is never more than a page. It describes what your paper is all about, objectives its significance, the methodology, and the main findings. You should take the time to write a good abstract because it is the first part of the paper that will be read by your instructor.
Here, you are to explain the main research problem and why it is important, how original it is and if it will fill a gap in other studies.
This section includes a review of what other authors have written about your topic. You will be required to provide relevant information that has been done on the topic from the analysis and summary of published literature and reports. This section will draw heavily on the previous work by others and other sources of data that should be extensively referenced.
Discuss the research methodology that you used for your study. What did you do, how you did you do it. You should provide enough information on the research schedule with specific tasks and milestones that can be used to track the progress of the research.
In this section, you will indicate what you are not going to attempt. You can limit your paper by personnel, time, and geographic location among others.
Here, you will describe the data expected to be generated by the research. Describe how the data will be processed, summarized or analyzed. Identify statistical methods that you will use to process the data. Also, describe how you will assimilate and interpret literature, interviews, or other non-qualitative information.
Here, you state what you have learned or proved. Describe interesting observations, new questions, and future work here.
For your work to be considered credible, you should use sources that are regarded as highly credible. You should not rely on those that give a personal opinion or anecdotal evidence.
Geographical Restriction: If your topic focuses on a particular county, you will need the information from that country’s resources.
Year Range: Some universities require that you use information published that fit a particular year range. You could be restricted to sources that are not more than 10 years old or less.
The research is a formal academic document and should be written formally. Write your research in the third person. You should be clear and succinct. The report should be written in the past tense because the document describes the work that has been done before.
You should ensure that your work meets the required level of academic writing. It should also be presented in a clear and logical manner. The necessary high standards in spelling, referencing, and grammar should be met.
To avoid plagiarism, you are required to properly cite and attribute the work of others in the literature review and background section of your work. You should cite words that you have used directly from other authors. You must also document the source when you use the ideas or information of others even if they appear in your own words. However, you are not required to cite sources for materials that are considered common knowledge.
You should expect to put a lot of work into your research. First, you will be required to come up with a research proposal which constitutes the first part of the project. The research proposal will establish the organization for the final document. Equally, you must strive to produce high-quality research project.