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Tips for CCE Technical paper

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Tips for CCE Technical paper

12 July 2010 10:29
I am going to enroll for CCE certification exam up coming in this year November. Any one could help me to find sample technical paper, or just give me some hints what mater to be write about 2500 words
Last Edit: 9 years, 5 months ago by . Reason: (NULL)
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Re: Tips for CCE Technical paper

12 July 2010 10:36
Here are some tips excerpted from Cost Engineering Vol. 50/No. 12 December 2008 By F. Sam Griggs, CCE I found these quite useful Tip Number 10: Make sure you have a table of contents and does your table of contents mirror the contents of the paper? For instance, if the table of contents page indicates that the technical paper includes an introduction section, body of work section, conclusion section, and a reference page. Does the paper actually have all of these sections-with the correct page number? Does it indicate what’s in the paper? One of the best papers that I graded was a paper by a rocket engineer who was explaining the trials and tribulations of how to impose a cost control system to a bunch of brilliant engineers and scientists. Each of these men and women had several PhD’s and could send a rocket to outer space, but they couldn’t do earned value or simple cost analysis. (Heck, he said, not only couldn’t they do earned value, they could not fill-out a simple time sheet). Unfortunately, I had to deduct points from the paper because the author forgot to include a table of contents. (The paper still passed, but not with an A). Tip Number 9: You do have an abstract, don’t you? The abstract is a short summary of the technical paper, no more than a page in length. It should be a clear and concise synopsis of the entire paper. Actually, having the abstract in front of you when reviewing your technical paper may be a good way to catch any mis-connects. For instance, in your abstract, you want to summarize your conclusions. Do these conclusions match what is actually in the conclusions section of the technical paper? Tip Number 8: Make sure that your introduction section provides the background of the problem. It should also state the purpose for undertaking this topic. For instance, if I am writing on the subject of “Using Project Control Techniques for Investing Wisely,” I might provide a background statement to the effect that statistics show that people who don’t invest in 40lk and/or IRA’s do not have as much money in retirement as their counterparts who do invest in these investments. Tip Number 7: For the body of your technical paper, make sure that you not only discuss the basis for data, but also make an interpretation of the data and its application or analysis. The material should flow smoothly from one topic to the next topic. As a grader, we are asked to look at three things in particular for evaluating the body of the paper. Does the author makes his/her point? Is the paper informative or persuasive? Finally, are the references/quotes properly footnoted or referenced? Tip Number 6: Does your conclusion section really conclude? Make sure that you, as the author, arrive at a logical conclusion. And double-check the conclusion(s) with the summary in the abstract. Perhaps most importantly, make sure that the conclusion section does not contain new material that properly belongs in the body of the technical paper. Remember, the conclusion section should be based on material already covered in the body of the paper. Tip Number 5: Do you have references and a list of references? Make sure that the references and the list of references is reflected in the table of contents. There are proper guidelines for listing the references in the body of the paper, so follow the guidelines. Did you know that you may get extra points for an appendix or attachment? This section may be used if you have pertinent data and information that is important to your conclusion, but which could detract from the smooth flow of information of the main body of paper. (Using the example in Tip Number 8 of a sample paper on “Investing Wisely,” I might want to include a statistical report from one of the brokerage banks for investors that includes the data over a period of years). Also, any material that supports or expands the technical material may be attached as appendix material, but should also be referenced. Tip Number 3: It is a popular myth that all cost engineers love graphs and tables, so making some neat charts and graphs should not be a problem. Like all myths, this probably has a degree of accuracy to it. With the advent of popular graph programs, preparing a graph on the computer is relatively easy. But let me add one word of caution. Make sure that you reference the graph(s) in the body of the paper. One way of getting a point deduction from your grade is to have graphs or tables in the body of the paper that are referenced or mentioned in the text. Tip Number 2: Does your technical paper have organization and clarity? This may seem like a broad topic but there are specific guidelines to use to make sure your paper is organized and clear. You should have a logical transition to the next paragraph. For instance, if you are writing a paper on the migratory habits of the three different types of squirrels (brown, red and gray), you would be advised to write a paragraph or two about the brown squirrels and then perhaps contrast that to the red squirrel and then the gray squirrel. A sample transition paragraph might read as follows: “Similar to the brown squirrel who migrates to North Carolina in the autumn, the red squirrel is more adventurous and migrates far down to state of Georgia in September…” Then how about this as a transition to the last topic, “Even more adventuresome than their brown and red cousins, the gray squirrel migrates as far south as Florida, some even as far south to Orlando, probably hoping to get a job at Disney with Mickey and Donald…” Finally, are complete sentences used? Remember when you would write a paper for your 9th grade English class and the teacher would grade it and give it back to you all marked red. The teacher would be especially vigilant about the subject, verb and object. Does the tense of the subject agree with the verb? As a grader, incomplete sentences and mis-used tenses are the type of mistakes that makes the grader want to take out the red pencil and deduct points. Tip Number 1: Don’t forget to count your words-do a ‘word count.’ Unfortunately, the rest of the “Top 10 tips” will be for naught unless your technical paper has the minimum number of words. The minimum count is 2,500 words. Actually, this is the first thing that is usually checked when a paper is received. Appendix C of the AACE International CCC/CCE Certification Study Guide, and there is also a CCC/CCE brochure, and both state that, “The paper or article must be a minimum of 2,500 words, not including the abstract, figures, tables, and appendices.” Papers that do not meet this approximate length requirement will not be accepted, regardless of quality. Sometimes I am asked what the maximum is. Although there is no maximum, I can tell you as a grader that anything over 25 pages is usually greeted with skepticism. Bonus – Tip Number 11: Every technical paper should have a title page. If you forget this item, not only are points deducted, but it might bring some doubt to the entire paper. (The grader might subconsciously ask if he forgets the title page, what else did he forget). Of course, if you are a rocket engineer as discussed back in Tip 10, you might be excused for this omission.
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