Strategies, Tips and Resources

Contrary to popular belief, engineers do not live in a language-free zone: far from it. As problem-solvers, a true measure of success is your ability to explain and justify your work to a wide range of audiences, including professors, managers, colleagues, clients - even the general public. To that end, the following guides will acquaint you with some of the basic formats and situations in which engineers express their expertise.

Avoiding Plagiarism
Documenting your sources (giving credit where credit is due) demonstrates not only competence but integrity. 

APA Style Guide (Purdue OWL)
For all citation guidelines, the Hanson Center recommends the Purdue Online Writing Lab. This is a reliable resource that is updated regularly to adhere to current  standards.

Using Quotations
This slideshow explains how and when to use quotations in your reports and essays.

Quoting, Paraphrasing, Summarizing
This guide describes three different strategies for incorporating source material into your documents.

Citing Sources/Citation Management (Lichtenberger Engineering Library)
The HCTC works closely with Kari Kozak, Head of the Lichtenberger Engineering Library, to ensure that Iowa engineers have all the digital tools they need to create professional reports and proposals. Our next door neighbor in the Seamans Center's Student Commons, the Library offers a wide range of citation and bibliography software to help you cite sources with speed and accuracy -- check out their Citing Sources page for free access to these essential tools.

How to Prepare a Poster Presentation (created by Sarah Livesay, HCTC Assistant Director)
In addition to helping you visually represent your research project, this slideshow provides a wealth of advice for communicating with clarity and insight.

Jump-Starting Your Honors Thesis
These slides will help you brainstorm and construct a large-scale research document.