Archive for the ‘Education Resources’ Category

100 Excellent Websites for Exploring the Ocean Online

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

By Megan Jones

The ocean is a beautiful and wondrous place, and we’re fortunate enough to be able to study it not just in person, but also online. Through various interactive sites, photo and video galleries, learning tools, and more, you can get a good look at the wild blue yonder without ever leaving your seat. Read on to find 100 great websites that will help you do just that.

Exploration & Expeditions

Get to go along with various explorations and expeditions through these websites.

  1. NOAA Ocean Explorer Explorations: Here you’ll be able to follow the explorations of the NOAA.
  2. Google Earth: Google Earth will take you beneath the surface to see the Mariana Trench, explore with National Geographic and BBC, and more.
  3. Living Fossils of the Deep: Go on an exploration of the Bahamian Seafloor through this expedition.
  4. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Online Expeditions: You can join the explorers of WHOI on these online expeditions.
  5. Life on the Edge: Exploring Deep Ocean Habitats: The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will show you multimedia from a variety of explorations.
  6. The Voyage of the Odyssey: This interactive site from PBS allows you to experience the life of scientists and crew onboard the whale research vessel Odyssey.
  7. Cousteau Society Expeditions: On the Cousteau Society website, you can follow their expeditions.
  8. Dive and Discover: Be a part of expeditions to the sea floor on Dive and Discover.
  9. Search for the Giant Squid: Follow the Smithsonian Institute on their search for the giant squid.
  10. UN Atlas of the Oceans: Through this information system, you can learn about uses, issues, geography, and more.


Oceanography students and enthusiasts will enjoy these photographs of the sea, its creatures, and more through these photo galleries.

  1. NOAA Ocean Explorer Photo Gallery: See The NOAA’s explorations in photos here.
  2. Ocean–Above and Below: Check out this collection to see seascapes, marine life, and more.
  3. Ocean Living Photo Gallery: See ocean creatures and more through this photo gallery from the Smithsonian National Zoo.
  4. Image of the Day: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution offers a new ocean image every day.
  5. Wolcott Henry: Wolcott Henry’s website has portraits of marine life, conservation photography, and more.
  6. Ocean Oddities and Regular Residents: See the ocean’s road less traveled through these images.
  7. MUMM North Sea: This gallery offers a look at the North Sea.
  8. Wild Ocean Photo: Wild Ocean Photo offers a look at tiny creatures and blue water.
  9. Under the Ocean: This collection is exclusive to photographs under the surface of the ocean.
  10. National Biological Information Infrastructure Digital Image Library: Find nature, including oceans, in this digital image library.
  11. Deep Sea Images: Deep Sea Images offers photo stock of natural history images.
  12. Sea & Ocean: This group is full of the ocean, ports, beaches, and more.
  13. ARKive: On ARKive, you’ll find a unique collection of images of life on Earth.
  14. Christina Craft Photography: Christina Craft’s gallery is full of photographs from Vancouver Island ferry trips, as well as whale watching trips in British Columbia.
  15. Shuttle Views the Earth: Oceans from Space: See how the oceans look from space through this gallery.
  16. Ocean Conservation Photography: In this group, you’ll see photographs that tell a story about ocean conservation.
  17. Marine Photobank: The Marine Photobank aims to advance ocean conservation through imagery.
  18. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Image Galleries: WHOI offers a variety of images from their ocean work.
  19. Planet Ocean Photography: This photography site is full of galleries containing sharks, sea birds, fish, and more.
  20. Atlantic Ocean: Check out this group to see photographs of the Atlantic Ocean.
  21. National Marine Sanctuaries Media Library: This library is an online vault for high quality images and video clips from national marine sanctuaries.
  22. Ocean Photo: Reinhard Dirscherl’s website offers beautiful images of the ocean in a wide variety of categories.
  23. National Geographic Underwater Photo Galleries: National Geographic has a variety of underwater photo galleries. Currently featured are translucent creatures and underwater wrecks.
  24. MarineBio Photo Gallery: See photographs from MarineBio contributing photographers in this gallery.
  25. Pacific Ocean: Explore the Pacific Ocean through this collection.
  26. BetterPhoto Ocean Gallery: These ocean photographs are simply sublime.
  27. I Love the Ocean: Check out this group to see lots of photos of the world’s oceans.
  28. Living Ocean Gallery: In this gallery, you’ll see vertebrates, invertebrates, and the seafloor.


Learn more about the ocean through these video galleries.

  1. NOAA Ocean Explorer Video Gallery: Check out this gallery to see video from NOAA explorations.
  2. Cousteau on YouTube: See videos from the Cousteau Society here on YouTube.
  3. Oceana Video: Explore the ocean and learn what Oceana is doing to protect the world’s oceans in these videos.
  4. Ocean Footage: Check out this resource to see stock footage video clips from the ocean.
  5. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Video: You’ll see video and animation about ocean life, technology, and WHOI science here.
  6. The Ocean Channel: You can watch documentaries, video, and more on The Ocean Channel.
  7. Ocean Planet: Underwater Flyby: Enjoy an animated tour of the Pacific Ocean from NASA.
  8. USGS Multimedia Gallery Water Collection: This collection features photo and video of water from the US Geological Survey.
  9. NOAA YouTube Video Playlist: Here you’ll find a collection of videos posted on the NOAA Ocean Explorer YouTube channel.
  10. MarineBio Video Library: Check out this video library for expedition galleries and more.
  11. WHOI Web Cams: Watch various WHOI stations in real time with these web cams.
  12. Savage Seas: In Savage Seas from PBS, you’ll experience animations in the wave machine, deep sea simulator, and more.


These audio collections will allow you to hear the sounds of the ocean.

  1. Sound in the Sea: In the NOAA’s Sound in the Sea, you’ll hear audio recordings captured beneath the ocean surface.
  2. Audio Slideshows: Through these audio and image slideshows, you can learn more about WHOI research.
  3. LHS Whale Sounds: Listen to and identify whale sounds in this resource.
  4. The Ocean Project Multimedia Resources: Here, The Ocean Project links to a variety of mp3s.


