English 3083 - Technical Writing

Where do I go for help?

If you need assistance, please go to the Reserve Desk on the first floor of the library and ask for a specific librarian.  The librarians are trained to answer your questions about doing library research and represent specific disciplines. The librarians and their subject areas are listed below:
Mass Comm, English, Art, Foreign Language, Theater

Sarah Burkhead (ext. 3262, & Psychology

Gary Cheatham (ext. 3265,, Technology, MIS, and Social Sciences

Sandra Martin (ext. 3263, Sciences (Nursing, Optometry, Speech Pathology)

Brandon Oberg (ext. 3260,, Science, and Computer Science,Mass Comm, English, Art, Foreign Language, Theater

Students who need help with microfiche or periodicals on the second floor may go to the Reserve Desk (first floor, north entrance) and a student assistant will go to the second floor with them.

Where are materials located in the library?

The Tahlequah library hours , BA library hours, Muskogee library hours
The library maps
How materials are organized
Our collections are reflective of the curriculum taught at NSU. Your ID card is your library card, and books circulate for three weeks with an optional renewal. Call Circulation at ext. #3391 to renew books. Periodicals and Reference books do not circulate. Compact disks and DVDs circulate for one week. A photocopier and a scanner are available near the Reserve Desk on the first floor (north entrance). The Reserve Desk is located on the first floor (north entrance).  Materials are placed there by professors and include information in all formats. The faculty members determine what items are placed on Reserve as well as the loan periods.

How do I get started?

After defining your topic, identify the type(s) of resources that would be useful and construct a search strategy. For example, for current information, (listed from most current to less current) choose Internet, newspapers, magazines, and journals. For definitions, histories, theories, trends, or how-to sources, use books. To find a unique angle for a topic, read as many sources as possible from a wide variety of  tools (magazines, journals, Internet, newspapers, etc.) Combine this with your personal interests or unique hobbies to make the topic your own.

How can I locate information in books, periodicals, and Internet?

To find books on a subject, use the Library Catalog.  For instance, you can do a subject search on technical writing.  For books on computer languages do a subject search on the language, "C++ Computer Program Language." 

Examples of books on technical writing include the following: The Business Writer's Handbook, How to Write a Manual, and The Elements of Technical Writing, (T11 .P392 2001) Writing Successfully in Science. For general writing exercises, try


Periodicals are in electronic format, paper, bound, and microform. All of the periodicals, except the electronic titles, are located on the second floor by subject. In general, the business periodicals are in the HF's and the scientific journals are in the Q's (except QA which is Math and QA 75.5 which is computers). MIS materials are in HD 30, HF 5700 as well at the T 57-58. If you need help with the periodicals, ask the student assistants at the Reserve Desk at the north entrance of the library. 

On the second floor, consult the journal entitled, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (Per. T 11.J66). This journal includes articles on documentation. It also contains articles on writing for computer manuals, Engineering, Business, and Scientific publications. On Internet, the Writer's Block is a quarterly newsletter that deals with technical writing and documentation.

When approaching a database, look for help screens for complete information on how to search it effectively.  Check for scope notes that identify the contents of the database.  For instance, what dates and types of materials are included in the database. Check for ways to search and limit the search.  Can it be searched by full text and subject? Can the search be limited by date, language or full text? Check for an online thesaurus to help identify how the index defines terms.  Does the database use remedial reading or developmental reading?  Knowing the terms in the database can help increase the effectiveness of the search.

To find a database for a subject not listed below, try the library's Articles and Databases.  For information about Oklahoma topics, try searching Oklahoma newspapers through NewsBank.

