Abstracts

Civil Engineering

MASK Engineering has designed a performing arts center for the CSU campus in order to provide a complex that will better serve the campus and the community. This facility will not only improve the performing arts programs on campus but will encourage students and community members to attend more cultural events in Fort Collins. The capacity of the new facility will exceed that of existing structures on campus, and the quality of sound and aesthetics will be improved. Some of the features included are a large performing hall, a coffee shop, a banquet hall, and a recording studio. The total area of the complex is 56,500 square feet split into three levels.

Instructor Comments

This abstract summarizes the accomplishments of the project and what it will do. It also summarizes some of the actual design and indicates that it's going to include a performing hall, coffee shop, banquet hall, and recording studio.

The writing, however, could be a little tighter in my opinion. The first sentence looks like it's around 20 words long. First of all, the expression "will better service the campus and the community" doesn't mean anything. What does "better serve" mean? A better choice might be, "MASK Engineering has designed a new Performing Arts Center that will meet the needs of the theater community," or something more specific.

The second sentence is typical. It gives the particular vehicle for doing the programs. However, it implies that the facility improves programs, and I'm not sure that's quite the right subject for this sentence. Furthermore, there's no point to the word "but" here. There's no contrast here, so this is a grammatical problem. This kind of problem can be avoided through careful reading, asking what each sentence accomplishes.

The abstract gets stronger after this. "The capacity of the new facility will exceed that" is very specific. "The quality, sound and aesthetics will be improved. Some of the features included are this..." The writers are very good at being descriptive. I think engineering students are more comfortable with the descriptive aspect of their material than with the lead-in.

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Introduction