THE RESEARCH PROCESS: General Information Resources
Links on This Website:

 Research Handbook  Basic Information  Copyright  Dictionaries
 Gateways  Giving Credit  Search Engines  Writing

Outside Websites:

 Awesome Library for Teens   Best Search Tools 
 Britannica Online   High School Hub 
 Information Please Almanac   Internet Public Library   Librarian's Internet Index 
 World Book Online 

This online section offers links to many information resources that are helpful in the research and preparation of reports and presentations. They include a research handbook, report and bibliography guidelines, dictionaries, handbooks, almanacs and similar resources on the Internet.

Study Guides and Strategies -
This site provides links to online pages on such study skills as: Learning; Classroom participation; Studying; Reading skills; Test preparation and Test taking; Writing in general and for math & science projects; and Web site evaluation. (University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN)
Dushkin Online -
This is a great Web site to get to know and use. The McGraw-Hill/Dushkin publishing company has developed this site to help college (and high school) students succeed in school. Several of the parts of the site are further described below. Topics include: Current News; Book Support; Study Tips; Search Strategies; Research Links; Your Future; and Cool Links. The site also has a link to the Northern Lights search engine, an online "Survey of the Month," and a link to "Today in History." The site is fully searchable.
Study Tips -
Topics include: Basic Library Research; Critical Thinking Tools; How to Best Use the Web; How to Evaluate Material Found on the Internet; How to Learn in Class; How to Manage Your Time; How to Perform Better on Tests; How to Study; How to Write Term Papers; and Problem Solving Techniques.
Spark Notes -
"Unlike other study guides written by disgruntled academics and stodgy old professors, SparkNotes are written exclusively by students and recent graduates. Over 100 Harvard students and graduates have contributed to SparkNotes. All of our writers specialize in the subjects they cover--you'll find History PhDs writing on The Fall of Rome and Astrophysics grads covering the Planets. As you can see, SparkNotes has expanded its literature collection and now also features over a dozen channels with guides on everything from ancient Greek philosophy to special relativity. We have also added *new* message boards. SparkNotes Message Boards provide a forum for discusssion on topics covered within and beyond SparkNotes. On the Boards, students, teachers, and professors can exchange ideas, ask questions, debate current events, and prepare for assignments and exams. The SparkNotes Message Boards are fast, fully searchable, and feature a user-moderation system that rewards intelligent posts. Every literature SparkNote has its own board, and hundreds of other boards appear throughout SparkNotes' other channels."
IPL Pathfinders -
"IPL Pathfinders are home-grown guides written by IPL staff which are intended to help you get started doing research on a particular topic, both online and at your local library." Presently, Pathfinders are available for the following subject areas: Arts & Humanities; Business & Consumers; Computers & Internet; Education & Libraries; Entertainment, Leisure, Hobbies; General; Health, Medicine & Nutrition; History & War; Law, Politics & Government; Science & Technology; Society and Culture. (Internet Public Library)

Basic Information Resources (030)