Periodicals:  North American Journal of Fisheries Management Per. SH 221.N67
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society Per. SH 1.A51
Oklahoma Game and Fish Per. SK 1.O553
Outdoor Oklahoman Per. SK 437.O8

Biology and Chemistry periodical indexes (used to find subjects in journals):
General Science
American Chemical Society Web Edition

Computer (CIS, MIS):
PC Magazine Per. QA 76.8.I1015
PC World Per. QA 76.8.I126P3
Wired Per. TK 5105.5.W57
For articles dealing with MIS use, ABI/INFORM on Proquest
For articles on CIS, use Applied Science and Technology

Business Source Premier


A good search engine to use is google (

Technical Writing:
Association of Teachers of  Technical Writing (
The Official Techwr-L  (
Society for Technical Communication

Internet: American Fisheries Society  
American Fisheries Society, Southern Division
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife--Fishing
Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation

MIS Web Resources


Business Web Resources

How would I locate information about jobs in specific fields?

Try the Occupational Outlook Handbook Ref. HF 5381.U62 or the Encyclopedia of Careers Ref. HF5381.E52

One of the best resources for locating jobs would be newspapers. Most companies hire students with a variety of majors. Trade publications (or journals in the discipline) can list job openings. Some companies list job openings on their Web page. Find the company addresses and contact information through directories or the company's Web site. Try also, For assistance in writing letters, try Cover Letter Magic (HF5383 .E4787 2010)
or resume books.

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Jobs
American Society of Fisheries Jobs

USAJobs (federal jobs and employment opportunites)
Oklahoma Jobs

How can I locate materials about a business?


To get an overview to reference materials about business, consult the following reference book:
Business Information: How to Find It, How to Use It (Ref. HF 5356.L36 1992)
Dictionary of Business Terms Ref. HF 1001.F78 1994
How to Research an Industry
Ref. HF 1042.N6 1998

For information about companies, check the Library's Finance page.

On the Library Catalog, search the subject business writing.

Reference USA
*Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations... Ref. HG 4057.A4
Thomas Register Ref. T 12.T6
Do a google search on the name of the company to locate the company's home page.

International Directory of Company Histories Ref. HD 2721.D36


Mergent's Online
Thomson One Banker

Dun's Business Rankings Ref. HG 4057.A237
Market Share Reporter Ref. HF 5410.M37
Predicast's Basebook Ref. HA 214.P73a
RMA Annual Statement Studies Ref. HF 5681.B2R58
U.S. Industry and Trade Outlook Ref. HC 101.U54
See indexes listed below for articles about an industry.


Business Source Elite
Wall Street Journal Index Ref/Index HG 1.W26 The indexing is also available on Newspaper Source

Other information available about a company include trademark information, stocks, and bond materials. For stocks, see ValueLine.

What computers are available to students?

The library has two computer labs on first floor (L105 and L118). Laptops are available at the Reserve Desk to be checked out and used in the library with our wireless network. All students are welcome to use these computers.  There are two printers available. There is no charge for printing in the library, but we do have a print limit of 400 pages a semester.  An extra 100 copies can be purchased for $5.00 at the Reserve Desk.

Where can I get materials (books or periodicals) that are not available at NSU?

Interlibrary Loan is available free to all NSU students, faculty, and staff for materials not available at NSU.   Requests are made online, and can take two weeks to fill.  You will be notified (you designate the method) when materials are available.

How do I cite sources?

APA and MLA are two of the standard sources used for citing materials.  Your professor and the requirements of the discipline (publishers of journal articles define how bibliographic entries are to be written.) determine which style manual is used.  Both use the same basic information from a source, but they put the information in a different order.  Try KnightCite Citation Service and Purdue's OWL for help.

How can I access these pages from the Library home page?

From the NSU home page, click on the Library link under Academics.  From the Library home page, the Library Catalog is available as a link on the left side of the page under Research.  The databases are listed under Research, Articles and Databases. The databases are available from off site with your NSU NT password and userid.

    SophiaBeverley Threatt, MLS, MA
    Instructor of Library Services
    Languages and Literature and Communication, Art, & Theatre
    Resource Coordinator
    (918) 444-3267

Page maintained by: SB Threatt
Last Updated: 08/02/2012