These sites are much more than a place to share comments and content with friends – they can be a useful aid in research and school work.
Many of today’s students look to Internet trends when doing research for writing assignments, leveraging user-generated content that’s being shared on the popular social networks, while professionally published content is receiving less of their attention. Popular social media websites can be used as legitimate research tools, complimenting the traditional methods, and they can help students prepare when writing their essays and assignments.
Here are some of the best social networks and ways they can help improve your writing and research:
You can successfully use Facebook as a research tool, searching through the popular Groups where the topic of your interest is shared and discussed, or using the Facebook questions to gather ideas, ask for opinions, or even conduct small surveys using tools like Surveymonkey and promoting the link for your survey to your Facebook friends. Be sure to keep your questions straightforward and easy to understand.
Twitter can also be a great research tool for students essay writings. You can search previous conversations on a certain subject using hashtags, ask questions, start your own discussions, or look for experts in the field and maybe ask for their assistance and professional opinions.
This global video library with thousands of videos, films, documentaries, news and interviews uploaded each day has a truly great value for students as an immense source of knowledge they can very useful when writing. There are many great educational YouTube channels you can turn to for inspiration like YouTube EDU, TEDTalks, National Geographic, Discovery Channel and more. Be sure to reference these sources in your student papers.
eHow is a question-and-answers website and maybe one of the most useful sites for getting fast and relevant information on almost any subject you may be interested in. Students can research a certain topic, or look for specific answers provided by people from all over the world, sharing their thoughts and personal experiences, or giving expert opinions on questions related to their professions.
Students can search Digg for great, interesting and talked about stories on the Internet at the moment, to use when writing about current events and topics. Look up recent stories, and even search results from a certain date range. This social bookmarking website can help you find great ideas you can later use and elaborate on in your papers.
Of course, these are just a few of the many social media sites on the Internet. The volume of information and number of social media sites are growing constantly. Of course, it is important to remember that quantity isn’t quality – it is crucial for students to select good sources, and to cite them properly in their writing assignments (learn more about citation styles here).
Do you have other favorite social media sites that you would recommend as potential resources for writing assignments? Drop a comment and share!
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