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6 Websites That Will Save Your Academic Life

Take it from someone who has graduated, college is only as easy as you make it. Throughout my years in college I have relied on only a few sites to assist me in my academics. I graduated with a degree in English, so the list here is a little biased in terms of subject matter but I tried to make it accessible to everyone. I will show you my favorite sites, and show you not only how to use them effectively but how to use them to your advantage.

6. Cnn.com

The most trusted name in news, indeed. You would be surprised how many times a teacher…err professor will ask the class, “Did you hear in the news today….”. Being that one student who answers and knows what they’re talking about can give you that added boost of confidence to speak up in class, and the professor will notice you a little more too. The good thing about the articles on Cnn.com is that they have little bullet points on the left side of the screen where they summarize the article for you in 2 seconds instead of 2 minutes, saving you some precious campus time.

 

5. Rate My Professor

If I have my way and my future wife doesn’t fight me I will tattoo this site’s URL on my newborn child. When signing up for classes there is NO better judge of character. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve avoided tyrannical professors, and abysmal semesters thanks to this site. I use this site the same day I am signing up for classes to know what I am getting into. Rate My Professor is a college staple. Now to be fair, there are students who only post out of anger over a professor but don’t let one student’s wrath-like post scare you. That being said, if 65 students post about how bad this professor is heed their fair warning. The site allows you to see which class the reviewer had with that professor. Always make sure that you check that look over this because there are some teachers that are angels in ENGLISH 450 and demons in ENGLISH 100, or vice versa.

 

Related: As Grades Pour In: What Makes Finals Different?

 

4. Jstor

Nervous about finding “academic” sources? Well your relief is here. Jstor.org is my favorite online database of academic articles. It’s easy to search through and has an extensive library. But don’t let the words “extensive” “search” scare you, the site is very user-friendly and  makes finding any number of academic sources for your next essay easy. I even wrote an essay on Slam Poetry and Manga all from sources off of Jstor. Trust me this baby has everything you need to fill your Professor’s requirement of a stupid number of sources.

 

3. Easy Bib/ Son of a Citation Machine

EVERYONE, I repeat everyone, hates doing the work cited page. That being said Easy Bib/Son of a Citation Machine are my saviors. I adore these two sites. They make citation’s easy and painless. Instead of tediously flipping through pages, and checking to make sure your MLA formatting is correct. Trust me professors will deduct points off for a messy works cited page, let these two sites be your guardian.

 

2. Sparknotes

Regardless of your major we all work hard and we don’t always have time to read 7 chapters before a quiz. And that is when precisely when Sparknotes becomes your secret weapon. I recall a few semesters ago, I went 4 months without reading a single book (with 4 English classes) all thanks to Sparknotes. Sparknotes has detailed summaries for your viewing pleasure of all the major class. I recommend only using Sparknotes as a safety net because there will always be those professor that go out of their way to ask questions that require actual reading. But we can always avoid those professor thanks to Rate My Professor!

 

1. Wikipedia.

Yes the grand-daddy of all information sites is my favorite resource and your new best friend. For most of this article I have focused on finding sources for essays and getting the right information quickly. Wikipedia combines both of these qualities into one site. Forewarning: It’s Wikipedia, anyone can change it, so make sure you get the right information. When it comes to getting sources the great thing about Wikipedia is that they’ve built the works cited page for you. You know that scribble at the bottom of the page you never read, that’s pure works cited gold.

Here Is What You Do:

  • Find that passage in the summary you like
  • Click the little blue number next to it, and it will take you to the highlighted source at the bottom of the page.
  • With a little extra know-how, you can turn a passage from Wikipedia into a legitimate part of your essay with a quick copy and paste of the source into your work cited.

 

by Leon Langford | Bright Futura Columnist

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