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ENCS 282 Resources

Writing the Literature Review for a project proposal

Preparing your search

Writing a literature review for a project proposal gives the readers background information or the perspective necessary to understand the project. Background information, which can be found in books or journal articles, can look at whether your problem or a similar problem has been investigated in the past.

Before starting the search for background information, it's important to start the research process with the steps described in the YouTube videos below.


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Searching for books

Books can provide good background information, and in depth analysis of a topic.

  • CLUES (library catalogue):
    Find books in the Concordia library. 
  • Google Books:
    Many books scanned by Google have a "Preview" mode, allowing you to read some of the chapters.
  • WorldCat:
    Find books in other University libraries. When looking at a book, enter your postal code to see the closest libraries that may own it.
    • NOTE: Get the BCI card in order to borrow books from any library in Québec!
 

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Searching for articles
Below are useful databases for a project proposal literature review 
 
  • General databases
    These databases are helpful for finding articles written from a variety of perspectives (scientific, technological, business, sociological)

  • Engineering databases:
    These databases cover the latest research in all engineering fields
 
 

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Searching for patents

Patents can be excellent sources of information for related designs and products as well as current technologies.

Google Patent Search

  • Google Patent Search facilitates keyword searching of over 7 million US patents. Also includes patents from WIPO and the European Patent Office.
Patent Searches by Country
 

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Searching for cost information

Costing information could be important when choosing components, outlining a budget, or understanding current prices for services or parts. Here are a few sources of costing information:

Product literature: (i.e. supplier catalogues)

  • Product literature, such as supplier or manufacturer catalogues, can provide costs for components, parts or entire systems.

Construction cost data (Canada & US):

  • Hanscomb's Yardsticks for Costing (in print in the Webster library) that contains cost data for the Canadian construction industry. Details constructions costs for eight major regions in Canada and includes market unit costs, composite unit rates, and gross building costs

 

Labour Costs:

 

Newspaper, Magazine or Trade journal articles:

  • Newspaper or magazine articles can be great sources of costing information. Journalists often uncover construction or service costs paid by government. Trade journals can also be a good location to find suppliers or manufacturers in an industry. Once identified, these suppliers' websites may allow you to find costing information. Note: If searching Google or news databases to find costing information in Québec, you may need to use French keywords. 
  • Engineering News Record Magazine: publishes biweekly construction cost data from the United States. Follow these steps to find the most recent data:
    1. Go to Business Source Complete
    2. In the first search box, enter "ENR: Engineering News-Record", and then select the "SO Publication Name" from the drop-down menu
    3. In the second search box, enter "construction economics", and then select the "TI Title" from the drop-down menu
 

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Searching for other information

There are many other types of information that could be useful when writing a project proposal. Here are some examples:

 


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Preparing a bibliography
  • Writing the final report will require citing your sources. Engineering students are typically required to use the IEEE Citation Style. The Engineering Form & Style Guide also has a section (p. 22) describing how to cite using the IEEE citation style.

  • If you are using another citation style, please see our "Citation Guides" page for guidance.

  • Unsure how to cite? Watch the video tutorial: "How do I cite my sources?" 

  • Try RefWorks to manage and organize your references and prepare a bibliography automatically! See what it can do for you.
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