Top Pick

Research and Citation Tools for Students

Students are always needing to effectively gather, study, and cite sources for their essays and projects. As teachers know, the internet has made this process both more fruitful and more complicated. The Wild West of the web requires students to think more critically about sources and more effectively organize all the different kinds of things they find -- both digital and physical. These picks will show students how to go beyond Google to find credible, usable scholarly resources, and then to unpack and use these sources to fuel awesome essays and projects. To this end, on this list you'll find top-rated tools for not just collecting sources but annotating and citing them.

PebbleGo Visit Website: http://www.pebblego.com/login/
Easily accessible, kid-friendly database for the littlest researchers
Grades K-3
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
NowComment Visit Website: https://nowcomment.com/
Rich collaboration and discussion site engages students and teachers
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Citelighter Visit Website: http://www.citelighter.com
Substantial all-in-one tool scaffolds the research and writing process
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Digital Public Library of America Visit Website: http://dp.la/
Impressive online collection of historic and cultural artifacts
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Gooru Visit Website: https://www.gooru.org/welcome/
Personalized tool fosters exploration, teacher-led meaningful learning
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
findingDulcinea Visit Website: http://www.findingdulcinea.com
Quality search tool with curated resources and links to credible sites
Grades 6-10
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
SweetSearch Visit Website: http://www.sweetsearch.com
Search engine with filtered results leaves room for critical thinking
Grades 6-10
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Britannica School Visit Website: http://info.eb.com/school
More interactive support and instruction than Wikipedia -- for a price
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Hypothes.is Visit Website: https://hypothes.is/
Browser extensions add layer of annotation and discussion to the web
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
ResearchReady Visit Website: http://www.imagineeasy.com/academy/
Versatile site helps integrate literacy skills into the curriculum
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Noodle Tools Visit Website: http://www.noodletools.com/
No noodlin’, just serious research with this comprehensive resource
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Diigo Visit Website: https://www.diigo.com
Social bookmarking encourages discovery, collaboration, and sharing
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
EasyBib Visit Website: http://www.easybib.com/
Helpful citation and writing resource for instant bibliographies
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Weava Publisher: Weava Tools
Chrome extension helps organize web-based research
Grades 7-12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Chrome
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Scrible Visit Website: https://www.scrible.com/
Browser extension helpful for annotation and research organization
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Storify Visit Website: http://storify.com/
Storytelling with Web content teaches critical curation
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Google Scholar Visit Website: http://scholar.google.com
Academic search engine, an excellent source for credible research info
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Purdue Online Writing Lab Visit Website: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
Quality resources for literary teens, but won't motivate reluctant writers
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say