Category Archives: ASCE

Microtheme Writing Assignment

Your assignment is to choose a position on one of the topics listed below and write a microtheme supporting your chosen position. Microthemes must be at least 750 words in length and must properly cite at least three references, according to the ASCE in-text and references document posted on Canvas under Lectures. Start your microtheme with a clear statement of what your thesis is, and/or make the title of your paper your thesis statement.

Select an option from the two choices in parenthesis as the thesis for you microtheme.

1.  The extensive adoption of construction safety programs and slogans in recent years (has improved / has not improved) worker safety.
2.  Implementing procedures to maintain or improve safety (affects / does not affect) production and labor productivity for a construction company.
3.  The LEED rating systems (adequately / inadequately) addresses worker safety during construction.
4.  Projects that strive to achieve LEED certification (show / do not show) higher quality work than projects that are not concerned about LEED.
5.  LEED (continues to be / is no longer) useful for the construction industry.
6.  New building construction (will / will not) be supplanted by remodeling and renovation work as the U.S. nears its maximum capacity for new buildings.
7.  The low bid process (serves / does not serve) the industry and its stakeholders well.
8.  The construction industry (has / has not) made a successful positive shift in the way the industry is viewed by society outside of the industry itself.
9.  Managers of construction projects (should / should not) be required to work as trade workers in the field before being allowed to manage projects.
10. Requirements for obtaining a contractors license (should / should not) be increased in order to improve the quality, productivity, and reputation of the construction industry.
11. Project managers working for general contractors specializing in building work (should / should not) just leave the site organization and work methods and processes to the superintendent, and devote their (PMs) time to dealing with paperwork and customer and public relations.
12. Any of Demings 14 points (search web or Wikipedia for Demings 14 points) stated as a thesis-support microtheme (i.e. for point #3, Cease dependence on mass inspection (is / is not) important for a productive construction industry.)
13. Work status of craftsmen when they are not being closely supervised (is / is not) an effective way to measure productivity for a construction project.
14. Ratio of productive equipment hours to standby hours (is / is not) an effective way to measure productivity for a construction project.
15. Current safety procedures for construction cranes (are / are not) sufficient to provide for acceptable construction site crane operation safety.
16. The construction industry (would / would not) improve if there were more stringent standards for pre-qualifying bidders for projects.
17. The construction industry (is / is not) the most wasteful industry in the world or U.S.
18. Communications barriers between business managers and construction workers (are / are not) systemic and cultural problems that must be addressed if we ever expect to significantly change the lackluster performance and poor public image of the construction industry.
19. Quantitative measures of worker productivity (should / should not) be used to assess their performance and to determine promotions and pay raises.