Google Docs is a great platform for student collaboration, writing, and teacher feedback. But did you know that students can use a Google Docs Research Tool?
My students use Google Docs for all of their written compositions as it is used in Google Classroom.
As students write, there is a power-packed tool to help them seamlessly integrate research, images, and even ready-made tables and data charts.
Using the Research Tool in Google Docs
Students can conduct web research by simply highlighting a word or phrase from their paragraph and clicking on the “research” tool.
What’s more, there is even a built-in citation generator! Or, you can have students use the Easy Bib Citation Generator add-on.
I’ve used Google Draw to annotate some screenshots below to guide you through the process step-by-step and offer some tips for using this tool to its fullest potential.
Highlight & Research
As learners are writing in their Google Docs, they can simply highlight a word or phrase to research. This word or phrase is from their own writing. If students don’t find a desirable result, they learn to use synonyms and keywords. This will bring up the results of a Google web search within the Google Document and students can scroll down to select the best sites to explore or choose images to insert in their document.
If a student likes and wants to use a particular site, he or she can click the button to “insert link.” This will add a hyperlink into their document text. The student may also click “cite” which adds an MLA citation as a footnote at the bottom of the document.
Add an Image
Next, if the writer wants to add an image to his or her document, the search tool can help with this. Students should click on the camera icon in the search field and highlight a word or phrase or type in a search term. Then, the image can be dragged and dropped into the document. AND there is an automatic footnote added!
Find Additional Keywords
Finally, students can expand their search and find related keywords by clicking on the back arrow. For more tips, see images below! 🙂
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