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ENGR 101: Home/Assignment

Course guide for ENGR 101

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 CSULB Library Home Page From here you can access "Databases by Title" or "Databases by Topic" (go to Engineering)   


Library Hours


Research Paper guidelines

Your research paper should include at least 4 references from sources (books, journal articles, encyclopedias, other reference works and authoritative Internet sites). One of these can be an internet site.

At least TWO articles must be selected from scholarly  (peer-reviewed) journals, published within the last five years.

Cite your references using APA style. A



First quiz is on library research. The questions are based on the class session and this course guide.

Second quiz is entirely on the APA citation style for which you MUST study the APA guide:



  • Team finds an article of interest via Beachboard
  • Team leader informs Instructor/TA per instructions about the choice of article
  • Team reads the article critically

Critically analyze the article and develop a list of keywords

  • Use the 5 questions used in class (see box opposite) to evaluate the article (suggestion)
  • Brainstorm and keep a list of the answers (keywords/terms).
  • Are there any terms that are relevant but not mentioned in the article?.
  • Record all the answers

Constructing a search strategy

  1. Combine terms, noting synonyms, alternate words, spellings etc.
  2. Are there any topics that are relevant but not mentioned in the article?
  3. Construct a search statement using Boolean Operators (AND, OR or NOT)
  4. You will use this basic search strategy to identify relevant peer-reviewed articles and other material
  5. What will you do if you cannot find any articles with this specific search strategy?
  6. How can you broaden your search without losing important terms?

Find journal articles using the search statement you constructed.  You can also search for articles by the name(s)of the researcher(s) or name of the project.  Remember you need to find a minimum of THREE peer-reviewed articles.

Try the Internet for additional information

Find books on your topic - especially good for the "big picture" and basic engineering principles.  Remember to think more broadly about your topic

Visit Writing and Citing for assistance.

Don't forget to write annotations for each entry in your bibliography! Some guidance about writing Annotations from Cornell University's How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography


  1. Open a Word document
  2. Using the  the list of keywords developed in the previous step, assign each keyword/pharase an agreed upon weighting depending on the importance of the word         
  3. Suggested weighting: 400 is a very significant term; 300 is medium term and 100 is least significant term.
  4. Add the weightings with a colon (e.g. : 400) to each term. Save the document
  5. Open in your internet browser. Go to Advanced. Copy paste the terms with weightings from your word document.
  6. You would have created a "visual"  representation of your article - the larger the word the more significant is the term.
  7. Play around with the functionality of Wordle to create different visual effects!
  8. Save the document - you may decide to create a Wordle and use it in your paper and presentation
  9. Example of a Wordle (places where Hema has lived and worked)


Brief article for discussion in class: (you have TO scroll all the way down to find the article entitled "Fin-tastic").

  • What is this article about?
  • What is the problem that the researchers are trying to solve?
  • What engineering/scientific principles are mentioned in the article?
  • Who is doing research in this area?
  • Which branch (major) of engineering would be interested in this topic?


Engineering Librarian

Hema Ramachandran
Summer Office hours by appointment.

Ask us a question!