Plan, research, and write a 4 to 5-page paper (body pages of text) on seismology or any engineering-related topic. The inclusion of graphical elements to support your text is recommended and will increase the page count, which is acceptable.
The suggested field of seismology covers a broad range of topics, which should allow you to find a wide variety of sources related to your specific topic (see suggestions below). However, you may optionally choose any other engineering-related topic for your paper. As an example, if you are currently conducting mentored research or are working on some type of engineering project in another class, you may write about that topic instead. Some suggested topics for seismology are as follows:
explain the basics of how and why earthquakes occur (plate tectonics, seafloor spreading, etc.)
describe/discuss the various proposed/tested earthquake prediction schemes
describe a specific earthquake (e.g., 1906 San Francisco earthquake, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, etc.) and its effects on the environment, economy, and/or society
describe/compare the methods used for structural assessment and retrofitting of older buildings for seismic safety
discuss some recommended earthquake preparedness plans (residential/business environments)
provide an overview of plate tectonics and seafloor spreading theories
describe the evolution of seismographs and how they are used to measure earthquakes
describe the various types of electromechanical devices used for monitoring geological faults
describe the types of seismic-resistant foundations designed for use in high-rise buildings
The paper should contain the following sections:
1. Cover page – (descriptive title, your name, student ID number, and class time)
2. Abstract – (written as a stand-alone document on a separate page – double-spaced text)
3. Table of Contents – (optional – NOT required for this writing assignment)
4. Body – (should contain an introductory paragraph followed by the main body of text, which should be appropriately subdivided using descriptive first and second-level headings as needed to indicate your chosen hierarchy of information (avoid stacked headings), and end with a brief conclusion that ties the paper together and brings closure to your selected topic)
5. List of References (IEEE citation format) – (should include a minimum of five sources, preferably not all web pages – not to be confused with online sources such as electronic copies of books, journals, or conference proceedings)
Peer Audience Considerations
Sufficient technical detail should be included in your paper to meet the expectations of your engineering based peer audience. Be careful not to overgeneralize or oversimplify the information presented in your paper, making it more suited to a generalist (non-technical) audience. Considering the intended scope of your paper, it would be better to provide greater technical detail on fewer points in your paper than to provide overgeneralized or oversimplified information on several points in your paper. Depending on your chosen topic and rhetorical mode, you could, for example, introduce your topic by providing a general introduction or overview (background and/or historical information to provide context for the reader) and then go into technical detail on selected points/components/characteristics of your topic, followed by a conclusion (restating your main points or conclusions, or restating the significance of your findings, or providing some forward-looking statements) to bring closure to your paper. If using an argumentative rhetorical mode, your paper should begin with a strong thesis statement tailored to the interests or possible concerns of your target (peer) audience. The body of the paper should be used to develop your argument. Organize your points of discussion to create a logical flow of factual evidence.
Rhetorical Mode Selection
You may use any rhetorical mode of writing (argumentative, classification, descriptive, cause and effect, comparison/contrast, exemplification, etc.) appropriate for your particular topic and purpose.
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