Learn more about the ocean through these interactive websites.

  1. From Sea to Shining Sea: In this interactive map, you’ll be able to explore America’s oceans.
  2. Virtual Sailor: Hop aboard this simulator to find out what it’s like to experience sailing.
  3. WHOI Jigsaw Puzzles: Complete ocean jigsaw puzzles including a comb jelly, coral, and more here.
  4. Sea and Sky: Play free sea games on this website.
  5. Ocean Climate Interactive: In this interactive site, you can see the systems at work in the ocean’s climate.
  6. Ocean Explorer: In this game, you’ll take underwater photos on a journey to the bottom of the ocean.
  7. MarineBio Ocean Quizzes: Test your knowledge about the ocean with these quizzes.
  8. Indian Ocean Tsunami: Interactive Guides: See how the tsunami happened and more through these interactive guides.
  9. [email protected] Interactive Activities: This collection of interactive activities includes quizzes, crosswords, and word searches.
  10. WHOI Interactives: You can look into whales, submarines, and more in these Flash interactives.
  11. Blue Planet Challenge: Take part in this challenge to learn about habitats and adaptation.
  12. Ocean Challenge Puzzle: Solve the ocean challenge puzzle with players around the globe or in your classroom.
  13. Ocean Adventures: Take on fun and games in this ocean adventure.

Data & Monitoring

Get access to data, current conditions, and more for the ocean on these sites.

  1. Ocean Motion and Surface Currents: This site from NASA shares currents, temperature, motion, data, and more.
  2. NOS Data Explorer: Search for NOAA Data through the NOS Data Explorer.
  3. NASA Ocean Surface Topography Multimedia: View multimedia from the ocean surface here, courtesy of NASA.
  4. NOAA Shoreline: You can learn about shoreline data through this website.
  5. British Oceanography Data Centre: The BODC makes biological, chemical, physical, and geophysical marine data available for search and download.
  6. National Data Buoy Center: Through the NDBC, you can view data from collecting buoys and coastal stations.
  7. Cente for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science: Cefas provides data on salinity, temperature, waves, health and more.
  8. DChart: This project offers an ocean and weather data navigator.

Learning & Education

Check out these sites for teaching, or just learning about the ocean on your own.

  1. NOAA Ocean Explorer Library: Check out this library to find important resources from the NOAA.
  2. Ocean Mysteries: Check out this resource to learn about some of the mysteries of the deep sea.
  3. Encarta: The World’s Oceans and Seas: Encarta offers information and exploration of the world’s oceans here.
  4. Oceans Alive: Oceans Alive has a variety of resources that you can use to learn about celebrating marine biodiversity and saving our oceans.
  5. MarineBio Facts: Learn fun and little known facts about the ocean from MarineBio.
  6. NOAA Ocean Explorer Maps: See animations, maps, and more of a variety of oceans in this gallery.
  7. WhaleNet: WhaleNet of Wheelock College is an interactive educational website focusing on whales and marine research.
  8. Ocean Literacy: Learn about the essential principles and fundamental concepts of ocean literacy here.
  9. Encyclopedia of Life: The Encyclopedia of Life offers you the ability to research each species of organism in the sea and beyond.
  10. Intute Oceanography Timeline: This timeline features the history of oceanography.
  11. Enchanted Learning: Find the answers to your ocean questions on EnchantedLearning.
  12. The Ocean Portal: Teachers can find learning resources from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History here.
  13. NOAA Learning Objects: From the Monterey Institute, this resource offers learning objects on mid-ocean ridges, deep-sea corals, energy from the oceans, pollution, and more.
  14. Deep Sea Fishes: Find images, species, and more in this biological guide to deep sea fish.
  15. National Ocean Service Education: Find educational activities through this NOS education resource.
  16. The Bridge: The bridge offers a variety of free teacher-approved marine education resources.
  17. Ocean Classroom: Find curriculum, exemplars, and more from the World Ocean Observatory here.
  18. OceanWorld: Texas A&M’s Ocean World brings the ocean to the classroom.
  19. NOAA Ocean Explorer Education: Find excellent teaching resources from this NOAA site.
  20. Contrasts in Blue: Smithsonian in Your Classroom provides a look into life on the Caribbean coral reef and the rocky coast of Maine.
  21. Aquarium of the Pacific: This aquarium has an online learning center that will help you learn about different ocean species.
  22. Ocean Motion Teachers: Check out this resource to learn how you can use Ocean Motion in education.
  23. Planet Ocean: Discovery Education offers an excellent resource for learning about underwater life in Planet Ocean.
  24. Cultural Heritage: The NOAA’s Cultural Heritage site offers a look at artifacts, shipwrecks, and other underwater cultural treasures.
  25. History: Learn about early US ocean exploration from these images.

100+ Rankings to Pick Your School, City, Career, and More

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

In this society, we’re obsessed with finding the best of the best. For college students, that means finding the best school, major, career, city, and other important decisions in life. In this list, you’ll find a variety of rankings that will help you pick all of these things and more.


If you want to pick the best school for you, take a look at these rankings.

  1. America’s Best Graduate Schools: In this ranking, you’ll see more than 1,200 graduate level programs in business, medicine, and more.
  2. America’s Best Colleges: Check out these rankings to find data in a variety of disciplines.
  3. Business School Rankings and Profiles: Through BusinessWeek, you’ll find rankings for business schools in executive education, MBA, distance / online degrees, and more.
  4. Best Ivy League Schools: Check out this ranking to find out which ivy league schools can give you the best paycheck.
  5. Academic Ranking of World Universities: Find rankings for universities worldwide and by region here.
  6. Best Law Schools: Get data on the best law schools in this ranking.
  7. America’s Best High Schools: This ranking provides a list of gold, silver, and bronze high schools.
  8. Top Party Colleges by Salary Potential: Although these are definitely party schools, you can find out which ones have a high salary potential.
  9. Top State Universities by Salary Potential: In this ranking, you’ll learn about the salary potential of a variety of state universities.
  10. Academic Ranking of World Universities: Here you’ll find a ranking of the best universities in the world.
  11. Top Liberal Arts Colleges: In this ranking, you’ll see the liberal arts colleges that have the highest salary potential.
  12. Top Nursing Colleges by Popularity: Nursing students should check out this ranking of top nursing colleges.
  13. The Best Online Universities: In this ranking, you’ll find the best online universities, considered by graduation rates, years accredited, and more.
  14. Rankings of Australian Universities: This ranking offers a look at the best Universities in Australia.
  15. Best Engineering Colleges: Engineering students can earn higher salaries if they obtain education through one of these schools.
  16. World’s Best Colleges and Universities: Find out about the best colleges and universities in the world from this ranking.