Librarian's Index to the Internet -
This index is maintained by librarians and offers the best resources available on the Internet. Unlike a general search engine or dirctory such as Google or Yahoo!, this database is monitored by professional librarians and updated regularly. Keyword search is the default but subject searching and topic browsing are also available. Indexes over 10,000 Web sites. Any link on this library's website which is marked (LII) is endorsed by this index.
San Francisco Public Library Reference Databases -
You'll need an SFPL card to use these resources, which any California resident can get, but it's well worth it. The databases include African American Biographical Database; Electric Library (online periodicals and references); EPnet (from EBSCO--magazine and newspaper articles); First Search (bibliographical references and articles from OCLC); FIS Online (publishers of Moody's Manuals--business and country info); Gale Research (nonprofit organization database, Literature Resource Center--"in-depth coverage of over 2,000 of the most-studied authors"); Infotrac (magazine and newspaper database, including ¡Informe!--revistas en Español, and Books in Print); ProQuest (another periodical database); Rand California (statistics about the Golden State and links to other California info sites); and, ReferenceUSA (online directory)
Galaxy of Knowledge-
From the U.S. national museum, the Smithsonian Institution, this is the home page of the Smithsonian's libraries. Includes the following Tools for the Researcher: Galaxy: Mosaic of Science; Galaxy: Industry & Technology; Galaxy: Art & Design; Galaxy : American Discovery; Exhibitions & Programs; Digital Library; Special Collections; Libraries (the SI has some 19 separate libraries); Research & Internships; and the Library Catalog. Many of the links to the "Galaxy" sites are to rare books and other texts and include images of pages from books and other texts. Other links are provided to various exhibits, lectures, etc. presented at the various Smithsonian libraries.
Book Support -
Dushkin publishes several series of books including Annual Editions; Taking Sides; Global Studies; Student Atlas; and Sources. Our library has several of these series. Use this page to go to Web sites and get headlines about the topic of the various books, e.g. Global Studies China, would provide you to links to pages and news stories about China. For some of the series there are "Article Review Forms" which can be used to email teachers what you understand about an issue covered by the particular title (Taking Sides; Annual Editions). Some of the titles also have practice quizes associated with them.
Research Links -
McGraw-Hill/Dushkin's links to various research resources on the Web. Subcategories include: Popular Online Journals and General Library Pages; General Sources; Print News Sources; and Broadcast News Sources
Encarta Encyclopedia  -
This is the online, free version of Microsoft's encyclopedia.
Encyclopaedia Britannica  -
This is the online version of the most comprehensive general encyclopedia. As well as the full text of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, this site also leads you to selected articles and websites about the subject you are researching.
Compton's Encyclopedia  -
This is the online, free version of Compton's Encyclopedia.
Internet Resources Selected by San Francisco Public Library Staff  -
The staff of the SFPL has selected a wide variety of Web sites on dozens of topics which they think might be useful to their patrons.
California Digital Library  -
This site is not only the entrance to all the libraries in the UC System, but also offers a wide array of other online resources. "The California Digital Library was founded in 1997 by University of California President Richard Atkinson, who called it 'a library without walls.' CDL staff and advisory groups are drawn from every UC campus, from affiliated research laboratories, and from the UC Office of the President. The Library is built on the extensive base of UC knowledge and experience in developing and distributing digital materials. President Atkinson charged the CDL with continuing the selection, building, management, and preservation of the University's shared collections of digital resources and applying new technologies to enhance sharing of the University's physical collections. The CDL's Directory of Collections and Services gives library users access to a vast array of intellectual resources (due to license restrictions some resources are available only to UC faculty, students, and staff)."
American FactFinder -
This site, at the U.S. Bureau of the Census, gives access to information produced by the decennial census of the U.S. as well as other information on the American people and economy from the Commerce Department. By chosing a particular type of information such as "Households and Families" and a geographic level (U.S., state, county or place) the user can produce a spreadsheet which will show the information requested.
Internet Public Library's Reference Desk: General Reference Resources -
IPL's links to resources on the Internet include almanacs, association & organization directories, biographies, calculation & conversion tools, calendars, census data & demographics, dictionaries, encyclopedias, genealogy, geography, news, periodical directories, quotations, style & writing guides and telephone directories.
Best Information on the Net (BIOTN) -
This annotated index is aimed at the students at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, but serves for anyone interested in finding content on the Internet. Includes links to sites by college major, Hot Paper Topics, search engines and directories, full texts of books, journals, documents, poetry and folklore, news on politics, medicine, science, sports, weather, etc., picture sources, Internet resources, advice, financial aid, etc., on college. Some of the databases and reference desk resources are only available to students of St. Ambrose University.
Hot Paper Topics -
This page from BIOTN has links to lots of topics you might find useful for social issues projects. Topics include: affirmative action, bioethics, censorship, death penalty, drugs, language, gender, gun control, health care reform, human rights, Internet, media, smoking and tobacco, welfare reform, and other miscellaneous issues such as child abuse, drunk driving, gambling, gangs, JFK assassination, paranormal phenomena, privacy, and serial killers. Includes a good section on helpful sites about writing term papers.
Using the Internet for School Reports -
"Before you use information from the Internet in your school reports, it is important that you know a little bit about where that information comes from. Some information on the Internet is very useful and may help you find just what you need. Other information might be false or give you the wrong idea about something. Use the tips listed here to help you figure out whether you should use the information that you find to do your school report." (Boston Public Library)
Library Research Guides -
These "are links to a series of library research guides developed by the staff of The Library and others, which are designed to inform you on how to use a variety of print and electronic resources." Although these Guides apply most specifically to UC Berkeley they are also useful for any general research effort. (UC Berkeley Libraries)
Pics4Learning -
The Pics4Learning collection consists of thousands of images that have been donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers. Unlike many Internet sites, permission has been granted for teachers and students to use all of the images donated to the Pics4Learning collection.
Funk & Wagnalls MultiMedia Encyclopedia Online -
An online encyclopedia from one of the oldest encyclopedia publishers. You must "join" in order to go online with this encyclopedia. There is no charge for joining. [031]
DeskRef -
Quicklinks to all sorts of information on the Internet arranged by major topic area. [031]
Musée -
An interactive directory to museums' collections including art, science, history, zoos, archaeology and aquariums, etc. providing links to their educational, entertainment, archive and shopping features. [060s]
Finding Non-Profit Organizations -
Search this site to find information about non-profit organizations, on a particular topic or interest area. Provides names, addresses, and basic information about what the organization's mission or goals.
Finding Data on the Internet -
How to find basic references and information to back up your research. Designed for reporters, but useful to many others seeking information on a wide range of subjects.
Statistics Every Writer Should Know -
Check this place out so that you will be able to tell if someone is "lying with statictics." [310s]
The WorldWideWeb Acronym and Abbreviation Server -
This is a list of (mostly) acronyms (abbreviations constructed from the first letters of the words of a phrase), not a dictionary or encyclopedia. For example, if you want to know that ALANON stands for, you can find out by searching here.
The Quotations Page -
Lots of quotations are available here, including the Quote of the Day. Each day a quotation is selected and made available by the click of your mouse. If you want more quotes, try the Random Quotations Page, which chooses new quotes every time you load it. [080s]
Inside Sources -
Up-to-date, searchable listings of more than 7,000 government officials, interest groups, and inside-the-Beltway (i.e., Washington, D.C.) corporations.
Map Collection -
Many maps from around the world are available here, at the Perry-Castaneda Library's online map collection. Maps are organized by continent, and then by country. [911-912]
Maps and References -
The maps which are listed here have been selected because they are thought to be reasonably useful and/or interesting. They are categorized by geographical region although there are a couple of thematic categories such as Interactive Maps which both highlights the potential of the WWW and are also fun to use. Note that there is some overlap in geographic coverage between these categories. [911-912]
Music Glossary -
The All-Music Guide Glossary is a detailed reference source for a wide variety of music-related terms written by experts in the field. If you are wondering about the meaning of a term used in the music field (i.e., beat, meter, harmony rhythm, etc.), this is where to look online. [780]
Encyclopedia Mythica -
An on-line encyclopedia about mythology, folklore, legends, and more...
The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable -
This classic work of reference - described as a browser's joy - has been in popular demand since 1870. The Dictionary is extensively cross referenced, lending itself ideally, to the hypertext environment. This First Hypertext Edition is taken from Dr. Brewer's substantially revised and extended edition of 1894.
The Etymology of First Names -
Focus is the origins of common first names, plus other interesting facts associated with the name, such as famous people with that name. Includes sections on: Sources of First Names, Languages Referred to in this Site, Common Elements in First Names, and The Top Fifty Names. Includes many countries and cultures of the world. [929.4]
The Hall of Names -
A genealogical name searcher that allows searching of name files. Names currently in the database are from Belgium, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Scotland, Spain and Wales. Provides information on the origins of the family name. (929)
Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary -'s_Bible_Names.html
This dictionary is from Hitchcock's New and Complete Analysis of the Holy Bible, published in the late 1800s. It contains more than 2,500 Bible and Bible-related proper names and their meanings. [220.9]

