In this report, finite element models of shells built up of membrane and plate elements are studied. The main objective of the work, presented as thesis for the cand. scient. degree (master equivalent), has been to compare different types of plate elements used in the finite element method and to see if there is such a thing as the 'best' plate element. The theory behind this work is based on a work by C. A. Felippa and C. Militello. This theory uses several free parameters that makes it possible to easily replicate existing plate elements and even create new ones by varying the parameters. In order to get results anchored in a practical application, calculations have been performed on a finite element model of a ship.