Corpora have been suggested as valuable sources for teaching English for academic purposes (EAP). Since previous studies have mainly focused on corpus use in classroom settings, more research is needed to reveal how students react to using corpora on their own and what should be provided to help them become autonomous corpus users, considering that their ultimate goal is to be independent scholars and writers. In the present study, conducted in an engineering lab at a Korean university over 22 weeks, data on students’ experiences and evaluations of consulting general and specialized corpora for academic writing were collected and analyzed. The findings show that, while both corpora served the participants well as reference sources, the specialized corpus was particularly valued for its direct help in academic writing because, as non-native English-speaking graduate engineering students, the participants wanted to follow the writing conventions of their discourse community. The participants also showed disparate attitudes toward the time taken for corpus consultation due to differences in factors such as academic experience, search purposes, and writing tasks. The article concludes with several suggestions for better corpus use with EAP students regarding the compilation of a corpus, corpus training, corpus competence, and academic writing.