Bellingham Public Schools

General Research Resources for Secondary Students

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Contents of this page:


Web Search ToolsCiting Sources

Almanacs | Atlases | Biographical Dictionaries | Dictionaries | Encyclopedias | Quotations | Thesauruses

Magazine & Newspaper Indexes

Calendars and TimeConversion Tools | Countries | World Religions

Homework Help | Ask the Experts | Associations



Web Search Tools: The Internet has different kinds of search tools to find information. If you know how they work, you'll be smarter than most people about searching the net.


Search Engines: Individual search engines each have specific designs and features that allow you to enhance your search, such as advanced searching or Boolean searching.



Google analyzes hyperlinks or sites linking to a particular site. They can rely on the collective expertise of other sites to help determine the value of a site.


All the Web

This is a relatively new search engine that searches over 300 million sites. It produces many useful and relevant documents.

A search engine that answers specific questions and defines words and terms.  Side column ads can be easily ignored.


Metasearch Tools: Metasearch tools search multiple search engines simultaneously. Metasearchers don't have the specific designs and features of the individual search tools.


Ixquick Metasearch

Searches 14 search engines. Results are ranked by relevancy, with search tool information included.



Searches various other search engines, then organizes the results into groups based on titles, URL's, and descriptions.


Subject Directories: These tools differ from the other tools because individuals maintain them, such as librarians who report satisfaction from people in libraries. You can benefit from what other people have found useful.


Internet Public Library

Organizes, selects, and evaluates information resources on the Internet. A variety of resources can be accessed via the "Search this Site" feature or by browsing subject headings.


Librarians Index to the Internet

An annotated subject guide to resources selected and evaluated by librarians during their work in libraries helping the public. Very useful resources.


Citing Sources for Writing & Research: Style guides provide models and assistance as you document your sources.


Reports in MLA Style

Use the resources provided for the Technology Connections class to find models for correct citation formats.


Citation Machine
Citation Machine is an interactive Web tool designed to assist teachers in modeling the proper use of information property. Students are welcome to use the site as well. This is a free service of David Warlick's Landmark Project.

Citation Maker
Use the online form appropriate to each source type to easily create a citation in correct form. Options for saving are given.

Documenting Sources
Read an explanation of how to cite information sources for over twenty types of information sources. This is the work of Diana Hacker.

Almanacs: Almanacs are good for statistical data, and basic information about places and events.


Information Please Almanac

Information from the online version of the print almanac. Limited and not as thorough as the print version.


USA Statistics in Brief

Presents national summary data and state population estimates, based on the Statistical Abstract of the U.S., a print volume of U.S. data available in all libraries and in .pdf format online.

Census Data

United States census data


Atlases & Geography: Picturing the earth's surface in a variety of ways, atlases also provide key facts and statistics about areas of the world.



Physical maps and facts about countries of the world


Information Please Atlas

Colorful maps of various world locations


World Atlas from Holt, Rinehart & Winston

Colorful atlas of the world


National Geographic Maps

Get atlas maps of the world and United States. Pinpoint exactly where something is with "map machine." (Note: if the Back to button won't let you return, use the dropdown history arrow to find this page.)


Google Local

Allows you to use dynamic, interactive maps that are draggable so you can easily view the adjacent parts of a map.  You can type in the name of a region or neighborhood and see any part of it as easily as with a regular street map.


Enter an address or intersection, and get a map of the location with driving directions.


Outline Maps

Outline maps, with or without labels, which may be copied for personal or classroom use

Online reference maps and Landsat (satellite) images. U.S. state maps include a raised relief map, elevation map, rivers map, political map and roads/cities map. These link to state and city satellite images. There are also country maps paired with Landsat images.


Biographical Dictionaries: These dictionaries provide brief information about famous persons, living or dead.


Biographical Dictionary

Covers more than 28,000 notable men and women who have shaped our world from ancient times to the present day.


Who's Alive and Who's Dead?

This site that helps you keep track of which famous people have died and which are still alive.


