Site seer: That research paper was due when?
October 3, 1996
Web posted at: 6:30 p.m. EDT
From CNN Interactive Writer Kristin Lemmerman
(CNN) -- It is 1 a.m. and your research paper is due in seven
hours and 20 minutes. The campus library just closed -- but
you're just starting your research. Where do you turn?
For starters, you do not call CNN and ask if the person who
answers the phone could please, please fax you the history of
the war in Bosnia. (For those of you who
laugh at the thought: People have actually done this.) You
also do not go down the hall and knock on the door of the
transfer student from Brazil and ask to pick her brain on
the subject of her country's economy.
Instead, you turn your computer on, kiss your modem/ISDN
line/T1 connection for good luck, and check out some of the
Nothing impresses like a good, well-placed quote -- and
nothing bombs like one that you sourced incorrectly.
Fortunately, the well-known, well-thumbed book of Bartlett's
Familiar Quotations is available on-line now to keep you out
of hot water. The entire book of quotes is there with a
special techno update: if you remember part of the quote, you
can type it in to the site's search engine, and the site will
tell you who the author was.
Your word processor's built-in dictionary seems complete
until you start working on a detailed report on a non-English topic. Then it fails miserably, and it can sometimes be hard to find the correct spelling for a word you're using.
That's where the OneLook Dictionaries come into play. The
site is essentially one big search engine, combining the
resources of over 50 different on-line dictionaries into one
big place to look up words. Whether you're focusing on
religion, sports, business, science, new technology or
computer sciences, the database has you covered.
Unless, of course, your paper is in another language. There
are a number of English-to-another language dictionaries on
the World Wide Web. The English-Spanish Dictionary is my
favorite, Spanish being my second language, but right now it
only has about 3,000 words, making it of limited use. Other
language dictionaries include:
ARTFL Project: French-English Dictionary Form
Has about 75,000 entries
Includes more than 105,000 translations
The Link Everything Online English-German Dictionary
Includes more than 130,000 translations
Latin Grammar Aid and Wordlist
Notre Dame University's compilation of English-Latin
In an ideal world, even though your deadline is looming, you
at least have the security of knowing that a pile of books
and magazine articles are sitting on your desk, awaiting your
If you haven't even been inside the library yet,
lucky for you the University of Kansas system and the
Universitšt Regensburg have already combed the
Internet looking for credible research sites. The
result is a very long list of links to historical research
sources covering a remarkable array of topics from Africa to
If your paper is on anything besides history, the World Wide
Web Virtual Library may still be able to get you out of hot
water. Its resource list compiles sites that are not
necessarily history-related -- for example, gold, geophysics,
and games are some of the available topics. Think of both of
these sites as being a little like card catalogs of the
The Gutenberg Project is available through the World Wide Web
Virtual Library's server; its purpose is to put works that
have moved into the public domain into an electronic format.
While Project Gutenberg does not actually run this page, it
is officially sanctioned by the Gutenberg folks.
Many full texts of classic literature are available here, as
well as a list of mathematical constants (including pi to 2.5
million digits, and the number "e" to about 1 million
digits), political writings and religious works. If you
know the book you need and it's in the public domain, there
is a good chance you'll find it here.
Don't forget your bibliography -- it matters, and just
because you did your research on the Internet doesn't excuse
you from naming your sources. Not surprisingly, there are as
many ways to cite an Internet resource as there are types of
Internet resources -- and there are different styles even
within those categories.
However, most schools currently adhere to the MLA style. The
MLA-Style Citations of Electronic Resources has been adopted
by a number of universities, including the University of
California-Berkeley, the Ecole Internationale de Francais,
the University of Michigan and the University of Connecticut,
which all link to this guide from their sites.
If your school does not adhere to MLA, try this site for
© 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.