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Practical Writing Exercises In Construction Management

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Trend in Construction Engineering Education II

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1006.1 - 11.1006.13



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Paper Authors


Philip Dunn University of Maine

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Philip Dunn, Jr. PE is an Assistant Professor of Construction Management Technology at the University of Maine. He holds masters degrees in Business, Public Administration, and Civil Engineering. He is active in the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Maine Association of Engineers, and several community civic groups. He teaches courses in estimating, scheduling, and construction methods.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Practical Writing Exercises in Construction Management


The University requires that at least two core courses in any academic program within the system be writing intensive. Under a writing intensive program, students write about assigned topics that are discipline specific as would be created in professional situations within their respective fields. Writing exercises are evaluated on both technical content and proper writing standards. This combination of technical and applied writing standards assists students in learning to apply better communication standards for technical presentations.

In Construction Management, practicing professionals must respond to a variety of situations that range from technical interpretation to public meetings. The Construction Management Technology (CMT) program at the University adopted writing intensive standards within CET 356 Construction Documentation and Administration. In CET 356, students write and revise formal business letters, memos, meeting minutes, and field notes through a series of class exercises based on an ongoing project.

Exercises are evaluated through an assessment matrix. First draft assessments are returned for student review and are resubmitted in a final form for grading. The information from the two stage evaluation is reviewed to assess improvement in the individual student.

Writing intensive requirements have been applied through two semesters over two academic years. Results reflect the writing assessments of two graduating classes. Student writing skills seem to improve with assessment feedback.


In addition to the traditional English grammar and writing courses that students normally take, the University requires all students to take two writing intensive courses within their respective discipline of study. Under the University’s guideline for writing intensive curriculum, courses within a specific discipline that are designated as writing intensive are structured to include writing exercises that are relevant within the specific discipline. Students prepare the written assignment assigned by the instructor who, in turn, reviews it for both technical content and appropriate composition. The student is then allowed to revise the assignment based on the instructor’s review comments and to resubmit the assignment for a final grade. The purpose of these writing intensive courses is to give students better practice communicating discipline oriented concepts in appropriate professional formats.

Two courses within the Construction Management Technology Program (CMT) in the School of Engineering Technology are designated as writing intensive. These courses are CET 356 Construction Documentation and Administration and CET 451 Construction Law. CMT

Dunn, P. (2006, June), Practical Writing Exercises In Construction Management Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--995

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