Careers and Majors

Be sure you’re making a good decision about your future by taking these rankings into consideration when you choose your major and career.

  1. The Best and Worst Jobs in the US: Find out what the Wall Street Journal thinks are the best and worst careers.
  2. 15 Hot Jobs in a (Gulp!) Depression: Even in hard times, you can expect to do well in these careers.
  3. Top 10 Paying College Majors: This ranking will tell you about 10 college majors that will land you a high starting salary.
  4. Job Satisfaction By Major: This ranking lists how satisfied you may be working in a variety of majors.
  5. Top 10 Recessionproof Jobs: You’ll find success even in a recession if you decide to take on one of these jobs.
  6. Top 10 Best Jobs: profiles the 10 best jobs in America based on job satisfaction, stress, creativity, and more.
  7. Young and Restless-Top 20 Jobs: These jobs are some of the best for young and restless workers.
  8. Rate of Unemployment by Major: Find out which majors tend to result in unemployment from this ranking.
  9. The 10 Most Worthless College Majors: Check out this list to find college majors you should avoid.
  10. America’s Best-and Worst- Paying Jobs: This ranking will show you which jobs will get you paid, and which ones may not be worth the trouble.
  11. Top 20 Jobs for Parents Returning to Work: In these jobs, you’ll find a challenging career that leaves room for your family.
  12. 7 Best Nonpolitical Jobs for Political Junkies: If you want to be in politics without actually being in them, check out these jobs.
  13. Top 10 Highest Paying College Majors: offers this list of college majors that will pay you back.
  14. Top 20 Jobs for a Change If You’re Over 50: Find your ideal second job in this ranking.
  15. The 6 Coolest Jobs for Weird Majors: If you have an unconventional degree, look at this ranking to find a cool career.
  16. Average Starting and Current Salaries by Major: Find out what different majors will pay you in this ranking.
  17. Percent Still in Field by Major: This ranking will tell you which majors had alumni that stayed in their field.
  18. Most Lucrative College Majors: Find out which college majors offer the best salaries from this ranking.
  19. The 7 Best Jobs for Facebook Addicts: If you’re addicted to using Facebook, these jobs would be a great fit for you.
  20. Top 10 Most Profitable College Majors: Study one of these majors to ensure that you’ll have a high starting salary.
  21. Top 20 Jobs for Those Retired from the Military: If you’re just leaving the military, be sure to check out this ranking that profiles jobs that can make use of your skills.


Learn about the best cities, states, countries, and more from these rankings.

  1. Best Cities to Live, Work, and Play: These cities are ranked by cost of living, creative class, income, and more.
  2. Most Secure US Places: Find places with good health, prosperity, safety, and security in this city ranking.
  3. Where to Ride Out a Gas Crunch: This list shares the top 10 places with short commutes or work with low fuel consumption.
  4. Where Homes are Affordable: In this list, you’ll find 25 growing cities with affordable housing.
  5. Best Culture in US Cities: This list ranks 25 large US cities by their level of cultural activities available.
  6. City Crime Rankings: Find out which cities have the highest crime ratings here.
  7. The 100 Largest City Parks: Be sure to check out this list to find out which cities have the largest parks.
  8. Best Places to Live: Money ranks 100 of America’s best small cities.
  9. Ten Cities for Job Growth in 2009: If you’re looking for employment this year, these cities are where it’s at.
  10. Cleanest US Cities: The cities at the top of this list are always spic and span.
  11. 2008 MSN Real Estate Best Bargain Markets: In this ranking, you’ll find affordable, comfortable cities to live in.
  12. The Global Gender Gap Index: This index offers a ranking of gender equality achieved in countries.
  13. 25 Top-Earning Towns: This ranking of cities will tell you where the money is.
  14. Ten Best Metropolitan Areas in the United States: This list ranks ten metropolitan areas based on culture, housing, health care, and other important factors.
  15. Greenest Countries-Most Livable Places: This ranking will give you a look into the world’s most livable green countries.
  16. America’s Most Livable Communities: In this ranking, you’ll learn about the most livable places in the United States.
  17. Ratio of Students to Teaching Staff: Check out this ranking to find out which countries have the highest ratio of students to teachers.
  18. Singles, Meet Your Match: This list profiles 25 places with the highest percentage of singles. Most Expensive Cities in the World: Learn about the most expensive cities in the world from this ranking that looks at apartment purchase prices.
  19. Best Places to Retire: Check out this ranking list to find 1,000 excellent spots to retire in.
  20. SustainLane’s 2008 US City Rankings: SustainLane ranks the 50 most-populous cities in the nation by their levels of urban sustainability.
  21. America’s Most Literate Cities: In this ranking, you’ll find out the literacy of America’s major cities based on newspaper circulation, resources, education, bookstores, and more.
  22. 2008 Best Performing Cities: Take a look at this ranking to find US metropolitan areas that are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth.
  23. Top 50 Cities in the US by Population and Rank: In this list, you’ll find the 50 most populous cities in the US.
  24. America’s 25 Most Ozone-Polluted Metropolitan Areas: In these cities, you can expect to find a high level of respiratory irritant.
  25. Total Health Expenditures as % of GDP: This ranking takes a look at the countries that spend the most on health care.

Economies, Industries & Companies

These rankings will help you learn about great companies, industries, and countries to work for.

