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Course Guide: WR227

Research Paper versus Technical Report

"A Research Paper takes all of the information and then does something relevant and original with it. A Report finds all the relevant material written or known about an issue and reports it back." (from

The above is a good explanation of the difference between the two.  While they both require extensive research and have some of the same requirements for citing sources of information, the formatting for a research paper is pretty much the same regardless of what the research paper is about.  This is not true of a technical report.  The formatting style of a technical report can vary widely depending on the subject matter and purpose of the report.


Interlibrary Loan Option

If you are unable to find what you need through RCC or SOU, use the link below to find articles or books available from other library systems. Be aware that Interlibrary Loans take time. While articles may be sent electronically, books have to be mailed.

  • Select the ArticleFirst option if looking for articles.
  • Select the WorldCat option if looking for books.

First Search/WorldCat searches libraries world-wide. Use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to request items be sent to RCC. Allow 6-8 working days for items to arrive at the RCC library.

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Workplace Writing
Contains information on professional writing for work and career.

Interviewing Techniques
Learn how to conduct an interview including formulating appropriate questions.

Writing Report Abstracts
This handout discusses how to write good abstracts for reports. It covers informational and descriptive abstracts and gives pointers for success.

Article Databases

These library databases consist primarily of articles published in journals, magazines and newspapers. The focus of the articles is usually very narrow so what they are good for is finding more specific information to "flesh out" whatever general information you found on your topic.

All EBSCO Databases
The complete list of databases provided by EBSCO. Many are subject specific so select the database(s) most appropriate to your research.

All Gale Databases
Most databases are similar to those provided by EBSCO but may contain some articles full-text from different sources. Also has specialized databases that RCC subscribes to.

Criminal Justice Periodicals Database (Proquest)
Law enforcement, criminal justice, psychology and social issues.

Career and Job Descriptions

OLMIS Oregon Labor Market Information System
The OLMIS database is maintained by the Oregon Employment Department. Information includes career descriptions, current jobs around the state, and up-to-date statistics about specific jobs and career paths.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
The Occupational Outlook Handbook is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Career descriptions include information about the training and education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, what workers do on the job, and working conditions.

Reference Databases

A reference article provides a definition, summary, or overview, rather than the more in-depth and narrow examination of a topic found in research articles. Reference articles are generally written by experts, fact-checked, and edited.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia
General Encyclopedia

Wikipedia is not a scholarly source and should NOT be cited in your work. Use this resource as a tool to lead you to other credible sources. (click to read more about Wikipedia)


Joyce Graham

Need Help? Contact a Librarian

Riverside (Medford) Campus: 541-245-7522 or 541-245-7512
Redwood (Grants Pass) Campus: 541-956-7153 or 541-956-7152
Table Rock (White City) Campus: 541-245-7820

Technical Writing Samples

The following documents were provided by WR227 instructor, Joyce Graham.

WR227 Report writing topics
Guidance for selecting a topic for your technical report.

Business plan for start-up business
Sample business plan.

Personal monthly budget sample
Sample budget.

Local Information

Southern Oregon Digital Archives (SODA)
Digitized books, documents and articles drawn from federal, state, and county publications. Includes Southern Oregon History, Bioregion, and First Nations Collections. From Southern Oregon University Hannon Library

Google Tools

Google Advanced Search

Google Books
A digital book collection from several major libraries.

Google Scholar
Google Scholar allows you to search scholarly publications. Many of the articles you find in Google Scholar are not full-text. However, you may be able to obtain entire articles though interlibrary loan. Ask a reference librarian if you have questions about this process.