Writing Resources (808)

The Write Source -
This Web site is maintained by the publishers of Writers Inc, the handbook used in Redwood's English classes. The site includes links to writing topics, research sites, MLA and APA style manuals, and Publish It!, a site where material can be submitted for online publication.
A Guide for Writing Research Papers -
Very helpful guidelines, well organized and easy to use; based on Modern Language Association (MLA) Documentation. Created by the Humanities Department and the Arthur C. Banks, Jr., Library Capital Community-Technical College Hartford, Connecticut.
The Big6 Assignment Organizer -
The Big6 approach uses a step-by-step process to help organize your research projects. From Task Definition through Evaluation this organizer will help you focus on the essentials of your assignment. Print out this guide and use it to organize your assignment. From a private school in Austin, Texas.
Information Literacy Tutorial -
A person who is information literate knows how to use the library to locate information, but information literacy goes beyond knowing how to use the library's catalog or finding information in periodicals. Find out more at this site. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside)
Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) -
"OWL offers ... Handouts for students and teachers about general writing concerns (the writing process), English as a Second Language (such as writing for an American audience and help with English conventions), grammar, spelling, and punctuation, research and documenting sources (including MLA and APA styles), professional writing (such as resumes and cover letters), and writing across the curriculum (incorporating writing into a variety of disciplines.). Workshops and Presentations for students and teachers in a variety of media about a variety of topics.... Internet Resources for students and teachers, including information about searching the Internet, a collection of search engines and starting points, a collection of online writing resources and information about other online writing labs and online tutoring."
Undergraduate Writing Center: Pages for Students and Other Writers -
These pages provide links to resourses including Handouts on writing and grammar, Resources for ESL students, Other sources of assistance, Documentation and citation information, Online research and writing sites, and UT writing requirements. (University of Texas at Austin)
On-Line English Grammar -
Do you wonder if you are using the proper grammar? If so, this is a helpful place to visit. The Table of Contents will guide you to proper use of English grammar. This resource is nicely organized and easy to access by parts of speech.
The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers: Student Page -
This page, from the publisher, Scott, Foresman, has links to information about writing of all types. It includes model research projects, a research guide, links to other sites on research and writing, a citation manager and exercises for practice.
The Weekly Idiom -
A new idiom to assist students of English is offered every two weeks at this site. Gives the idiom, its definition, and examples of how it is used in dialog, plus a pop up audio recording. Includes past idioms and their links.
Online Resources for Writers -
From the University of Maine, a set of links to grammar, writing, dictionary, thesaurus, foreign language dictionary, citation fomat, ESL, and compostion and rhetoric resources.
Technical Writing ( -
Gary Conroy takes care of the technical writing links at This site provides links under such headings as: Beginners, Business Writing, Consultants, DTP, Editing, Education, E-Publishing, Employment, Help Authoring, HTML & XML, Humour, Illustration, Indexing, Newsgroups, Non-English, Online Mags, Organisations, Planning, Publishing, Samples, Standards, Style/Usage, Translation, and Web Design.

