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ENGL 181: Engineering Communications

What every engineering student needs to know to do research and writing for ENGL 181--whether it is for a class project or for your senior design theses. Learn to do research by applying the engineering design process.

Library Database Searching

Setting up Your Search Strategy

Searching in the library's databases can be a challenge. Here are a few tips to help you create better search strategies.

Boolean logic or boolean searching (named after George Boole) uses logical words/terms (and, or, not)  to combine words or terms. You can use Boolean Logic to help you narrow down your search results for ANY searching you do--whether it is using the library's databases or on the web. (For more on using Boolean operators--see the tips below).

Truncation symbols, usually the asterik * symbol, gives you more searching options for word endings.

Wildcard symbols, usually the question mark ? symbol, replaces a letter or letters in the middle of a word.

Phrase searching, to keep words together as a phrase, you usually use the quote marks around the phrase "words together"

Searching by author, sometimes you search by last name, then use ONLY initials; other times you can use lastname, first name.

Patent Searching

Finding Senior Design Theses

Finding Older (before 2013) Senior Design Theses in the Library Catalog 

NOTE: The library does not have every past senior design thesis--it has been required that masters and PhD theses be kept in the archives permanently.  If we don't have the senior design thesis you need, please see your department's administrative assistant.

To check if the senior design thesis you need is available:

1)  Go to the library's home page.

2)  Click on "OSCAR - Library Catalog."

3)  Click on "Advanced Search."

4)  To see the entire list for a department (example): Type in "Mechanical Engineering" in the box after Find.  Or if you know the title or author of the thesis, type those keywords in the search box and use the pull-down menu (change "Any Field" next to the search boxes) to specify a title or author search.

5)  In the Optional Search Limits/Sorts box, use the Location limiter and scroll down to select "University Library Senior Theses."

6)  Click on the "Submit" button to do your search.

Senior Design Program Archive

Note:  Has the Dean's State of the School of Engineering presentation, and the list of winners of each session.  Does not have the full text of each senior design project--for those go to Scholar Commons. Then click on "Student Scholarship."