Part 1: Library Research Exercise
Your engineering education does not stop when you graduate from USF. As a working engineer you will need to keep up with the latest methods, material, and research in your particular field. One way to do that is by reading professional journals and conducting research of your own. Professional journals generally are peer reviewed–i.e. each article is exhaustively evaluated by experts in the field and certified as complete and accurate before publication–and that gives journal articles a distinct advantage over general, non-attributed or reviewed material found on the open Web. In fact, as a general rule, you should never cite material found on the open Web unless you can determine the author or attribute the material to a credible corporate-author source.
Our final course project is intended to acquaint you with the process of writing an effective engineering article using peer reviewed material.
Review the engineering databases listed on Matt Torrence’s site at
Then, make sure you log into the USF Library using your USF NET ID and Password. If you are accessing the library from off-campus, be sure to review the information on the page linked below (and to access the library from the link provided on that page) :
Next, go to each of the 4 listed engineering databases and find one article from each that would be an appropriate reference or resource for your final research project. That’s a total of 4 new articles. The articles should be new to you and not something that you previously reviewed for this project.
When you have found the 4 articles, come back to this Discussion forum and, in a post, list the 4 articles and briefly discuss them. What is the major point of each article? How could each article contribute to your paper? How can the expertise of the authors you cite improve the credibility of your own work. Your post must be completed before the due date for this week’s assignments (Week 12).
Note: You should never need to enter any other password for any database accessed through our library. If a linked database asks for a password, that is an error. You should verify that your log in has not timed out and that you have accessed the library through the method listed above.
You may also establish a connection to the library from off-campus using a VPN. This connection should give you full access to databases just as though you were on campus. See the information and link below:
If your attempt to access fails and you are unable to resolve the issue using the above information, you may report problems to library staff using the form linked on the page linked below:
Remember, a good engineering professional tries to debug problems on their own before asking for support assistance! Be sure to begin this assignment early in order to give yourself time to do a good job (and to resolve any connection issues if necessary). Remember, the inability to access databases is never an excuse for not completing all or parts of this assignment.
Part 2 Draft Abstract
Write a first draft of your abstract for your research project.
Be sure to follow the abstract guidelines in the following online resources:
How to Write an Abstract (Carnegie Mellon University)
Writing an Abstract [PDF File] (University of Melbourne)
Post your draft abstract as an attachment here, to this Discussion forum, and use the Discussion textbox to tell us exactly how your abstract adheres to the guidelines we’ve studied. Your abstract should be about 250-350 words long.
Keep in mind that this is a preliminary, draft abstract only! Every research project changes–sometimes substantially–between the proposal and the final, completed research paper. So . . . your final abstract may differ quite a bit from the draft posted here.
Part 3 Draft IEEE References
We’ve seen a few of these resources in earlier projects. Let’s have a second look.
Review the “IEEE Citation Reference” linked above. You will also find the following linked documents helpful for this assignment:
International Journal of Simulation: Systems, Science & Technology
IEEE Information for Authors
IEEE Style Guide (Dalhousie)
The IEEE format is commonly used for citing resources in engineering documents. That’s the format we’ll be using for our Individual Research Project this semester. If you’re familiar with other citation formats such as MLA or APA from your First Year Composition classes, transitioning to the IEEE format should be relatively simple.
Then, create a document listing your current research resources in IEEE format. Upload that document in PDF format to this Discussion forum. In the textbox for this forum, tell us specifically how the format for your cited sources match the IEEE style.
Remember, this list of resources does not have to be your final Works Cited or Bibliography for your research paper. You may add other sources (or take some away) as your project advances.