Technical Writing

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Search through all of our databases and book catalogs, simultaneously.
Use filters on the left side of the search results to limit to books, journals, reports, etc.

Technical Resources

Database Description
AE Access Engineering  New
Covers all engineering topics. Includes books, calculators, videos, schematics and more.
applied science and technology source Applied Science & Technology Source
Covers trade and industrial publications, journals issued by professional and technical societies, conference proceedings, buyers' guides & directories.
energy and power source Energy & Power Source
Provides coverage of information relevant to many areas integral to the energy and power industries, encompassing all component industries within, including those focused on petroleum, natural gas, electric power, coal, nuclear power, renewable energy, and others.
engineering source Engineering Source
Covers engineering, computer science and related areas.
To get articles, copy the citation to order the article here. The library will email you the articles within 1-3 days (free for MMA affiliates).
science direct ScienceDirect
To get article PDFs, copy the citation and URL to order the article here. The library will email you the articles within 1-3 days (free for MMA affiliates).
thomas register Thomas Register
Online directory of manufacturing companies & products.

Commercial Application

Database Description
business source premier Business Source Premier
The go-to business database.
nexis uni Nexis Uni (a.k.a. Lexis Nexis)                     

For newspapers, business and law.

patent and trademark office Patent and Trademark Office, United States
Free patents online.

Specialized Resources

Resource Description
audio engineering society journal article database Audio Engineering Society Journal Article Database
The only professional society devoted exclusively to audio technology.
civil engineering database Civil Engineering Database
American Society of Civil Engineers.
scitech connect SciTech Connect
U.S. Government, Department of Energy.
nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory Technical Reports Server
matlab MatWeb
Use for material properties of engineering materials.
spie web Spie Web
International Society of Optical Engineering

Topic Overviews and Arguments

Database Description
CQ Researcher CQ Researcher
Current issue overviews, historical backgrounds, chronologies and pro/con lists.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Current issues with pro/con viewpoint essays and topic overviews.
Global Issues in Context Global Issues in Context
Current issues with pro/con viewpoint essays and topic overviews.

Avoid Plagiarism - Cite Your Sources

Resource Description
Knight Cite Knight Cite
A free citation maker from Calvin College
Purdue OWL Purdue OWL
Purdue University's website of extensive guidelines on citing your research paper

Free Document Delivery

If you need a book or journal article we do not have in print or online, fill out the form:
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We'll get your research materials from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery. There is no charge to MMA affiliates for this service.

Get Research Help

Ask a Librarian
Susan Berteaux, 508.830.5035

For IT Problems, Contact the Main Library Help Desk Call: 508-830-5308
Open a ticket: online

Evaluating Resource Credibility

Who is the author? Credible sources are written by authors respected in their fields of study. Responsible, credible authors will cite their sources so that you can check the accuracy of and support for what they've written. (This is also a good way to find more sources for your own research.)

How recent is the source? The choice to seek recent sources depends on your topic. While sources on the American Civil War may be decades old and still contain accurate information, sources on information technologies, or other areas that are experiencing rapid changes, need to be much more current.

What is the author's purpose? When deciding which sources to use, you should take the purpose or point of view of the author into consideration. Is the author presenting a neutral, objective view of a topic? Or is the author advocating one specific view of a topic? Who is funding the research or writing of this source? A source written from a particular point of view may be credible; however, you need to be careful that your sources don't limit your coverage of a topic to one side of a debate.

What type of sources does your audience value? If you are writing for a professional or academic audience, they may value peer-reviewed journals as the most credible sources of information. If you are writing for a group of residents in your hometown, they might be more comfortable with mainstream sources, such as Time or Newsweek. A younger audience may be more accepting of information found on the Internet than an older audience might be.

Be especially careful when evaluating Internet sources! Never use Web sites where an author cannot be determined, unless the site is associated with a reputable institution such as a respected university, a credible media outlet, government program or department, or well-known non-governmental organizations. Beware of using sites like Wikipedia, which are collaboratively developed by users. Because anyone can add or change content, the validity of information on such sites may not meet the standards for academic research.