globe General Homework Help See also:
How to Write a Paper & Cite Sources
Search Engines & Web Directories
USEFUL WEBSITES: General / Multi-Subject Sites


EbscoHost articles and homework resources

EBSCO Explora
Facts on File
Universal Class


Quick Reference: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, etc.

Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia - Searchable full-text of Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, 2017. Includes over 25,000 encyclopedic entries covering a wide variety of subject areas. You will be prompted to enter your name, library barcode number, and PIN to log in.

World Almanac for Kids World Almanac for Kids - Presents resources for homework, reports, and projects in a fun format while encouraging online research skills from a trusted source. You will be prompted to enter enter your name, library barcode number, and PIN to log in. From Facts on File / Infobase.

Conversion Calculators (Measurements) - See Calculator and related links.

Data USA - Provides data and maps exploring critical issues facing the United States in areas like work, health, poverty, education, and more (2014 - 2017; Deloitte, Datawheel, and Cesar Hidalgo, Professor at the MIT Media Lab and Director of Collective Learning). See also Our World in Data (University of Oxford, UK), Virtual Reference Shelf: Statistics (Library of Congress) and Statistical Data [Archived page; expect broken links] for other selected links to statistics on a wide variety of subjects; last updated June 2013 (South Plainfield Public Library).

Dictionaries - See Dictionary links and ENGLISH & OTHER LANGUAGES links.

Encyclopædia Britannica® [NOTE: Some material is available only to paid subscribers.] - 'Fact-checked online encyclopedia from Encyclopaedia Britannica with hundreds of thousands of objective articles, biographies, videos, and images from experts.' (Site includes advertisements)

Guiness World Records VIDEO - A selection of Guiness World Records, with related facts and photos for each entry, and videos for many. (Site includes advertisements)

Statistical Data - See Data links, above.

Virtual Reference Shelf - Almanacs, associations, clocks, calculators, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, quotations, statistics, and other online 'Reference Books'. (Library of Congress)

Online Learning Materials

See also:
Audio / Video Resources
USEFUL WEBSITES: Teachers, Parents & Homeschoolers

Universal Class Continuing Education Courses Universal Class: Free online non-credit courses for your personal enrichment. Courses are accessible 24/7 via the Internet, and are offered in a wide variety of subjects, including business, computers, cooking, crafts & hobbies, do-it-yourself, health, history, home & garden, office skills, parenting & family, personal care, psychology, real estate, self-help, religious & spiritual studies, web development, writing, and more. You will have up to 6 months to finish each course, and each course has a real instructor you can communicate with by email! (From Recorded Books) To sign up for classes, you'll need to register on the site and choose a username & password for your account.

Children's University of Manchester INTERACTIVE - Online interactive learning materials on topics in history, language, art/design, and science/medicine. For elementary and middle school students; uses British spelling. (University of Manchester, UK)

Class Zone AUDIO VIDEO INTERACTIVE [Archived page; expect some broken links] - Online learning materials for middle school and high school students, covering Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and World Languages; includes tutorials, templates, animations, links, and much more. Education Place Online Schoolbooks [Archived page] offers online learning materials for pre-K through grade 6, covering Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Spelling; resources for Social Studies were not available when checked 9/19. (Both sites from Houghton Mifflin Publishing Company)

Enchanted Learning - Geography, science, animals, dinosaurs, inventors, explorers, crafts, and more. For elementary school students. (By educational web / software developers Jeananda Col and Mitchell Spector; site includes advertisements)

Khan Academy VIDEO INTERACTIVE [Use the 'Courses' dropdown list to choose a topic] - Free instructional videos, practice exercises, and a personalized learning dashboard that allows you to study at your own pace; covers math, science, computer programming, history, arts, economics, and more. Includes resources for all ages from kindergarten and up. Content is created by a large group of contributors. (Non-profit organization)

Learner Interactives INTERACTIVE [Archived page; some interactives are outdated] - Interactive presentations designed to enhance and improve your skills in math, science, language, history, and arts; mostly for high school students. For related video courses, see Annenberg Media, below. (1997 - 2016, Annenberg Media). AUDIO VIDEO INTERACTIVE is a collection of videos, interactives, and other resources for K-12 students, teachers and parents (2001- 2017, ETV).

