Sunday, December 7, 2014

Three #Google Tools to Take the Headache Out of Research Papers #Eddies14

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Many teachers limit their students to writing research papers in Microsoft Word; however, here are three excellent tools that make it easy to write a research paper in Google Docs.


Tip #1: Create Your Own Table of Contents

If you are like most people, you often ignore using the text styles feature  for headings like heading 1, 2, 3, etc; however, there is a huge benefit to use headings as section titles in your document.

Google can use these headings to help create your own table of contents with hyperlinks, which anchor to particular sections of your document.

How do you do it? 

Before you are able to use this feature, you must use the section titles format (i.e. Heading 1) for section titles! Once you are ready:

1. Place your cursor where you want your table of contents.

2. Select the "Insert" Menu and choose "Table of Contents"

Google will create your table of contents with hyperlinks to each section! Instead of scrolling through pages of text, you can now click a link. Here's a sample from a document that I recently created for a graduate course I am teaching:

Tip #2: Research From Within Your Paper

One of the biggest challenges of writing a research paper is the research part. Let's say that your students are writing a paper and need more information on Abraham Lincoln. Instead of exiting out of the document, you can use the Research feature in Google Docs. This let's you conduct a Google Search from within your actual document and let's you add pictures, information, even quotes directly into your document.


How do you do it? 

I like to do my research by highlighting (in my document)  the word or name I am looking up, but you do not have to do this prior to researching!

1. Choose the "Tools" Menu and select "Research"

2. If you haven't highlighted a word or name you want to research (from within your document), you will need to enter in your information in the embedded Google Search.

3. Search away and add information directly into your document with a click!


Tip # 3: Let Google Create Your Bibliography

Creating bibliographies can be difficult, especially when you have numerous types of sources. I highly recommend getting the EasyBib Add On, which helps you automatically site books, journal articles, and websites in the format you need!

How do you do it? 

1. Once you have downloaded the extension, you will need to access it by visiting the "Add-Ons" menu and selecting EasyBib Bibliography creator. 


2. A side menu will pop up and choose "Manage Bibliography" to open EasyBib. A side window will pop up on the right-side of your document, which will be used to add resources and eventually create your bibliography. 

3. Now you are ready to add resources! Instead of typing in the author's name, the title, publisher, etc., I can search by the title, ISBN or DOI number. EasyBib conducts a search and provides me with names of articles, books, etc. matching that title. I select the correct item to add it to my list of sources.

Adding the Bibliography to Your Document:

When I am completely finished and want to add my bibliography, I need to make sure that I have EasyBib open. 

1. Place your cursor where you want your bibliography

2. In the EasyBib window, choose "Add Bibliography to Doc." 




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