This list is based upon one premise: You are a student who needs specific information now–without wading through a plethora of web pages, links that lead to more links and other such time wasters.
For those with a slower internet connection such as dial-up, keep in mind that most of these internet sites contain a link to a fast-loading text version of the site.
1. The Free Dictionary by Farlex
An online dictionary and thesaurus also including some specialized dictionaries (medical, legal, etc.), an acronym and idiom finder, an encyclopedia, several foreign language dictionaries and a nifty feature that lets you type in a series of letters to come up with a list of all words that begin or end with those letters.
2. Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary
For those who are not familiar with visual dictionaries, you are going to wonder how you ever got by without one. This is basically a picture book arranged by topic. You find the picture of what you are looking for and it gives you the name. For example, you are researching architectural styles for a term paper you are working on in art class. You know what the style looks like, but you don’t know the name of it. Begin with the broad theme of “Arts & Architecture” and keep narrowing your search through a series of subtopics until you reach “Elements of Architecture” and find a picture of the style you were looking for. If you can find a picture of it, you will then know the name of it.
“Quick, I need the formula for converting Celsius to Fahrenheit.” “I never thought I would need to know the quadratic formula again…until now.” Yes, and even “How do I add six plus two?” If you are stumped by a mathematics problem, don’t panic. WebMATH is a lifesaver. What I find so useful about this site is that the authors had the forethought to break down the mathematics assistance by age groups and subject: K-8 Math, Algebra, General Math, Plots & Geometry, Trigonometry & Calculus and so on.
4. The Basic Elements of English (http://ift.tt/2doyKKC)
Published by the English Department of the University of Calgary, this online style and grammar guide is broken down into five categories: parts of speech, sentence elements, punctuation, word use and marking guide. Let’s say you are writing an essay and you just finished a sentence; but you cannot remember whether those pesky double quotes go on the inside of the punctuation mark or the outside. Visit this web site and click on the “Punctuation” button, now click on the link that says “Quotation Marks,” then scroll down to where it says “Punctuation and Quotation Marks.” There you have it–those double quotes belong on the outside of your punctuation mark, except in the case of two rare exceptions.
Bartleby bills itself as “The preeminent internet publisher of literature, reference and verse providing students, researchers and the intellectually curious with unlimited access to books and information on the web, free of charge.” That’s quite a mouthful, but let me see if I can simplify it a bit. This site is broken down into four drop-down menus: reference, verse, fiction and nonfiction. Click on one of the drop-down menus and choose the book you are looking for. All of the tried and true classics are here–Strunk’s Elements of Style, Gray’s Anatomy, Oxford Shakespeare, Bullfinch’s Mythology, Cambridge History, Yale American Verse, Byron, Tolstoy, Woolf, Emerson, Voltaire, Whitman-yes, even Emily Post on etiquette and Fannie Farmer on cooking. As for me, I could pour through Bartlett’s and Simpson’s Quotations for hours. Do not end up like me; go right to the book you need and stay on topic.
6. The World Factbook
The World Factbook is published annually by the Central Intelligence Agency. I call it a cross between a gazetteer and an atlas because it has elements of both. Here you will find online maps for practically every country and location in the world as well as flags of the world. Statistical data on each country is presented in a visually appealing and simple layout arranged under eight major headings: geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military and transnational issues. Under these major headings, you will find information as diverse as climate, terrain, geographic coordinates, demographics, ethnic groups, religions, life expectancy and legal system.
7. The Internet Public Library
Maintained by a consortium of colleges and universities across the United States, the Internet Public Library is just what it says it is. Most anything you would find at your local library, you will find here. For the younger crowd-students anywhere from the first through the twelfth grades, be sure to check out KidSpace and TeenSpace located toward the bottom of the menu on the left-hand side of the page. There you will find library resources especially tailored for your age groups. I was pleasantly surprised to find the “Ask an IPL Librarian” feature on this site which allows anyone to ask a question and receive a reply from an actual human being. Bear in mind, though, that it takes about three days before you receive a reply.
8. ARTCYCLOPEDIA by John Malyon
Artcyclopedia bills itself as “The Guide to Great Art on the Internet.” Browse well-known artists by name, medium, subject or nationality. Explore art movements from Baroque to Neoclassicism to Tonalism and everything in between. Find artworks by title. Find art museums by name or location. Access a glossary of fine art terms and much more.
This site will translate a word, a phrase or a web page from a foreign language into English. Conversely, it will translate words, phrases or web pages from English into any widely spoken language and many lesser-spoken languages. This site also features several language identifiers. Many different translation engines are used so that if you are not satisfied with the translation results you are getting from one of them, just try another.
10. RhymeZone by Datamuse
(www.rhymezone.com) This tool is especially useful when you are composing anything from poetry to lyrics. Type in part or all of a word and RhymeZone will show you what words rhyme with it, sorted by syllables or letters. You have the option to include or exclude phrases that rhyme with your keyword. RhymeZone will also find synonyms, antonyms, homophones, definitions, related words and similar-sounding words to your keyword. Hey, I just found out that Kalamazoo rhymes with Timbuktu. Woo hoo!
Tags:10 Essential Internet Resources For Students Of All Ages