Dictionaries: Dictionaries provide meanings of words, concepts, and ideas.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Brief definitions of words


Cambridge Dictionaries online

American English dictionary as well as other useful dictionaries
Follow the steps to make the words on any web page into links so that you can look them up in a variety of dictionaries with just one click.
Look up words, access dictionaries for 280 languages, links to specialized glossaries, word puzzles and word of the day. Warning: popup ads.

Encyclopedias/General Information: Use encyclopedias to begin your search and get the overview of a topic.


World Book Online Reference Center

The web version of the World Book encyclopedia used in schools


Information Please Encyclopedia

Limited information, but useful for starting information

Quotations: Who said memorable things?

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

Quotations from famous individuals. Search by full text, author, keyword or time period.

Columbia Quotations

Quotations from famous individuals. Allows full text, category or author search.

Quotations from famous individuals. Search by subject area like sports, literary, special occasion, topics, etc.


Thesaurus: These tools provide synonyms for words, with the goal of making your writing more interesting.

Synonyms for words

Roget's II Thesaurus

Synonyms for words


Magazine and newspaper indexes: These provide a search tool to locate a particular article in a magazine or newspaper. Note: Some are subscription tools (paid for by libraries and available to their users) which index the magazines on newsstands. Others are free tools that index less-well known or free periodicals.


Free tool: is an archive of published articles that you can search for free. Constantly updated, it contains articles dating back to 1998 from more than 300 magazines and journals. Warning: popup ads.

Free tool: Find individual articles from many free magazines by browsing the categories or using the search engine.



Subscription database: 1600 full-text magazines online. Available in all Bellingham school libraries and from home with remote password. Check with your librarian to find out how.



Subscription database: Magazines, books, newspapers, tv programs, pictures, maps, and more. Available in all Bellingham school libraries and from home with remote password. Check with your librarian to find out how.


Calendars and Time: Time Lines and other resources for time measurement.

World Time Server

What time is it anyplace in the world?


Perpetual Calendar

In this 10,000 year calendar, you can enter a date, find out what day of the week it was, and what happened on that day.

Timeline of World History

Navigates through 3,000 years of world history with links to important persons of world historical importance.


Country Information: Political, historical and geographical information about countries of the world.


CIA World Factbook

Information about countries of the world, available as of 1 January 2003. Selected data and maps will be updated periodically during the year.


Country Profiles: BBC

Full profiles provide an instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries.


Current World Leaders

Information about the Chiefs of State of various countries

World Religions

Guide to Religions of the World: BBC

Outlines the history and basic beliefs of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism. Each religion is described in terms of its origins, founders, practices and divisions.


Conversion Tools: A directory of resources that will calculate a variety of weights and measures.

Universal Currency Converter

How much is the (Euro, Thai Baht, Italian lire, etc.) worth in American dollars today?

Internet Public Library Conversion Tools

Provides links to just about any conversion you might want to make: weights and measures, cost of living, inflation, currency, relocation salaries, roman numeral dates, time zones, etc.

Homework Help Sites: Many libraries and others offer homework help to assist students with common curriculum questions.

High School Ace 

A free online learning center that features subject guides for English, foreign languages, math, science, and social studies.

Multnomah Library Homework Help page

Organized by homework topics, this service also provides free chat with a librarian to help you with homework.

KCLS Homework Help

Assists students in grades 4-12 with homework assignments. Sites are selected that are free from extensive marketing and pop-up ads.

Reference Desk

Indexes quality Internet sites and assists visitors in navigating these sites. Since 1995, Refdesk free and family friendly.

ALA Great Web Sites for Kids

Great web sites for students up to age 14.


DeskRef: Best Source for Quick Answers

DeskRef is maintained by the Ramapo Catskill Library System and contains selected "best resources for quick answers."

Ask the Experts: When all else fails and you haven't found the answer to your question in the above sources, you can ask a real live person to help you.

Refdesk Ask the Experts

A list of experts is organized for you by the subject area of their expertise.


Associations and Organizations: Look up groups people who have formed clubs, associations and foundations. Is there one in your interest area?


Internet Public Library Associations

Guide to web sites of prominent organizations and associations