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WR 327: Technical Writing

This is a course page for Oregon State University's WR327, Technical Writing course.

What is this Page?

This page was created to support your work in WR 327.  It includes information on how to find books and articles within the library, as well as resources for improving your writing.  If you don't find what you need on this page, feel free to contact the course librarian for more help.

What do you mean by "permalinks"

Sometimes, saving a link to an article is a little more complex than you think.  Some databases generate dynamic links to resources based on your search terms.  When you try and go back to find the articles you save using these dynamic links, it doesn't work.

This tutorial tells you how to find the permanent link to your articles - using many different library databases.

Databases for WR327

Because your topics may come from many different subject areas, there is no one "right" database for WR327.  Instead, think about what subject area your idea falls into, go to the OSU Libraries' databases page, and use the subject pull-down menu to choose the area that best matches your topic.

pull down menu on osu databases page

To find databases that will help you research technical writing, the the Rhetoric, Writing and Culture subject link.


Browsing the Scholarly Web

Blog aggregators - these projects both provide searchable, browsable gateways to scholars' conversations on the web:

ScienceBlogs (

ResearchBlogging (

Finding the Journal of Tech. Writing and Comm.

The library has print copies of the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication from 1987-2009.  The call number for this journal is T11 .J66, and you can find it on the first floor of the library. To request copies of articles from this journal, use the Interlibrary Loan/Scan and Deliver service.

Journal of technical writing and communication.

You can browse the table of contents of the journal online but you will need to use OSU's Interlibrary Loan/Scan and Deliver services to acquire a copy.

Literature Review

The formal report is to be written as a literature review.  Writing a review of "the literature" (the collective body of works related to a given topic or specific aspect of a topic) can result in a document that is incorporated into a larger work (e.g. the literature review section of a scholarly research article or grant proposal) or can result in a work that is substantial enough to stand on its own  (e.g. "Interdisciplinary models for women's health:  a literature review").

A literature review is not simply a listing and summarizing of relevant literature.  The writer strives to identify themes and explain the connections between the various works being reviewed   The writer might also identify gaps in the research and may provide the reader with a tentative roadmap of where future research is headed. See the Literature Review guide for more tips.