Citing Sources

Giving Credit in Research -
This is Redwood High School's page of examples for creating a bibliography and foot- or end-notes for both print and non-print (including online) materials. Be careful because both MLA and APA have recently updated their stule manuals and not all online citation guide have been updated. MLA has its own site on the writing process where you can download the entire 2009 manual. For login information see library staff. Another great current site for guidance is the OWL site referred to below.
NoodleBib -
"How do you cite a Web page? An online magazine article? A database like American Memory? NoodleBib automates what used to be the confusing process of creating a bibliography. Add and edit references on the fly. We'll take care of punctation and producing a polished bibliography that's correctly formatted and ready to print!"
MLA 2009 Formatting and Style Guide -
Best online site to find guidance on using the new MLA style. (Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University)
The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers: Citation Manager -
By clicking on a particular style, e.g. MLA (humanities), APA (scientific), CMS, etc. you can bring up lists of citation examples.

Dictionaries and Thesauruses [423, 433, 443, etc.]

Oxford English Dictionary
Wordsmyth: The  Educational Dictionary-Thesaurus -
A full dictionary and a complete thesaurus, integrated into one work; you only need to look up a word once, with hyperlinks to synonyms, and similar or related words available where appropriate.
WWWebster Dictionary -
An excellent hypertext, online dictionary. (Merriam-Webster Company)
Roget's Thesaurus Search Form -
"Search the headwords or full text of Roget's Thesaurus, 1911, version 1.02 (supplemented: July 1991) released to the public domain by MICRA, Inc. and the Gutenberg Project. Internal cross references are represented as clickable hyper-text links."
A Completely Free Online Dictionary of over 7,200 ASL Signs -
This is a great video dictionary of American Sign Language terms. Besides the mian dictionary there are also collections of religious signs, conversational phrases, and ASL for babys.
Ethnologue -
Not really a dictionary, but a catalog of more than 6,700 languages. Also available in print format. (Summer Institute of Linguistics, Dallas, Texas)
Wordnik -
"An ongoing project devoted to discovering all the words and everything about them"
The Exploding Dictionary -
A dictionary searcher which, after defining the word according to several public domain dictionaries (including the 1913 edition of Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary) "explodes" the definition by hypertexting the entire entry. Thus, if there are words in the definition you don't understand, you are able to immediately see the definition of those words. Kind of fun ... and addictive!

Copyright Information (341.7, 346.04, 352.7)

The United States Copyright Office -
The place that is organized: "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8). (Library of Congress)
The Copyright Website! -
This commercial site endeavors to provide real world, practical and relevant copyright information of interest to infonauts, netsurfers, webspinners, content providers, musicians, appropriationists, activists, infringers, outlaws, and law abiding citizens.
The ILT Guide to Copyright -
"This page provides information of interest to educators and others relating to copyright, including access to Copyright Resources for Education Online (CREDO), a database of original material developed by ILT for educators providing important basic information and useful tips on how to protect one's work and how to comply with the existing rules for the use others' copyrighted material."
Copyright: Fair Use -
This site gathers all available information on the Web related to "fair use" of copyrighted materials. Very thorough and well-organized. (Stanford University)
Copyright Crash Course -
This very comprehensive site "provides guidance to University faculty, students and staff concerning a wide range of copyright issues and is freely accessible to all universities and colleges." (and high schools!) Includes details on specific areas including: Creating multimedia: fair use and beyond, including courseware contracts; Copyright in the digital library: welcome to the center of the digital revolution; Copyright management: nobody knows what this is about. Find out; Licensing resources: the next copyright frontier; and Online presentations: talks tailored to the audience's copyright concerns - for faculty, students, staff, librarians, artists, administrators. For students there is a particularly relevant online presentation on multimedia and Internet resources.

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Posted February 2000. Links verified by Webspinner: June 2, 2000. Updated December 21, 2006.
©TUHSD | Tom Kaun, Library Media Teacher--Bessie Chin Library @ Redwood High School, 395 Doherty Drive, Larkspur, CA 94939 -- 415.945.3662