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EN204 - Professional & Technical Writing: Discipline Case Study Resources

This guide will help you get started with the Resource Guide portion of your Discipline Case Study.

Discipline Case Study Resources

BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook

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The Occupational Outlook Handbook

The OOH features hundreds of occupations and describe What They Do, Work Environment, How to Become One, Pay, and more. Each profile also includes BLS employment projections for the 2010–20 decade.

Find Journals & Newspapers by Title

Check for library access to a specific journal, magazine or newspaper.


You may be able to find some handbooks for your field by searching in the Library Catalog for the word "handbook" or "guide" and some words about your discipline (e.g., "engineering handbook"). Books available here at the library will show up at the top of your result list, though the others available from "WorldCat Libraries" (i.e., not here) may be useful as well.

Search the Library Catalog:


Indexes and Databases

An Index is a guide to the literature in a specific discipline, usually specifically the periodical/journal/magazine literature. A discipline-specific index will be an index to the articles published in the periodicals of that discipline. These formerly paper indexes are now mostly online and we usually call them databases.

Some databases cover many different disciplines (example: Academic Search Premier).

Others are discipline-specific (example: Biological Abstracts).

Once you find a good periodical for your discipline, the Serials Directory database should list the databases where that periodical is indexed. These Indexes or Databases will contain information on all the articles published in that periodical. Once you start seeing a Database or Index mentioned for many different periodicals in Serials Directory, you can assume it's a quality one for that discipline.


Professional Organizations

In many cases, the key periodicals or journals in your field may be actually published by one of the main professional organizations in your field. You could also do a web search for some key terms related to your discipline and the word "association" or "organization".

Your Librarian

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Research Base Camp

Are you stuck? Whether you are at the beginning, middle or end of your research, Research Base Camp can help! These brief videos will provide you with key concepts in research and presentation skills. 

Understanding the Research Process  •  Searching  •  Using What You've Found  •  Citing Your Work  •  Presenting Your Research