National Academies Press - The National Academies Press publishes more than scholarly 200 books a year on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, social sciences and medicine. This site offers thousands of titles published in the last several decades (most from the 1990s to the present); almost all can be downloaded for free in PDF format, by the chapter or the entire book. For college or advanced high school students. (National Academy of Sciences)

Open Courseware Consortium - Free online college-level course materials covering a broad range of topics, from universities around the world. Includes course overviews, assignments, readings, handouts, practice exams, and related resources (Non-profit educational consortium). For links to additional online classes, see Sites for Seniors: Education.

Open Stax NEW! - Free peer-reviewed, online college-level textbooks in math, science, social science, humanities, business, and AP®. (Rice University)

Scholastic Interactive Learning Activities VIDEO INTERACTIVE - Get excited about History, Reading, Writing, Science, and Math, with interactive games, explorations, and other interesting and fun activities. Activities are organized by grade level (pre-K through Grade 12) and subject / activity type. (Scholastic Inc. publishing company; site includes advertisements).

Smithsonian for Kids INTERACTIVE - An assortment of fun learning resources for kids, including games, web cams, activities and quizzes on a variety of topics.

Themed Learning Resources - A collection of primary source sets, presentations & activities, lesson plans and other educational materials. (Library of Congress)

Search Tools & Databases

DATABASES & Free Premium Resources Databases & Free Premium Resources - Search magazines, newspapers & other reference materials in our online databases & research tools: EbscoHost student resources, Salem History, Rosetta Stone Language Online, and more! If you're logging on at home, you'll need to enter your name, library card barcode number, and PIN to get started.

Facts on FileFacts on File Reference Databases - A diverse collection of reference databases on American History, American Women's History, African-American History, American Indian History, Modern World History, Ancient & Medieval History, World Geography & Culture, Science, Health Reference Center, Blooms Literary Reference, Fergusons Career Guidance Center, Curriculum Resource Centers.

EBSCOHost Full-text magazine & newspaper articles, in English, Spanish, German, & French, plus business, health, current events, and academic databases, homework resources for elementary and middle school research, and more. When you login to EBSCOHost with your mobile device to access all the EBSCOHost databases, EBSCOhost automatically recognizes that you are a mobile user and displays the correct version.

Google Scholar [NOTE: Many of the resources which appear in Google Scholar search results are NOT available for free.] - A Google search engine which searches only scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research, as well as patents and legal opinions/journals. For upper-level students.

Research Beyond Google - Guide to searching the 'invisible web' to find authoritative information sources on a variety of subjects. High school and up; expect broken links. (2013, Open Education Database; site includes advertisements)

Study Aids, Tips & Tools

See also:
How to Write a Paper & Cite Sources

Academic Advancement Center Study Tips - Tips and tools to help you organize your time, take & review notes effectively, improve memory & concentration, and prepare for exams. This site is designed for college students, but college-bound high school students should find it useful as well (Ohio University).

Create A Graph INTERACTIVE - Choose the type of graph to create, enter your data, and this site will create a printable chart or graph for you. Includes a tutorial for beginners. (National Center for Education Statistics)

Critical Thinking Web - Online tutorials, quiz, and other materials will help you understand what critical thinking is, why it is important, and how to develop your critical thinking skills. (2004 - 2017, Joe Lau & Jonathan Chan; University of Hong Kong).

Quizzes INTERACTIVE - Fun quizzes and games to test and improve your knowledge of math, vocabulary, geography, history, or an assortment of other subjects; quizzes are presented in easy, medium and hard versions. (Sheppard Software; site includes advertisements).

Researching a Paper - See How to Write a Paper & Cite Sources, below.

Spark Notes [NOTE: Free registration required to access some resources.] - Free online study guides for literature, math, science, history, and more. Login to Freading with your library card number to download FREE SparkNotes Study Guides on literature, history, philosophy, and film, in ePUB format! See also Cliffs Notes.

How to Write a Paper and Cite Sources

See also:

Basic Steps in the Research Process- A step-by-step guide to research, from choosing a topic through citing sources; high school and up (Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Cambridge, MA). Writer's Handbook (University of Wisconsin) UPDATED LINK! provides additional guidance for writing research papers, as well as literary analysis papers, scientific reports, and college application essays; suitable for high school and college students. Oregon School Library Information System's Guides for Elementary School students VIDEO and Middle & High School students VIDEO provide advice to younger students on how to do research, choose resources, find information, take notes, cite sources, and more; both guides include an automatic interactive 'citation maker'. See also Writing Handouts and related links, below. [NOTE: For access to databases & premium research sources (such as EbscoHost) mentioned in these guides, go to our ONLINE DATABASES page.]