  1. Best Places to Work in the Federal Government: This ranking will tell you about the best federal agencies to work for.
  2. Blue-Ribbon Companies: These companies made the most Fortune lists, including the Fortune 500, Best Companies to Work for, and Fastest-Growing.
  3. Economic Freedom World Rankings: These countries are full of economic opportunity and prosperity.
  4. Top 500 Hispanic Businesses: Here you’ll find the best Hispanic businesses.
  5. 100 Fastest-Growing Companies: In this list, you’ll find the corporations that are growing the fastest these days.
  6. 25 Top-Paying Companies: Find out which companies offer big paychecks in this ranking.
  7. Economy Rankings: Check out this report to find out which economies are the easiest to do business with.
  8. America’s Most Admired Companies: Take a look at this list to see which companies are thought of well.
  9. Top 10 Companies for Job Growth: Work for one of these companies, and you’ll be at less risk for layoffs, and have a better chance at advancement.
  10. InformationWeek500: In this ranking, you’ll find the 500 companies that make the best use of business technology.
  11. Top 100 Diversity Employers: These employers are ideal for diverse students looking for work.
  12. Fortune 500: This ranking profiles America’s largest corporations.
  13. 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers: Working parents should check out this list to find companies with family-friendly policies.
  14. Best Places to Launch a Career: In this ranking, you’ll find employers that will help catapult you to success.
  15. Best Benefits: Health Care: This ranking explores 15 companies with excellent health care plans.
  16. Global 500: This list offers a ranking of the world’s 500 largest corporations.
  17. Latina Style 50: Latina Style ranks 50 companies that are sensitive to professional Hispanic women.
  18. 10 Most Accountable Big Companies: Check out this ranking to find companies with a commitment to social and environmental goals.
  19. World’s Most Admired Companies: This list takes a look at companies that are admired around the world.
  20. The 35 Largest US Private Companies: In this ranking, you’ll find the biggest names in business that work outside of the public markets.
  21. Top Entry Level Employers: Workers ust getting started in their careers can find success with these employers.
  22. 100 Best Companies to Work For: Fortune lists the 100 best companies to work for.
  23. 2008 Best Employers for Workers Over 50: If you’re 50 or older and looking for a job, this ranking if full of great companies to work for.
  24. 100 Best Places to Work in IT: This ranking offers 100 IT companies that offer fair paychecks, challenging work, and ample opportunities.
  25. 25 Most Desirable MBA Employers: In this list, you’ll see companies that MBAs want to work for the most.
  26. The Employee Ownership 100: Check out these companies that offer ownership to their employees.
  27. America’s 200 Best Small Companies: This ranking profiles 200 small companies that offer stability.


Pick the best cars, health insurance, and more from these product rankings.

  1. Best Cars & Trucks: Learn about the best cars, SUVs, trucks, and hybrids that you can buy from this ranking.
  2. Best Health Plans: Discover the best commercial health plans in America from this ranking.
  3. Guide to Greener Electronics: In this guide, you’ll see how electronics companies stack up on their environmental policies.
  4. Best and Worst Used Cars: This guide offers a look at reliable models as well as ones that will give you trouble.
  5. Top 5 in Brand Perception by Category: This ranking will tell you which brands rank the best for new car buyers.
  6. Best Health Insurance Plans: Check out this ranking collection to find out about the best commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid HMOs.
  7. Best New Car Deals: Find out which cars can offer you a great deal from this ranking.


Trust your health to the best with the help of these rankings.

  1. Best Hospitals: Check out this raking to find the best hospitals in over 16 specialties.
  2. America’s Safest Hospitals: These hospitals offer the best care and protection against complications and mortality.
  3. Best Hospitals Honor Roll: Here you’ll find 19 elite hospitals that were good enough to be on the Honor Roll.
  4. Leapfrog Top Hospitals: This ranking offers some of the most high quality and safe hospitals.
  5. America’s Best Children’s Hospitals: You’ll learn about the best children’s hospitals for cancer, surgery, and more from this ranking.
  6. 100 Top Hospitals: You’ll find the 100 most successful hospitals in this list.

100+ Free Open Courseware Links for Writers

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Writers today need to understand how to diversify by writing for different markets, including personal blogs, websites and for technical assignments. This versatility means that whether you’re an amateur writer, one who has been working in the writing field for years, or one who has received professional training at traditional or online universities, you will need to adapt to the changing times and grow your writing skills.

Even those whose majors were not writing intensive in college, or those with no writing background, have a lot to learn to continually succeed in the writing world. Luckily, you don’t have to waste time or money going back to school. This list of 100 free open courseware links can help you improve your essay-writing, fiction, blogging, and even managing your own small business.

Essay Writing and Research

For tips on critical writing, essays and figuring out your audience, turn to this list.

  1. Essay and Report Writing Skills: The Open University’s writing course challenges writers to consider the purpose of writing, as well as general tips for improving writing.
  2. Rhetorical and Critical Writing: Learn how to target and persuade your audience in this course.
  3. Advanced Writing Seminar: MIT’s advanced writing class involves many different types of writing.
  4. Foundations of Language and Communications: Sharpen your research and reasoning skills in this class.
  5. Writing About Race: Writers with a social conscious and those who want to effectively depict their characters will want to take this course.
  6. Writing and Experience: Exploring Self in Society: The writer learns techniques in self-examination in order to write with a strong sense of self.
  7. Introduction to Writing: Academic Prose: Get tips for organizing an essay, preparing a thesis and conducting your own research in this Utah State course.
  8. Finding information in arts and history: Make your research process more effective when you take this course.
  9. Targeting New Audiences: Finding Your Niche: This course in market research and narrowing your focus can help you reach more readers.
  10. Writing and the Environment: Study the writings of scientists in order to learn techniques in persuasion and more.
  11. Writing About Literature: Get tips for analyzing and writing about literary forms like poetry, plays and novels.
  12. Advanced Essay Workshop: Even if you’ve had a lot of practice writing essays, this advanced course can help you sharpen your ability to write about identity.
  13. Writing and Reading the Essay: This course focuses on the style and techniques of the literary essay.

Communications, Media and Society

This list features great courses and resources for journalists and those who write with social or global conscience.

