Sunday, May 20, 2007

Internet Research Resources

As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be going over some of the highlights from the conference I attended on Saturday. The first speaker, was poet, April Asbury. She talked about doing research for your writing.

If you've ever done any writing, you know that even if you are writing fiction, you have to do a little bit of research. So...the internet is the first source we usually turn to these days. April recommended some sites that she uses.

These are some of the internet resources she mentioned:
1) College and university online collections--Instead of googling everything, first go to the online resources at your local university (or not so local if it's online)
2) Wikipedia--While a interesting source, it's not always accurate. If you are looking for pop culture (which is what I always do), then this might be a good place to start. Remember it's edited by anyone who is a user, so they may or may not know the right information. (Marcie's note: But if you are wondering what happened to your favorite newscaster, and no one is saying it on TV, check Wikipedia. Guaranteed, something--perhaps gossip--will be posted there).
3) Google Scholar--If you must google (and so many of us do), then go to Google Scholar first. It has links to journal articles and abstracts and can get you started in the right, reliable direction.
4) good place for general reference including dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, etc.
5) Online Entymology Dictionary--Great resource for looking up the origins of words. Particularly useful if you are writing historical fiction and want to know if a word was around at the time.
6) Bible Gateway--Searchable source for various versions and languages of the Bible.
7) Anthology of English Literature--Breaks down English Literature by time period and has a vast amount of resources that link to the writers' works.
8) Electronic Literature Foundation--You can read classic works online here.
9) The Modern Word--information about works and authors in modern literature
10) Grave Sites--Want to view graves of the dead of the famous or not so famous? Visit these sites.
Find a Grave
11) Local historical societies provide great resources for research. One of the local ones she mentioned, that I personally recommend because I've been there is The Salem Historical Society. Local historical societies are committed to preserving local history that might get lost otherwise.
12) American Civil War Collections--A service of the University of Virginia that actually has texts that have been put online (like letters, unpublished articles, etc). A great find for anyone doing research on the Civil War.

Most of these sites (all but 3) were new to me. I have a dozen other research sites that I have on my bookmarked list. Maybe I'll share some of my faves another day...

1 comment:

lkstanek said...

Thanks for sharing these great links! As a writer of fiction and nonfiction, I'm always looking for this kind of thing. I have to say I was fascinated by the "find a grave" link and had to click on it. I hope that doesn't mean I'm morbid! :-)