Specifics of Writing Architecture Papers

Architecture is a wide-reaching subject:

  • A general term to describe buildings and other physical structures.
  • The art and science of designing buildings and (some) nonbuilding structures.
  • The style of design and method of construction of buildings and other physical structures.
  • A unifying or coherent form or structure.
  • Knowledge of art, science, technology, and humanity.
  • The design activity of the architect, from the macro-level (urban design, landscape architecture) to the micro-level (construction details and furniture). The practice of the architect, where architecture means offering or rendering professional services in connection with the design and construction of buildings, or built environments.[1]

As you can see, writing an architecture essay can be demanding, as you have so much to write about. However, you have to narrow down your topic and choose a subtopic within architecture that will go along with the assignment your teacher gave you.

After you choose a narrow topic (not too narrow, or else you will not have much to discuss) do your best to brainstorm. Think of what you want to include in your architecture paper.

After brainstorming, next comes the outlining process. You should have a semi-thorough outline to guide yourself through the writing process and to organize your thoughts properly. If you do not have an outline, the writing process can seem random.

An essay on architecture usually is in the vein of an expository essay, research paper, or a descriptive essay. In all these assignments, one needs to have a solid introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you have a hook, background information, and a thesis statement. In the body paragraphs, you will have one subtopic to discuss in each paragraph and cited material. In the conclusion, you have a summary of your main points in a way that synthesizes the information and leaves the reader with an afterthought. Throughout the essay, there should be transitions to connect ideas, so as to not to confuse the reader and to make the essay flow from one concept to next.

The style of an architecture essay is formal. So, using slang and contractions is prohibited. There will be plenty of technical terms included in the essay as well. Be wary of the technical terms you need to use, and incorporate them appropriately throughout the essay.

Popular Architecture Paper Topics

Descriptions of buildings

  • The Burj Khalifa
  • The Statue of Liberty
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • The most important building in your city
  • The most innovative building in your city

The Art and Science of Designing Buildings

  • Urban planning in Seattle
  • Industrial design in Dubai
  • How postmodern ideas are reflected in design
  • How to build the best foundation for a building
  • How to create earthquake-proof buildings

The Style of Design and Method of Construction

  • Should a neighborhood be unified in design, or is it better to have variety?
  • How does one integrate water cooling within a skyscraper?
  • How to construct a building out of recycled material
  • How the Empire State Building was constructed
  • How the Golden Gate Bridge was constructed

Knowledge of Art, Science, Technology, and Humanity

  • How architecture affects our opinion of the city we live in
  • Architecture for practical use versus architecture for art’s sake
  • How skyscrapers can incorporate business and art
  • What is the most technologically-advanced skyscraper in the world?
  • The image of the Twin Towers and what it meant for them to collapse

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  1. This bullet list is from the Wikipedia page on architecture, with edits. It is under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.