In this paper, the Galerkin finite element method constructed on the method of discretization in time was applied to solve the one-dimensional nonlinear Burgers' equation. The system of nonlinear equations obtained for each time step was solved by using the Newton method. In order to show the efficiency of the presented method, the numerical solutions obtained for various values of viscosity were compared with the exact solutions. It was seen that they were in excellent agreement. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.