  1. Expository Writing: Analyzing Mass Media: Academic writers learn how to analyze mass media outlets in order to develop their own research.
  2. Expository Writing: Social and Ethical Views and Print, Photography and Film: Learn how to write passionately about issues that appeal to you in this course.
  3. Identity in Question: Understanding the factors that shape a person’s or community’s identity is vital as a writer. Learn how to consider this question here.
  4. Consumer Culture: Better understand your audience and methods for writing for mass media outlets here.
  5. The Building Blocks of News: Learn the basic questions that news stories are supposed to answer, as well as how to write professionally and ethically.
  6. Get Me Rewrite: The Craft of Revision: Learn why rewrites are important and get tips on editing.
  7. Reporting Across Platforms: Freelance writers have to be able to write for a number of different media outlets, including the Internet and print platforms. Learn how to treat each one uniquely in this class.
  8. Identity in American Literature: Keepin’ It Real Fake: Gain insight into the ways that American writers depict different racial and ethnic groups.
  9. The Interview: Writers can get tips for conducting and writing interviews here.
  10. Expository Writing: Food For Thought: Writing and Reading about Food and Culture: Bloggers and reporters who write about food and culture will benefit from this free course.
  11. Documentary Photography and Photo Journalism: Still Images of a World in Motion: Writers who are curious about branching out into photojournalism can explore the new medium in this course.
  12. Telling Untold Stories: Reporting Across Cultures: Better understand issues and themes like diversity, multimedia storytelling, stereotypes, race relations and more in this course.
  13. Proofreading Your Writing: Purdue’s tutorial will help you clean up your pieces.

Technical Writing

Read below for tips on writing for medical and scientific platforms.

  1. Introduction to Technical Communication: Perspectives on Medicine and Public Health: Study the writings of physicians to learn about technical style and issues.
  2. Intro to Tech Communication: Technical researchers learn the basics of technical writing here.
  3. Introduction to Technical Communication: Ethics in Science and Technology: Writers who work in science and medical fields can learn about unique ethical standards here.
  4. The Science Essay: Scientific writers can learn techniques about appealing to an audience and revising their work in this course.
  5. Technical Writing: Here you’ll find a great resource for technical writing.

Language and Grammar

Brush up on grammar, punctuation and structure with these classes.

  1. Introducing Representation: Consider how language is used to communicate thoughts, expressions and feelings.
  2. The Writer’s Workbench: 50 Tools You Can Use: Tools explained in this course include sentence structure, special effects and more.
  3. Language and its Structure I: Phonology: Go beyond your writing to study language in a greater context in this course.
  4. English4Today: Membership to this project is free, and you’ll get to learn about punctuation, grammar and more.
  5. Language and its Structure II: Syntax: Brush up on your understanding of syntax here.
  6. 1 language Online English Courses: Review grammar dos and donts like passive voice, plural nouns and more.

Freelance and Finance

For tips on managing your writing business, getting loans and marketing your services, turn to this list.

  1. Assessing Your Company’s Financial Needs: Learn how to determine your business’ financial standing in this course.
  2. Running a Profitable Company: Writers who are unfamiliar with business techniques may have a hard time making a profit. Learn how to do so in this course.
  3. Online Marketing Tips: The Internet is a valuable branding tool for independent writers. Learn how to make the most of its marketing possibilities here.
  4. HP Learning Center: Learn about designing a logo, writing your own marketing copy and creating your own marketing materials here.
  5. Introduction to Accounting: The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a free introductory accounting class here.
  6. Maintaining an Agile Company: Get tips on being flexible and and learning how to reinvent your brand so that it always attracts an audience.
  7. My Own Business: The SBA’s class helps new entrepreneurs create a business plan and organize their new business.
  8. Start-Up Basics for the First-Time Entrepreneur: Lessons in this course include learning how to identify new opportunities.
  9. Preparing a Balance Sheet: Learn how to balance your company’s finances and budget when you take this course.
  10. Analyzing Your Competition: Find out ways to study other writers’ advertising and pitching tactics here.
  11. Competitive Decision-Making and Negotiation: Learn about different bargaining and negotiation techniques and that can help you secure higher rates and attract more clients in this class.
  12. Preparing a Cash Budget: Understand the basics of expected cash intake and spending here.

Technology, Web Writing and Design

Below is a list of courses that teach writers about blogging, Internet writing, the digital revolution and more.

  1. Writing and Experience: Culture Shock! Writing, Editing and Publishing in Cyberspace: This highly specialized course teaches web writers how to maximize Internet techniques.
  2. Technology for Professional Writers: Writers learn how to compete in the evolving marketplace here.
  3. The Dynamic World: Textuality and Technology: Discover the many ways that technology now affects literature. You’ll also get an introduction to digital media and writing for different media.
  4. Build and Engage Local Audiences Online: Learn how to reach out to audiences online in this course.
  5. Multimedia Reporting: Covering Breaking News: Online news means that all reports need to be accurate and timely. Learn how to cover breaking news on your own here.
  6. HTML Basics: New web writers can take this class to understand basic HTML coding and format.
  7. Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice: Discover how digital media can open up your narrative techniques in this course.
  8. Digital Poetry: Learn about factors like animation, hypertext and more in this evolving poetry form.
  9. Evaluating Sources of Information: This course is dual-purpose: you can get tips on finding quality research materials and discover ways to design your own blog so that others will notice its authority.
  10. Introduction to Web Writing: Wikiversity’s introductory class can help writers who are unfamiliar with web writing catch up.
  11. Web Page Authoring: Here is another course that teaches HTML format, design and more.
  12. Quick Ways to Clean Up Your Writing: Web writers aren’t exempt from grammar and typo mistakes. Learn fast tips for making your writing easy-to-read and error free.

The Classics

Understanding the classics, from mythology to philosophy to poetic form and structure, can be very helpful to your writing.

  1. Greek Mythology: Keep all of your gods, goddesses and myths in order when you take this course, which can help with inspiration, allusions and more.
  2. Classical Drama and Theatre: If you want to become a playwright, or if you’re interested in classical literature, take this course.
  3. Classical Rhetoric and Modern Politics: This class can serve as a foundation for political writers and persuasive writers.
  4. Foundations of Western Culture 1: Homer to Dante: Fiction writers, journalists and essay writers can benefit from a review of the trends, works and individuals that shaped Western culture.