Bio-Cube INTERACTIVE - An interactive tool which helps students to develop an outline of a person whose biography or autobiography they have just read, or write their own autobiography. For grades 3 - 12 (International Reading Association & National Council of Teachers of English).

Book Reports - A brief outline of some things you should include in your book report; for elementary and middle school students. (

Citation Maker INTERACTIVE - You can use this tool to create a Works Cited or Reference list of research sources following the MLA or APA standard citation formats; you will need to properly capitalize entries yourself (Oregon School Library Information System). See also Zotero, below. Citing Sources offers links to instructions for citing magazine articles, books, websites, and other sources in your term paper bibliography in various citation styles including APA, Turabian, MLA, Chicago and others (Duke University). The official Chicago Manual of Style Online is no longer free, but you can check the Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide to see sample citations for both printed and electronic sources (University of Chicago Press).

Copyright and Fair Use Animation VIDEO - This animated video encourages students to think about copyright law and the appropriate ways to use original work responsibly (Common Sense Media; video hosted on YouTube). For more information on copyright and fair use, see Copyright FAQ, Fair Use FAQ, Public Domain FAQ, and Glossary of Terms (2016, Electronic Frontier Foundation). See also Finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Media and Plagiarism links, below.

Electra Guide Thesis Builder INTERACTIVE - This interactive tool asks you a few simple questions to help you create a thesis for an essay and generate an outline; the 'Topic-O-Rama' will suggest some good topics if you don't have one. For high school students. (By Tom March, a web-based educational designer and former classroom teacher)

Evaluating Information on the Web - See Evaluating Websites and related links.

Evaluating Print Sources NEW! [Link opens a PDF] - Basic guidelines for evaluating the quality of print sources such as books and journals. See also Identifying Scholarly Journals, Peer Reviewed/Refereed. Journals, Magazines and Trade Publications NEW! [Link opens a PDF]. (2005 - 2006, Florida Gulf Coast University)

Finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Media - This guide will help you find and correctly cite public domain and Creative Commons media (images, audio, video) for your project or presentation (Harvard University). See also Copyright and Fair Use links, above.

Paradigm Online Writing Assistant INTERACTIVE - 'An interactive, menu-driven, online writer's guide and handbook.' Explains how to find a topic, organize your essay, revise and edit your writing, and document your sources. Use the menu bar across the top to navigate. (By Chuck Guilford, Boise State University; site includes advertisements)

Plagiarism: What Is Plagiarism? - This guide for kids explains what plagiarism is and how to avoid it; elementary school and up (2014, More advanced students, see Avoiding Plagiarism and What You Need to Know About Plagiarism [Link opens a PDF] (New Jersey State Bar Foundation); high school and up (Purdue University). See also Copyright and Fair Use links, above.

Writing Handouts (University of Toronto) - Advice on organizing an essay, using quotations, paraphrase & summary, passive voice, and related subjects, plus lists of Books on Writing about Literature and Web Sites on Writing about Literature. Writing Center Handouts (University of North Carolina) VIDEO cover a broad range of writing topics, including specific writing assignments & contexts such as book reviews, comparing/contrasting, essay exams, poetry explications & speeches, and writing on specific subjects such as literature, history, & science. See also Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines (Harvard University), Subject-Specific Resources (Purdue) [NOTE: Use the menu to find different subjects] and Writing in the Disciplines (University of Richmond) for more guidance on writing in specific subject areas, as well as other writing advice. Writing Guides (University of Kentucky) is a collection of online college-level writing guides and links on a variety of topics, including Academic Essays, Avoiding Plagiarism, Critical Thinking, Reading, and Study Strategies, The Writing Process, Writing Your Research, Citing and Documenting Your Sources, Grammar and Usage, Personal and Professional Writing, Theses and Dissertations, and more. Essay Writing: The Basics (University of New South Wales, Australia) provides a brief, step-by-step overview of the process of writing an academic essay, with links to additional help. See also Basic Steps in the Research Process, above.

Zotero - A free, open-source tool that helps you collect, organize, and analyze research and share it in a variety of ways. Zotero collects all your research in a single, searchable interface. You can add PDFs, images, audio and video files, snapshots of web pages, and more. Zotero is now a single standalone application for users of all browsers; available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. (Center for History and New Media, George Mason University)

Web Directories

Click here for links to all South Plainfield Public Library Web Directories.

MERLOT Collection VIDEO INTERACTIVE - Tens of thousands of discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and more. All of these items have been contributed by the MERLOT member community and have been reviewed for suitability. Search the collection by keyword, or click on materials in subject discipline, then narrow your results using the filters provided. (California State University System et al.)

