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ENC 3246: Professional Communication for Engineers: Tools 4 U

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What are Annotations?

Annotations critique the work and compare it to other works in the bibliography. An annnotation may vary in each bibliography where it appears, since the relevance of each work may change for each project.

What constitutes an annotated bibliography?

  • An organized list of citations to sources
  • For each source, a brief description of its:
    • accuracy or authority
    • relevance
    • quality and impact

Consider including the following elements in the annotation:

  • Author qualifications and any biases
  • Intended audience of the work
  • Brief description of results or conclusions
  • Special features, such as illustrations or data, that help the reader understand the work
  • Recency or time covered by the work
  • Impact of the work on the discipline
  • Relevance of the item to the bibliography
  • Comparison with other items in the bibliography

Note: Their suitability will depend on your discipline and the audience of your bibliography

Books and E-Books

Library Catalog (Search Books, E-books, Journals, Videos, & More)

Some e-book services:

Knovel has over 700 handbooks, databases, encyclopedias, reference books, and standards from the world's leading publishers and professional societies in engineering, biotechnology, life sciences, chemistry and materials. Knovel's productivity tools, (including interactive tables, graphs and live equations) allow users to work within Knovel to analyze the data they find.
Books 24x7 contains thousands of digitized "best-in-class" reference books, research reports, documentation and articles through the Referenceware platform. The EngineeringPro collection includes general reference topics important to all engineering professionals, Whether looking for quick answers to problems or specific information for a project, learning new skills or refreshing existing ones.
E-books from a variety of disciplines and publishers on the EBSCOhost platform.
Taylor & Francis ebooks has over 3900 cutting-edge and bestselling e-books in civil, electrical, general, industrial, mechanical, and mining engineering. HINT: Check the box on the side panel for "Show content I have access to" to filter the UF-subscribed e-books.

How do I determine if a resource is credible?

Answer the questions in the CARS checklist:

• Who is the general/target audience?
• Who is the publisher?
• What are the author’s credentials?
• Is the author/writer an authority/expertise on the subject?
• Is the author/writer’s contact information provided with affiliation?
• What is the date of publication or copyright?
• Is the material peer-reviewed?
• Is the purpose of research and conclusion clearly stated?
• What kind of resources are cited, can you find the cited sources easily?
• Is the information relevant to your research needs?
• Is the purpose, intent of research and conclusion clearly stated?
• Is the information provided balanced and the arguments supported by the facts?
• How many sources support the resource? Can you find them easily?
• Pick one source and evaluate it with the CARS list. How credible, accurate, reasonable, and well-supported does it seem?

What about online resources?

• What is the purpose of the site? Is it clearly stated?
• When the site was last updated?
• Who is the intended audience of the site?
• Are links provided to more information?
• What percentage of the links still work?



A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor.

I recommend Google Patent Search because it is easier to use and searches the US Patent and Trademark office as well as 16 patent offices from around the globe.

There are 3 types of patents:

Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.
Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.

Tell me more about Patents.

Professional Organizations

Scholarly and Professional Literature

Research articles are typically published in a journal and are highly likely to have been peer-reviewed. They are structured like lab reports, with sections for: the abstract or summary of the project, introduction and literature review, hypothesis or experimental question, method or process used, data gathered, the analysis or interpretation of the data, and conclusions. Their purpose is to serve as the primary (first) report of research, and they are used by practitioners as a theoretical base for their applications. Research articles contain highly technical language for an experienced or educated audience. Not every article in a peer-reviewed journal is guaranteed to be peer-reviewed. Many academic or research journals also have editorials, comments, conference summaries, and reviews.
Peer reviewed (or refereed) articles are usually (but not always) research articles. They are frequently, but not always, identified by string of acceptance dates. When you see that time passed between submission of the draft and final acceptance, you know that the author’s peers reviewed the article for sense and value of the contribution, and submitted suggestions to make the article stronger.
Review articles can identify trends, replication of results, and hypotheses that need further research and testing. They are intended for knowledgeable audiences, but they can be helpful to readers who are new to a topic because they summarize a lot of previous research and they may point out which of those articles are the most significant contributions to new knowledge in the field.
Technical reports are structured like case studies: or "how I solved this problem." They typically cite research articles as the basis for methods chosen. They serve as a project report to the funding source, which may be a federal, state, or local government agency. Tech reports are not always available; they may be kept proprietary, especially if client is a non-governmental corporation.
Conference papers are usually reports on "work in progress" and may be incomplete. In some cases the paper may be peer-reviewed, and sometimes only the abstract is peer-reviewed. Conference papers might be published in conference proceedings, or the authors may wait to publish the complete version of the article in a peer-reviewed journal.
Trade publications are frequently called magazines or journals. They serve to keep practitioners up to date about products, meetings, and research summaries.They are structured informally, and they contain lots of advertising and news. Articles are brief and usually do not have references at the end. Example: C&E News

Standards & Codes

A standard is defined by the National Standards Policy Advisory Committee as:

"A prescribed set of rules, conditions, or requirements concerning definitions of terms; classification of components; specification of materials, performance, or operations; delineation of procedures; or measurement of quantity and quality in describing materials, products, systems, services, or practices."
Four (4) sets of standards are available to UF-affiliated patrons:


Tell me more about Standards & Codes

Trade Publications

You may find app examples in these trade publications:
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