If you’re looking for inspiration or examples of great literary forms, check out these courses that analyze Shakespeare, American literature and more.

  1. Prizewinners: If you’re aiming to become a world-famous fiction writer, study writers like Seamus Heaney in this course.
  2. Forms of Western Narrative: See how your style fits in with the techniques, media and sub-genres of Western literature.
  3. World Literatures: Contact Zone: All writers need to have a global perspective these days, and this course studies the effects that come about when different cultures converge.
  4. Literary Studies: The Legacy of England: The influence of British literature on English language fiction is vast: analyze its effects here.
  5. The American Novel: Track the evolution of the American novel according to changing social standards, politics, economic trends and more.
  6. Literary Terms: Review these terms before writing literary criticism.
  7. Introduction to Shakespeare: Read plays like Othello, Richard III, Much Ado about Nothing and other Shakespeare classics.

Legal Resources

Here you’ll learn how to protect yourself professionally, understand Internet law and more.

  1. Freedom of Information: Journalists and reporters will learn about the Freedom of Information Act and Public Records Laws in this course.
  2. Online Media Law: Bloggers and other Internet writers will learn about writing and criticizing government, as well as gain an understanding of Internet publishing laws.
  3. Introduction to Ethical Decision Making: This class isn’t all about the law, but coordinating your business and writing with an ethical perspective are vitally important to your career and reputation.
  4. Literary Law Guide: This resource has great information for web writers, bloggers and more.
  5. Avoiding Plagiarism: Lessons in this resource include Safe Practices and Is It Plagiarism Yet?
  6. Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager: Learn how to protect your business here.
  7. Privacy Rights and the Law: Writers working for UK-based publications and websites can review human rights and privacy laws here.

Videos and Podcasts

There are loads of podcasts and instructional videos online for writers. Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing: Listen to these famous podcasts to learn about grammar, usage and more.
  2. The Secrets: Listen to podcasts about writer’s block, characterization and other fiction writing techniques, career building, and more.
  3. Small Biz Tech Girl: If you need help learning how to use web tools to start up your business or blog, listen to these podcasts.
  4. The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy: Fantasy writers get tips on standing out amongst the competition here.
  5. Freelance Radio: FreelanceSwitch’s podcast channel, Freelance Radio, offers up tips and news stories.
  6. Hot for Words: Who said learning about words had to be boring? These videos feature a hot blonde host who explains the origin of weird words.
  7. The Writing Show: This popular podcast is a great resource for writers. You can listen to interviews with other writers, get tips on essay writing, and more.
  8. Perfcast: Bloggers can find tips for advertising and more on this site.
  9. How to Write Better Almost Instantly: Writing workshop teacher Rix Quinn shares easy tips for transforming your essay-writing techniques.
  10. Litopia: Educate yourself on the publishing industry when you listen to Litopia’s podcasts.
  11. Novel Writing Made Easy: Learn how to take the novel writing system and "dumb it down" so that it’s more approachable.

Creative Writing

From poetry to short stories to developing characters, these courses can help you become a better creative writer.

  1. Comedy: Writing comedy is harder than you think. This course teaches techniques and studies the works of Mark Twain, Shakespeare and others.
  2. Writing on the Contemporary Issues: Imagining the Future: Learn how to analyze present day issues and social trends in order to depict futuristic communities and themes in your writing.
  3. Writing and Reading Short Stories: If you want to be a short story writer, take this course.
  4. What is poetry?: This course covers topics in poetic techniques, the imagination and poetic form.
  5. Start writing fiction: Learn all about character development and experiment with different genres in this course.
  6. Agatha Christie and Archaeology: Learn how Agatha Christie gained inspiration for her novels from trips to the Middle East.
  7. The Creative Spark: Get techniques for uncovering your creativity in this class.
  8. Writing and Reading Poetry: Analyze 20th-century poetry and poetry techniques in this class.
  9. Emotion: an introductory picture: By understanding how and why people react to situations, your fiction writing will improve.
  10. Introduction to Fiction: Analyze the different forms of fiction and narrative styles in this course.
  11. Tragedy: Learn about the tragic hero, ethical crisis and the scapegoat in this course.
  12. Screenwriting Class: UCLA professor Steven Barnes has put up a modified version of his screenwriting class here.
  13. Pattern and Variation in Poetry: This class can help you find your own style and understand how to analyze others’ works as well.

100 Awesome Search Engines for Bibliophiles

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

The Internet is home to loads of resources for tried and true book lovers as well as numerous search engines and directories that can help you sort through those resources to find just what you need. Whether you want to find a great deal on the latest thriller or do some extensive research for a school project, these 100 search engines and web tools can help to point you in the right direction, saving you time that can be better spent reading.


These sites cover a wide range of book searching needs from getting recommendations to finding out more about a particular book.

  1. Google Book Search: With this specialty search engine from Google you can search through books you might like to buy and read previews and excerpts.
  2. LazyLibrary: Use this search engine if you’re looking for a short read. It can give you results on books with 200 pages or less.
  3. What Should I Read Next?: On this site, simply enter in the latest book you’ve read and loved and you’ll get results based on your personal preferences that can help you choose a new book to read.
  4. Whichbook: Need help choosing a book to read? This search site can help. Simply enter in some search parameters like "sad", "long" or "easy" and you’ll get a list of books that fit your wants.
  5. BookBrowse: Don’t waste your time browsing through tons of books you could care less about, use this search and recommendation tool to find books that are geared towards your personal interests.
  6. Internet Book Database: Similar to the more well-known Internet Movie Database, this site is an essential resource for those who want to know more about a book. Enter the title or author into the search engine and you’ll get informative results about the content and themes of the text.
  7. BookSpot: This site allows you to search or browse for a huge range of information on books. You can compare prices, read reviews, find facts and much more.
  8. A9: This search engine is a great tool if you’re in the market to buy books, but it can also give you previews of their content letting you get a sneak peek before you buy.
  9. While not just a search engine, Amazon does provide an easy and fast way to search for the books you want. You can buy them new or used, get recommendations, read reviews and possibly not even pay shipping to have them arrive at your doorstep.
  10. Fiction Database: Lovers of fiction can take advantage of this site which allows you to search, organize, buy and sell books all from their webpage.