Wikipedia - See Evaluating Websites and related links.

Audio / Video Resources

See also: Finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Media

Annenberg Media VIDEO [Archived page; some videos are outdated] - Dozens of online video courses for teachers and students, on a variety of topics in history, language, literature, culture, science, and more; for high school and college students, and teachers K-12. Click on 'Video Series' in the menu, then hover your mouse over 'Video Programs' to choose a broad subject & grade level; you can also search for resources by keyword. For related interactives, see Learner Interactives, above.

AP Archive VIDEO [CAUTION: Some videos on the sites listed here may be disturbing or otherwise unsuitable for children] - Video footage of current and historic subjects, such as accidents & disasters, conflicts & terrorism, economy, natural world & environment, space exploration, government & politics, fashion & lifestyle, people, sports, and more. It includes the full collection of British Movietone VIDEO, a global newsreel which 'contains many of the world's enduring images and is rich in coverage of news events, celebrities, sports, music, social history, science, lifestyle' and more, spanning the period 1895 - 1986. British Pathé offers more than 80,000 videos of filmed history covering most of the 20th century (hosted on YouTube). See also BBC Motion Gallery VIDEO, a searchable video archive of over 20 years of BBC and CBS News; now part of Getty Images (British Broadcasting Corporation).

Library of Congress Digital Moving Image Collections VIDEO - Several hundred early motion pictures on American life and culture. See also Library of Congress National Screening Room VIDEO.

NBC Learn VIDEO - Short videos, historic news reports, and current events coverage designed to engage, inspire, and educate. Includes transcripts and lesson plans; all ages. (NBCUniversal Media, LLC)

New York Public Library Digital Collections AUDIO VIDEO - Explore hundreds of thousands of items digitized from The New York Public Library's collections. This site is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.

PBS Online VIDEO - Access to a growing online library of past PBS programming; you can search for a title or browse by genre (topic). See also PBS Learning Media. You'll find video and audio lectures from the world's foremost scholars, authors, artists, scientists, policymakers, and community leaders covering a wide range of topics on WGBH Forum VIDEO; high school and up (WGBH & the Lowell Institute; hosted on YouTube). American Archive of Public Broadcasting AUDIO VIDEO offers historic public radio and television programs from across America. Watch and listen to programs that have had national impact, as well as local news and public affairs programs, local history productions, and programs dealing with education, environmental issues, music, art, literature, dance, poetry, religion, and more. Programs date from the 1950s to the 21st century; search by keyword or browse by subject (WGBH and Library of Congress). Videos [Enter a search term, then click on 'Videos' in the menu bar above the search results] - Videos from government agencies (most hosted on YouTube) on a wide range of topics.


See also: Finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Media

CalPhotos - A searchable collection of nearly 250,000 images of plants, animals, fossils, people, and landscapes. (University of California)

Library of Congress Prints & Photographs - Online images on a wide range of topics. Includes photographs, art prints, drawings, posters, caricatures, cartoons, and more. You can search the collection by keyword, or browse by Creator/Related Names, Subjects, or Formats.

LIFE Photo Archive - Search millions of historic photographs from the LIFE Magazine photo archive, most previously unpublished, from the 1860s to the 1970s (LIFE Magazine and Google). See also LIFE Picture Collection (Getty Images; images are stamped with 'Life Picture Collection' and catalog number).

New York Public Library Digital Gallery - Now part of New York Public Library Digital Collections, above.

Pictures of Places - Need a picture of the Eiffel Tower, the Lincoln Memorial, the Taj Mahal, or the Leaning Tower of Pisa? This site links to thousands of great printable pictures of places all over the world. Arranged by state / country / region. (MindTravellers Inc.; site includes advertisements)

Science Images - See Science Photos and related links.

Social Issues Photographs - Historical pictures on a variety of political and social topics such as women's issues, government, labor organizations, utopian colonies, ethnic groups, social and leisure activities, and World War II Japanese Internment camps. Search by keyword (University of Washington).

Time News Photos [CAUTION: Some news photos may be disturbing or otherwise unsuitable for children] - Photos of current events (site includes advertisements). Photos - Photos from government agencies (most hosted on Flickr or Instagram) on a wide range of topics. Enter a search term (such as 'owls' or 'apples' or 'Civil War photos'), then click on 'Images' in the menu bar above the search results.

revised 9/19 jd


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