Effective Technical Writing in the Information Age

Some Recommended Print Resources


Amidst the spinning electrons that we exploit nearly every time we do research, let us not forget the value of print resources available in most any college library. From style manuals that go well beyond the scope of this one to guidebooks published by professional organizations, an amazing number of print resources are available in libraries to help us track down definitive answers to questions and narrow our research focus. Below I list just a few of the best print resources available by category, along with their call numbers so you can easily track them down. Many of these resources are updated every few years, and most will reside on the references shelves in your library.

STYLE MANUALS provide stylistic guidelines and answers to matters of grammar and format.

PN171.D37L5 1993 Electronic Style: A Guide to Citing Electronic Information.
PN147.A28 1985 The MLA Style Manual.
BF76.7.A46 Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Z253.C5701 The Chicago Manual of Style.
PN147.M47 1983 The McGraw-Hill Style Manual.
LB2369.D8 1962 A Manual of Form for Theses and Term Reports.
PE1475.S25 1994 Helping Researchers Write—So Managers Can Understand.
PE1408.S772 1959 The Elements of Style.
T11.M56 Writing for Technical and Professional Journals.
T11.K34 1985 Elements of the Scientific Paper.
T11.M418 1982 How to Write and Publish Engineering Papers and Reports.
T11.E35 The Art of Technical Writing.
T11.D33 1988 How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper.
T11.S65 1977 Technical Report Writing.
QD85.A25 1986 The ACS Style Guide: A Manual for Authors and Editors.
PE1475.T53 1988 Effective Writing for Engineers, Managers, Scientists.

DICTIONARIES define words and describe how to use them.

PE1693.G3 1990 Acronyms, Initialisms, & Abbreviations Dictionary.
PE1680.M59 Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage.
PE1591.M37 1962 Roget’s International Thesaurus.
PE1680.R63 1957 The Word Finder.
Q123.M15 1983 McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms.
QA5.J32 1976 Mathematics Dictionary.

ENCYCLOPEDIAS provide general and specialized background information.

Q121.M3 1982 McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology.
QH540.4.M3 1980 McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Environmental Science.
AE5.E363 1990 Encyclopedia Britannica.

HANDBOOKS guide you to preliminary information and serve as reference tools.

TJ151.M371 Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers.
TK151.S8 Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers.
QA47.M315 27th CRC Standard Mathematical Tables.
QD65.H301 CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.
T56 1971 Industrial Engineering Handbook.
TA151.S8 Standard Handbook for Civil Engineers.

ABSTRACTS AND INDEXES lead you to specific journal articles.

QD1.A51 Chemical Abstracts.
QA75.5.A25 ACM Guide to Computing Literature.
QA76.C5854 Computing Reviews.
G1.G36 Geo Abstracts.
TD180.P6 Pollution Abstracts.
HD9540.5.E55 Energy Index.
Z5322.E2E53 Environmental Index.
QA1.M76 Mathematical Reviews.
QA276.A1 C87 Current Index to Statistics.
TN1.A58 Metallurgical Abstracts.

BUSINESS SOURCES describe industries, corporations, and products.

T12.T6Q Thomas Register of American Manufacturers.
HC107.P4A282 Harris Pennsylvania Industrial Directory.

CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS lead you to papers given at conferences.

Z7401.I54 Index to Scientific and Technical Proceedings.
Z7409.D56 Directory of Published Proceedings.

BIOGRAPHICAL SOURCES give general information about scientists.

Q141.A47 American Men and Women of Science.
Q141.D5 1981 Dictionary of Scientific Biography.
T39.W5 Who’s Who in Technology Today.

GUIDES TO THE LITERATURE list some of the best resources in the field.

QA41.7.S3 Using the Mathematical Literature, a Practical Guide.
Z7551.B86 How to Find Out About Statistics.
QA76.C6501 Computing Information Directory.


TECHNICAL REPORTS give results of ongoing governmental research.

Z7913.U2 Government Reports Announcement and Index.
Z1223.A18 Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.