Research and Study

The Internet is a great place to do some research, whether personal, business or academic, and these search tools can save you some time and help you find what you need.

  1. Google Scholar: Find the journals and books you need to write a killer term paper with this helpful search engine.
  2. Pink Monkey: Don’t understand what the heck an author is talking about? Search through this site for helpful study guides and summaries of famous books.
  3. BookMuse: Be the envy of your classmates with a little help from this site. It can give you lists of questions to consider when reading a book. Simply search for your novel and get some pointers on the big ideas it contains.
  4. Intute: This site is a great place to search for resources for your research on science and technology. You’ll get access to hand-selected journals, websites and, yes, books too, that can help you make the most of your topic.
  5. INFOMINE: While it might not link you directly to books, this site can be a great help in directing you to other sites that do contained more specific annotations for research.
  6. Virtual LRC: This site contains carefully chosen resources from all over the web in a wide range of topics. You’ll be able to find the most reliable and informative sites that can direct you to books and articles of interest.
  7. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Don’t let that Kant or Nietzsche book get you all confused and unable to write a paper. Use this online encyclopedia to search for terms you don’t understand.
  8. Quoteland: Want to reference a quote but don’t quite remember who said it or the exact wording? You can find both through the search function on this site.
  9. Bubl Link: Check out this site for easy searchability for academic sites and resources to help you in your studies.
  10. Scandoo: One problem with researching on the Internet is that not everything you find may be accurate or helpful. This search engine can help you to find the most trustworthy sites so you can draw your information from those.
  11. Scirus: For those who not only love books but science too, this site can be an extremely helpful resource. It provides an easy way to search everything science related from journals to scientist webpages and even the records of scientific institutions.


These search tools and websites can help you find the best deals on virtually any kind of book that you’re in the market to buy.

  1. BookSaleFinder: Use the search tools provided by this site to find the biggest and best book sales in your area.
  2. Booksprice: Enter the book you’re looking for on this site and get comparisons with prices from online stores all over the net.
  3. BookCost: Search for new books to read on this site and when you’ve found a winner, you can compare prices for it on a wide range of online stores.
  4. With this search tool you can guarantee that you’ll find the best price on a book whether it’s brand new or out-of-print.
  5. BookFinder: Check out this search tool to compare prices on over 150 million books, including rare, old and international editions as well.
  6. BookBurro: Install this program and you’ll be able to easily find the best prices on any book you spy on the web.
  7. ISBN Spy: Simply enter the ISBN number of the book you want to find into this search engine and you’ll get results that tell you where to go to get the lowest price.
  8. BigWords: Whether you need textbooks for a class or just a new book to read on a long flight, you’ll find the best deal through this online search and comparison site.
  9. IndieBound: If you can’t bear to give your money for books to a big corporation, check out this site. It can help you search to find the books you’re looking for at smaller, independent bookstores in your area or online.
  10. Abe Books: This online retailer can help you find the best prices on books as it draws from over 13,000 online retailers to give you prices.
  11. AddAll: If you’re looking for a book you know is going to be hard to find, check out this search engine. It combines searches from loads of other sites to help you find the book you need.
  12. This online shopping site allows you to search through millions of books, purchase them or list your own books to sell. You can even find a special section for rare books.
  13. Bublos: Search for books and compare prices on this site. You’ll also find reviews and links to bookstores in your area.

Online Books

If you’re not too attached to your paper versions of books, check out these search engines for online books as an alternative.

  1. Free Books: Why pay for books if you don’t have to? This site offers a number of free and legal book downloads.
  2. ManyBooks: This site makes it easy to find free books to read on your computer, PDA, iPod or eBook reader with both new and old titles available.
  3. FeedBooks: Check out this site to search for for loads of books that you can read on the go.
  4. The Rare Book Room: Search through this site to see photos and text from some of the most famous books ever written.
  5. Here you can find thousands of online books that you can read for free. Simply search through their database to get access to those you’re interested in.
  6. eBookSearchr: Use this search engine to make finding eBooks and other online reading materials easy as can be.
  7. BookYards: With a huge collection of eBooks and free texts, searching through this site can provide you with reading material for a long time.
  8. Digital Book Index: Refine your search for online reading material on this site. You’ll get easy access to thousands of the best digitized text resources on the web.
  9. Wowio: Search for the book you want to read on this site. If they have it, you’ll be able to download and read it free of charge.
  10. DailyLit: This site provides an interesting twist on searching for online books. You can find the book you want and have chunks of it sent to you in email or RSS form to read.
  11. World Public Library: While this site isn’t free to use, it does contain a large number of searchable e-books that can make it possible for you to find just about anything you’re looking for.
  12. Project Gutenberg: This site provides one of the largest repositories of free eBooks with thousands of titles that are in public domain available.


Find books that fit your specific interests and needs through these searchable sites.

  1. TitleZ: Whether you’re doing research on a particular author or want to know when to push your new book, this site can help. Enter in the book you want and you’ll get all kinds of statistical data about it.
  2. Wordie: Just love words? Check out this site to search for your favorite words and see who else is talking about them too. You may even learn a few new ones in the process.
  3. The Poetry Archive: If you’re a fan of poetry, check out this online site. You’ll get free access to search through hundreds of recordings of poets reading their poems.
  4. Stop, You’re Killing Me: Fans of mystery novels can find out information about their favorite authors and series through the indices on this site.
  5. The Neglected Books Page: Explore some of the world’s most forgotten works of literature by searching or browsing on this page.
  6. AuthorsTrack: If you want to meet your favorite author this site can help you do that. Search for your state to find out who’s coming to sign books soon in your area.
  7. Comic Book Database: Comic books are literature too, and you can search through this database for information about your favorite series or issue.
  8. Mostly Romance: Fans of romance novels can find facts and information about their favorite titles through this site, and if you see one you don’t have it’s easy to add it to your shopping cart and buy it.
  9. TomFolio: If you’re a book collector, check out this site. It will put you in touch with a collective of rare and old book sellers.
  10. The Science Fiction Search Engine: Find information about your favorite science fiction authors and books through this search engine.
  11. SciFiMatter: Give this site a look if you’re interested in learning more about a variety of science fiction and fantasy authors and their works. You can find links to sites on books like the Lord of the Rings and Wheel of Time.


