Monday, December 1, 2014

5 Internet Miracles for which Every AU Writer Should Be Thankful

5 Internet Miracles for which Every AU Writer Should Be Thankful
By Roni Garrison-Joyner

This Thanksgiving season, before and after we stuff ourselves full of whatever delicious morsels we can get our hands on, I would like to focus on some things to be thankful for. Many of us have papers due as soon as we get back from the break. It's easy to stress out over the impending flood of work to come in the final weeks of the semester.

I say to you, my fellow AU writer, do not lose heart! There are tools to help you get through the next two weeks. So, when you're up at 4 o'clock in the morning, and you've had one too many 5-hour energies, remember that there is at least 1 thing to be thankful for that you can use to finish those final papers.

The Internet.
Think of all the tools that are available at the touch of a tablet. Online dictionaries, thesauruses, tutorials, and more are sitting online waiting for the AU writer to take advantage of all there is to offer. Here are 5 of the online tools for which I am especially thankful.

1.     The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl  I use this site mostly for citation assistance. I can quickly look up how to cite a journal, book, government publication, or even a tweet in MLA, APA, or Chicago style.
2.     Google: That's right, I said it, GOOGLE! Google not only has a specialized "Google Scholar" App, it is also one of the most widely used search engines on the internet. Of course you need to be careful when using Google. Obviously you can't cite Wikipedia as a source, but have you ever noticed the reference section at the end of the page? This section often contains links to reputable sources that you can cite. Check it out.
3.     Zotero: This program is a fantastic tool for wrangling all of your research. Just click on the browser plug-in, and Zorero will add all of the available bibliographic information. Then, later when you are composing your works cited/reference page, Zotero will allow you to drag and drop all of your entries into the word processor, automatically formatting those entries according to your chosen citation style. How fantastic is that?! It won't replace the OWL because not all of your research will be on the Internet. But it's still a pretty big deal.
4.     Evernote: Let me just say, if you don't know, you better ask somebody. Nevermind, you don't have to because I'm about to tell you. Evernote will allow you to store and organize almost everything you need to know or remember and make it easily searchable for you at any time, on any pc, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Evernote can sync with your calendar and set reminders. It's like having a personal assistant.
5.     Cute Cat Videos this one is a no-brainer, semi-literally. Every hour or so, a person needs at least five minutes to give the brain a break. For some, that break means a little meditation, some yoga, or a brisk walk. For me, cutecatvideos.net is a quick an easy destination for mindless oooing and awwwing. Five minutes watching these snuggly puff balls of cuteness and I am recharged enough for the next hour or so of deep thinking brain work.


If you did not already know about these wonderful internet applications, why not go check them out? I hope these five things bring as much joy to others as they bring to me. This last stretch of semester will have its share of rough patches, but it's still nice to think about how grateful we are for the little things.

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