It’s a situation every student has been in before—you’ve been busy with other homework and extracurriculars, and realize that you have a research-heavy project due soon that you’ve barely even started. You have no idea where to start and there’s no time to go to the library at this point.
Luckily the Internet is here to save the day! There are plenty of places where you can find encyclopedia articles, look up word definitions and origins, and even read free books online. With just a computer and an Internet connection, you will be more than prepared to tackle your project with ease.
Here are 7 free online resources to help you with book projects and other papers.
Project Gutenberg is a completely free e-library that will give you access to over 60,000 ebooks. The books are generally in the public domain, which actually works out great for students since books assigned in English classes tend to be the classics. If you read a book in your browser, you will be able to copy and paste lines right out of the text. This really comes in handy when you want to quote lines in your papers.
Here are just a few of the commonly assigned classics available for free on Project Gutenberg:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Encyclopædia Britannica used to be a 20-volume behemoth of huge hardcover books. But now Britannica exists exclusively online with an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use interface. All you need to do is type whatever subject you’re researching—be it a historical figure, a prominent law case, or a certain species of arachnid—and you will be rewarded with an article all about your topic, often full of relevant links to other articles.
You can purchase a subscription to Britannica for $74.95 a year for access to even more content, but you’re sure to find more than enough useful information using the free version.
3) Google Books
Like Project Gutenberg, Google Books provides a free way for students to complete book projects online. All you have to do is search the title of the classic book your project is on and select “Full view” from the dropdown menu at the top of the search results. Then you will be able to read the book online for free—just make sure to clear your search so every mention of the book’s title won’t be highlighted. That same “Search in this book” feature is very helpful when trying to track down a certain quote.
Here are just a few of the commonly assigned classics available for free on Google Books:
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Your teachers have probably warned you to never use Wikipedia as a source for your papers, and with good reason. Wikipedia articles can often be biased and lack evidence to support their claims. However, there is one trick you can use that turns Wikipedia into a fantastic research tool. Whenever you find a fact in an article that seems relevant to your paper, click the tiny number at the end of the sentence (if there isn’t one, it means the fact does not have a source to back it up and can’t be used). This link will take you to the fact’s source, and this may well be one you can use in your research.
You will have to be very discerning to use Wikipedia in this way. It’s up to you to decide which sources are reputable and which ones are not.
If you’re studying anything that relates to science or healthcare, this site is perfect for you. The National Center for Biotechnology Information, which is a division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, runs this database and offers more than 3 million full-text journal articles. You can find so much valuable information here for your next biology or health paper. You have the option to read each article using the site’s online PubReader or by downloading a PDF.
This is one super helpful aspect of PubMed Central: If you click “Cite” on the upper right of an article’s main page, you will find citations in various styles already written out and ready for you to copy and paste onto your “Works Cited” page.
Internet Archive is another place where you can read books for free that you are likely to be assigned in your English and Literature courses. One cool feature of this site is that you can read a virtual version of an actual book. If you’re anything like me and enjoy being able to flip through pages, this feature is sure to make your reading experience more enjoyable.
Here are just a few of the commonly assigned classics available for free on Internet Archive:
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Paradise Lost by John Milton
Google Patents is a really fun tool you can use if you are doing a project on inventors or the history of certain inventions. All you need to do is search for a certain person or invention and you’ll get several search results that relate to your query. Each result will take you to a particular patent where you can see both an abstract and relevant images. You can download a PDF of the full patent, which includes the names of the inventors, the date the patent was filed, and a ton of other useful information.
On the left sidebar, you’ll have various options to search by certain dates, inventors, patent offices, and more. So if you type “Steve Jobs” into the “Inventor” field, you can see the many patents for technological innovations he contributed to in his lifetime.
Author’s Bio:- Jillian Karger was born in Ohio but has lived in and around New York City for over a decade. Since graduating from NYU in 2009, Jill has had a long string of jobs doing things like scouting books to be adapted for film and researching trivia questions for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.
She has done freelance writing as well for sites like Cracked.com, and had her Twitter jokes featured on BuzzFeed and funnyordie.com. Jill has also self-published two novels on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Jillian-Karger/e/B07B894DNW).
Follow her blog posts about books and writing advice, read books and publish them for free at: https://www.fictionate.me.