One of the most important lessons that a student undertakes once they enter the secondary grades is writing a research paper. This is a skill that is extremely important and requires them to research a topic, collect information, communicate their findings usually through a paper and a verbal report, and finally give proper credit to their sources through citations. This article covers three web 2.0 tools that will be of great benefit to students working on research papers.
Bubbl.us Is Great For Brainstorming
Bubbl.us is an invaluable web 2.0 tool that allows for the quick and free creation of bubble charts. These charts are perfect for brainstorming and outlining research papers as you can put a main idea in the center bubble and branch out supporting paragraphs from there. The student can create a main bubble for a paragraph idea and then have bubbles coming off of it with supporting ideas as well as sources. This will make it very easy in turn to both create an outline for the research paper and make the proper citations in the paper to preserve the copyright of the original information.
The Bubbl.us website is free to use and allows the student to save their work online for easy access from any computer. The website will also create a link for the student that can be shared with other students or teachers for collaboration. Finally, the site allows students to print off their bubble maps if this is something that needs to be included in the final paper. While there are some more detailed web 2.0 tools for charting such as Gliffy, the fact that Bubbl.us is simple and free to use makes it perfect for student use in creating a research paper.
Google Docs Lets You Access Your Paper Anywhere
Google Docs is a free online web 2.0 office package similar to Microsoft Word. It is not perfect and I would highly recommend opening the final draft in Microsoft Word if possible to make use of its superior spelling and grammar checking systems, but it is perfectly functional for the creation of the main paper. The fact that it is online means that students can work on it from any computer with an Internet connection. This means they can work on it at school, at home, at the library or even at a friend’s house. It also means that there is no chance of a student accidentally leaving their work at home and not being able to continue it at school or vice versa.
Google docs also allow for a student to share the document with a teacher or other students through a link and even gives them the option of letting that person make changes to the document. This is a perfect feature for a student that is looking for editing assistance from either a teacher or a fellow student. Finally, Google Docs offers enough features to create a good research paper such as footnotes, headers, footers, etc. and can then be saved in most popular formats such as .doc or .docx for Microsoft Word. As I said before, Google Docs is free to use and is a perfect platform from which to create and edit a research paper.
EasyBib Makes Citing Your Sources Easy
One of the trickiest yet most important parts of a successful research paper is proper citing of sources. There are several methods such as MLA and APA and creating the correct footnotes and bibliography can seem almost counter-intuitive to many students. EasyBib is a web 2.0 tools that help alleviate a lot of the problem by helping you to create your bibliography. The site lets you search for publications and once found will actually create the bibliography entry for you and let you save it to a list. This list can even then be saved as a word document so you can integrate it into your research paper as a functional bibliography.
The nicest feature of this site is the aforementioned search feature. You can search by ISBN, title, and even keywords to find the correct work. Of course, if you can not find it you can still fill out the form and have a citation created from your entries.
The research paper and essay writing are some of the more important and difficult assignments that a student will undertake in high school. It prepares them for college assignments and teaches valuable research and organizational skills. Using the resources above a student will start with an advantage over others in creating their research paper. I hope that this article has been useful and that you or your student receive a good grade on your research paper. If you would like more information on Internet tools that can improve education please check out my other articles.