These search engines and databases can make it easier to find information on your favorite works of literature.

  1. Inlibris: This site provides a large collection of literary resources presented in a novel search format that can use searches by previous users to give you results.
  2. Pilot-Search: Give this site a try to find search results in literature as well as the other fine arts.
  3. Voice of the Shuttle: Here you’ll find an searchable database of resources on books, authors and literary movements.
  4. Furness Shakespeare Library: If you’re a fan of Shakespeare but don’t own copies of all of his work, don’t despair. You’ll find a searchable collection of his famous works free to you here.
  5. The Labyrinth: Search through tons of resources on Medieval literature on this Georgetown University site.
  6. British Fiction 1800-1829: While somewhat specific in scope, this site contains an online database that you can search for more information on your favorite 19th century authors.
  7. The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism: Search through this online guide to literary theory to information on how to write your own criticism as well as learn about some of the most important literary critics.
  8. A Celebration of Women Writers: Search through this site to find information about important female writers from ancient times to today and all around the world.
  9. Great Books List: Want to make sure you’ve read the best of the best when it comes to books? Check out this collection of great books lists to find one that suits your personal needs.
  10. Glossary of Poetic Terms: Get a leg up on understanding the poetry you’re reading with this helpful searchable glossary.
  11. Glossary of Literary Terms: Whether you’re delving into literary criticism or just want some basic definitions this site can help you search and find what you need.


Why pay for books if you don’t have to? These sites make it easy to find a library or locate library materials.

  1. WorldCat: This search engine makes it easy to find the books you need or want at a library near you. Simply enter the item you’re looking for an get of list of area libraries that have it.
  2. Law Library Search Engine: If legal reference material is what you’re looking for, this site can help you identify where to find the books or journals you need.
  3. Medical Library Search Engine: Whether you are a medical student or you just love reading about medical issues, you’ll find help locating books and information on this site.
  4. Library of Congress: One of the largest libraries in the world, the Library of Congress contains millions of books and resources. Search through their online catalog or enjoy their digital resources.
  5. Public Library Search: Find the public library closest to you with this government-sponsored search engine.
  6. Ibex: Visit this site for a directory of library homepages so you can find libraries in your area, mange the materials you have checked out or browse the catalogs of other libraries.
  7. The Open Library: This open source project features an advanced search to ensure you get the exact book or publication you’re looking for.
  8. Awesome Library: This online library search engine can help you find full-text books, journals, kid-safe sites, business information and more.
  9. Internet Public Library: Check out this site to find helpful references, links to search engines and archives and much more.

Sharing and Swapping

These sites are great places to search for books and potentially not have to pay a dime for them.

  1. Textbook Revolt: Whether you’re in a need of a history textbook to refresh your memory or just want to read about Plato’s philosophies, you swap books online on this site geared towards college students.
  2. Read It Swap It: This UK-based site allows you to search for the books you want and get them for free by posting and trading books you don’t want.
  3. Paperback Swap: Sign up on this site to post your old books and search through thousands of others you might want to add to your bookshelf.
  4. Book Mooch: Check out the listings on this site to give new life to your bookshelf. List the books you want and trade with others for new books you haven’t read.
  5. Bookins: Through this site, you can get all kinds of new books (and DVDs). Use their search feature to find what you want and simply pay shipping and handling to have it sent to your door.
  6. Book Crossing: Join thousands of others who share and search for new reading material on this book swap site.
  7. America’s BookShelf: Search through the listings on this site to find new books that you want and clear off your bookshelf of books you’ve already read.
  8. Swap Tree: This site provides a free forum for trading books and audio recordings with others. Simply join and start searching.
  9. Frugal Reader: If you love to read but can’t bear to part with the money for full price books, check out this swapping site. You can search through books to find the titles you want to read.
  10. Title Trader: Check out this site to search through listings of books people are looking to get rid of and post your own books to arrange a swap. You’ll get new reading material at no cost to you.
  11. Book Swap: Don’t let those old books just gather dust on your shelves, trade them for books you do want on this site.

Reviews and Summaries

Find out what other people think of books through these search engines.

  1. Juice Spot: Get the "juice" on books of all kinds, fiction and non-fiction on this site. You can search through other user’s reviews or add your own.
  2. All Readers: This site provides a searchable collection of book reviews. You can search generally by the type of book or very specifically if you know just what you’re looking for.
  3. Book Jive: Don’t have time to read a whole book? This site allows you to search for summaries of books that can make it easier to determine if it would be useful to you or to pretend that you have read all those great works of literature.
  4. Mostly Fiction: This site is a great place to go for reviews of the latest fiction titles. Browse through the latest listings or enter your search at the bottom.
  5. Economic History Book Reviews: Need a review of a book related to economics? Check out this search engine to find out if it’s worth your time to read or use as a resource for further research.
  6. Reviews of Books: Search this site for hundreds of book reviews to give you an idea of what people love and what wasn’t quite as good as expected.
  7. Book Wire Reviews: This large site provides a number of book-related resources and can be a great place to find quality book reviews.
  8. Books In Print: Search through this site to get reviews on books both old and new.
  9. AntiStudy: Even if you love to read, the reality is that sometimes you just don’t have the time to get everything done and need a little help. This site provides summaries and study guides for a range of well-known novels.
  10. JiffyNotes: Get high quality literary summaries on this site as well as loads of study guides and helpful notes.
  11. Free Book Notes: Visit this site for free summaries and notes on books from The Bell Jar to The Republic.
  12. GetAbstract: If you’re a busy entrepreneur, you likely want to read all the new business books that come out but in reality only have time for one or two. This site gives you abstracts so you can get the gist of books without having to buy and read each one.