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Sea Defence. Which is better: hard or soft engineering?

  • Essay length: 489 words
  • Submitted: 12/03/2012
  • Marked by teacher: (?) Eleanor Wilson
  • Reviewed by: (?) skatealexia 12/07/2012
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Teacher essay summary

4 star(s)

A generally very good review of hard and soft engineering techniques. Small tweaks as outlined in the comments would allow make this into a very strong answer.
4 stars

Marked by teacher Eleanor Wilson 01/12/2012

The first 200 words of this essay...

Which is better: hard or soft engineering?

Hard engineering options tend to be expensive, short-term options. They may also have a high impact on the landscape or environment and be unsustainable. Hard engineering is the controlled disruption of natural processes by using man-made structures.

An example of hard engineering is a sea wall, these walls are built on the edge of a coastline and made to protect the base of cliffs and also to limit the amount of coastal erosion on a cliff-face were land is being absorbed by the sea. These walls could also prevent coastal flooding. This type of hard engineering is good as it has many aspects and is effective. Disadvantages of creating a sea wall are that it is very expensive to build; the curves in the sea wall reflect the wave's energy back to into the sea, therefore the waves remain powerful. Another disadvantage is that the walls erode after time and the cost of maintenance is high.

Another example of hard engineering is groyne, a groyne is a wooden barrier built at a right angle to the beach. Groynes are built to prevent the movement of beach material along

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Review of essay

Reviewed by: skatealexia

Rating: 4 star(s)

Response to the question

A very good model essay. The candidate uses a technique so that the essay flows, with a good introduction, main body of text and also conclusion. The essay is easy to read and the candidate clarifies their views and points succinctly showing how they understand the topic and how the different engineering types are both good and bad to give a balanced view of each.

Level of analysis

The candidate introduces the different concepts of hard and soft engineering well with a definition of what hard engineering is. This leads on to why hard engineering is not a very good solution to a problem, using different examples and the pros and cons of each which are illustrated to a very high standard and show much consideration for impacts on the landscape as well as sustainability and expense. The candidate explains each method well. They seem to be biased to favor soft engineering as they give some of the terms in bold which I wouldn't have done because the argument should be balanced and the conclusion then makes the decision. The conclusion used is adequate because it provides a rounded view based on evidence discussed but it does not take into account the big need to keep land available for future generations.

Quality of writing

The candidate communicates in a very easy to read manner. Geographical terminology and how the candidate understands this is spot on. Grammar, spelling and punctuation are to a high level of accuracy.

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MbT essay summary

A generally very good review of hard and soft engineering techniques. Small tweaks as outlined in the comments would allow make this into a very strong answer.
4 stars

Marked by teacher Eleanor Wilson 01/12/2012

Marked by a teacher

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