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ENGR 310: Technical Writing

Subject Guide

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Lauren Todd
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Olin Library Rm 317

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How to Use Library Resources in Technical Writing Research

Explore possible research topics

Refresh on how to do library research

Find books/ebooks

Find articles and information

Evaluate your sources


Authority is constructed and contextual. 

  • Different types of Authority depend on the subject, situation, and societal situation.
  • Research tools and indicators of authority to determine the credibility of sources; understanding the elements that might temper credibility.
  • “standards” of authority by subject areas.  Engineering sources vs. gender-studies sources.
  • Understanding the social nature of the information ecosystem where authorities actively connect with one another and sources develop over time.

From the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy

Cite your sources

Find image and presentation resources

AI Chatbots and Library Research: Augmentative Technologies

How ChatGPT and Language Learning Models can help you in this class:

  • Identify relevant engineering standard numbers based on design prompt inputs.
  • Summarize standards and standard requirements.
  • Brainstorm keywords, subject headings, and additional research areas.
  • Identify possible "experts."
  • Help outline your report.
  • Remember to fact-check all information generated as it could be wrong, outdated, or fabricated.

Considerations when using LLMS as a research or writing tool: 

  • Start creative juices and overcome writer's block.
    • Generate topics, keywords, and ideas.
    • Help outline papers.
    • Compare and contrast
    • Refine research questions and thesis.
    • Note effective prompts and strategies.
  • Be very specific with your language inputs.
    • Consider the target audience and task.
    • Refine your questions and responses.
    • Verify everything.
  • Use for simple facts that you can fact-check via another source. Then cite that other source.
  • Beware of misinformation.
    • ChatGPT is notoriously bad at sources and often includes fake articles and citations.
    • ChatGPT has limited knowledge of the world or events after 2021.
    • If you copy/paste AI-generated text, you could be plagiarizing without even knowing it.


  1. Hargadon, Steve. "Library 2.0's ChatGPT Bootcamp for Libraries and Librarians." Library 2.0, 3/25/2023,