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Sunday, April 13, 2014

5 Tools That Help Students Organize Research and Create Bibliographies

Organizing and writing a bibliography can feel like the most tedious part of writing a research paper. The following five tools can help students organize and create their bibliographies.

One of the most useful new Add-ons for Google Documents is the EasyBib Bibliography Creator. The EasyBib Bibliography Creator makes it easy to properly cite resources and format a bibliography in APA, MLA, or Chicago style. Click here for directions for the process of using this add-on.

Scrible is a free service that offers a nice set of tools for highlighting, annotating, and bookmarking webpages. Scrible offers browser bookmarklets for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. With the Scrible bookmarklet installed, anytime you're on a page just click the bookmarklet to launch a menu of bookmarking tools. The Scrible tool set includes highlighters, sticky notes, and font change tools. When you annotate and bookmark a page in Scrible it is saved as it appeared to you when you were done altering it. And as you would expect from a web-based bookmarking tool, you can share your bookmarked pages with others. Students can get a free Scrible account that has double the storage capacity of the standard free account. Scrible recently added an options for formatting bibliographies as you bookmark. Scrible also has a new feature that allows you to compile your article clippings into one package.

Cite This For Me is a tool designed to help students correctly format reference lists or citation pages. To create a reference list using Cite This For Me students simply need to fill in the required information in each box, sort them alphabetically, and download the formatted reference page. Cite This For Me provides formatting not only printed materials and websites, but also for things like podcasts, online videos, and even email correspondence.

refDot is a Google Chrome extension that could be very helpful for keeping track of and formatting references for use in bibliographies. Whenever you're viewing a website, an online book, an online journal, or a news article just click the refDot icon in your browser to open a window into which you enter all of information you need for a bibliography. For example if you were viewing a blog post on Free Technology for Teachers that you wanted to reference in a bibliography, click on refDot and the pop-up box will prompt you to enter the date of access, url, title, and year.

Citelighter is a helpful tool for anyone trying to organize their online and or offline research findings. At its core Citelighter is a browser extension (available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) that enables you to select sections of webpages and save them along with the important information needed to create an APA, MLA, or Chicago style bibliography. If you have pieces of text from books and journals that you want to include in your list of citations, you can add those in Citelighter too. Citelighter also has a community aspect that allows you to share your citations and search those of others. The citations in the public gallery are called "Knowledge Cards." Knowledge Cards are the pieces of quoted text that others have saved and tagged with a subject area. The Knowledge Cards you find in the public gallery can be added to the project lists in your personal Citelighter account.

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