Civil engineering is an academic profession that is interesting to many learners. Many students across the world are enrolling for the course as learners desire to understand the design and development of structures. Civil engineering students usually become professional engineers dealing with the design, developmental, construction, and management of natural and physically built infrastructure. The course usually focuses on developing roads, bridges, canals, buildings, and dams. One of the primary skills learned by civil engineering students is writing a term paper. In this regard, the structure and makeup of the papers vary depending on the demands by the tutors. However, the civil engineering course focuses on developing a student wholesomely to have both theoretical and practical skills to create and maintain the physical environment. Whereas practical skills are vital in the execution of civil works, proficient writing ability is essential in developing building plans, editing progress reports, and filling grand application documents.
The importance of essay writing in civil engineering is further stressed by its communication ability. Ideally, while working on large projects, communication between various sections occurs through written communication, which is often regarded as reporting. Practical assessment of structures and established recommendations are also communicated through reports thereby making essay writing a crucial part of civil engineering.
Learners are involved in the report writing in civil engineering. There are those who find it hectic while others are comfortable with it. Principally, most learners prefer a one-sided learning process in which they receive information from the tutors and, in turn, are not required to produce the acquired knowledge through writing. Ideally, the unilateral approach provides an easy way of learning especially to students. However, it has a weak effect in installing vital skills that are required in the professional execution of civil engineering tasks. Moreover, the approach makes it impossible for the teachers to evaluate the students’ understanding regarding the taught information. It is critical that students view term paper writing as an essential aspect of the learning process in civil engineering. Moreover, it can be fun and enjoyable if proper considerations and tips are put in place before, during, and after the writing. In this regard, the primary aspect to posses is the topic to cover. Furthermore, the need to have effective writing and communication skills should be complemented by the high relevance of the term paper to the information thought by instructors. Tutors also want to see how a learner can apply class knowledge to practical situations in the real world as civil engineering incorporates current influences on the environment.
Students may learn many topics during a particular term, which focus on different areas of civil engineering. The subject is wide with a variety of topics. Selecting a topic for a term paper, it is vital that it reflects aspects from all the topics within that term. Moreover, the topic should align with the objectives of the studies carried out. In developing a civil engineering term paper topic, students have to consider any questions posted by instructors, which have to be answered. In this regard, the questions can inform the learner on the type of a topic to choose. The approach limits the scope from which a topic has to be selected and eases the process for the students.
In instances where there are no questions from the instructor, a student may need to evaluate the primary theme in a term’s lessons and create a topic from it. For example, if the semester’s lessons have focused on the application of civil engineering in the natural and physical environment, a student may choose a topic which evaluates the role of civil engineering in the environment. In this regard, the information used to write the term paper should come from the learned lessons. However, in term papers, one has to understand what the instructor seeks and then tailor the term paper that meets these particular needs. Primarily, in situations where there is no topic given to write a term paper on, students can consider various factors which include:
Current topics that can be discussed in a civil engineering term paper include:
Any of these topics should be selected based on personal understanding and relevance to the learned information during the semester. After that, one can proceed to the preparation stage, which focuses on pre-writing activities.
Most learners face challenges in writing term papers because they do not prepare adequately. Therefore, before beginning the actual writing process, students should consider various aspects, which include:
Confirming the allocated timeline for the paper: Nobody wants to be late delivering their task as it presents challenges for the instructor and is a sign of poor time management. Consequently, learners should carefully evaluate the allocated time for the task as well as other instructions. Time is crucial because it will influence how one sets up to carry out specific activities within the overall term paper. Moreover, the allocated time significantly determiners the amount of research required which can also inform a learner about the instructor’s objectives. In this regard, an extended timeframe for a short paper may indicate that the instructor wants the student to carry out extensive research on the topic. However, students should be careful with extended deadlines as they sometimes can lead to the development of laziness.
Brainstorming: Once a topic is developed, particular ideas come to the mind even before carrying out any research. For a term paper, this is direct because the previously learned class lessons are the primary sources of information. Brainstorming requires that a student notes down these ideas as they come. They do not have to be positive or good ideas only, bad thoughts also have to be noted down. Furthermore, there is no need to follow any writing format or specifications during brainstorming.
Free-writing: After brainstorming, students can write some of the ideas in a logical flow with complete sentences yet without consideration of writing mechanics. The approach helps one to avoid censoring ideas.
For example, while writing about automated transport system, a student can note this down: All transport networks should be automated, be it the railway, road, or waterway. Also, the vessels using these systems should not affect the design of the transport networks. Moreover, people need to understand the value of automation in transport as well as should help to protect it. However, what will be the cost of these designs?
Mind-Mapping: The approach refers to developing an answer or solution to a particular concern using various ideas. In this regard, one generates ideas from a specific topic and then develops other ‘sub-ideas’ from it. Mind-mapping is essential in ensuring the relevancy of the term paper to the instructor’s requirements.
Question-Asking: Gathering information about a topic from a neutral position is tricky for some learners. The primary challenge lies in deciding what particular information should be picked and what ought to be discarded. In such situations, question asking could be essential. The technique involves asking yourself questions about the selected topic and then finding solutions to it. In the end, one manages to gain more insight into the title as more questions are developed then answered.
For example, Question – What are the primary start points in automating a road network?
Response – weighbridges, speed traps, and street lighting.
Writing a civil engineering term paper is different from other documents in many aspects. Primarily, the concepts used are unique to engineering and have to relate to the topics learned in class. Ideally, the terms are part of concepts taught by instructors with few additions from the carried out research. However, it is important to use common terminologies, which will be understood easily by the instructor as well as other people who might read the term paper. Common concepts in civil engineering include:
The stated terms are the most commonly used, but there are many others, which can be adopted in writing a civil engineering term paper.
The actual writing of a civil engineering term paper should begin with an outline. It should serve as a guide, which logically organizes all the ideas. Primarily, the civil engineering term paper uses a similar format as in other subjects. The term paper begins with an abstract, introduction, literature review, research methodology, results, and recommendations. However, there should be a title paper and another last page for references.
After writing everything, a student has to read the document several times. The purpose of this is to make sure that the ideas written in the paper are the ones intended. Moreover, it is vital to ensure that all writing mechanics have been observed in the paper. Proofreading should also be done several times taking short breaks. Essential techniques while proofreading are as follows: