Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Google Docs Research Tool

This post from Prof. Hacker of The Chronicle of Higher Education reviews the new Google Docs Research Tool.

“The new feature puts a new option in the Tools menu within a Google Doc called “Research.” To use it, you first highlight a word or phrase (or, as in the image below, a large chunk of text like a poem) in the document you’re writing, then click Tools –> Research... This performs a Google Search on the highlighted words, the results of which pop up in a right-hand sidebar….

Clicking on one of the results in that search will give you three options: Preview, Link, and Citation. Clicking Preview brings up a preview of the site; clicking Link turns the text you’ve highlighted into a link to the site; and, most importantly for our nefarious academic purposes, clicking Citation adds a footnote citing that site.”

Although the reviewer points out several limitations, it seems like a useful tool.  I would especially encourage students to use it as they work on their research to at least record their web resources.  It captures enough information to put together a proper Bluebook citation.



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