Almost the entirety of human knowledge at our fingertips. Something so profound yet remains as an idea that many of either take for granted or don’t fully utilize. If you’ve studied at all for the last decade you might have heard the saying “Don’t use Wikipedia as a source”. Wiki is great, it is free and fast, yet it’s easily manipulable nature leads it to be suspect as a way of gaining information for work or education. While this makes many of us unsure, you should know that there are many fantastic websites and services which offer almost anything you need – if you know where to look.
Making Your Selection
While Wiki can be great for getting a general idea of most topics, if you want something more in-depth or something which you can actually use as a citation, you are going to have to go deeper. This can be tricky, especially given that the freedom of the internet means that less than reputable voices can create quite a presence – a presence which can really hurt our ability to learn in the long run. To find our way around this we need to find sources of education which are accredited, whenever possible, or held in high regard and to high standards when not.
In terms of citations, this can be quite simple. Google Scholar is a fantastic search engine which only searches through the more academic articles like journal entries, so it is infinitely useful. It even comes with a built-in citation manager so you don’t have to go through the effort of writing out your own APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard of Vancouver style citations. Your university library probably has subscriptions to services like JSTOR and other academic paper databases, which can prove very useful.
When it comes to more general websites, these can also be found through visits to social media and asking what the veteran users there would recommend – just be sure that you are talking to professionals first.
Building Your Base
Just knowing where to go and what to study isn’t enough. You also need to keep in mind the importance of practice, help, and reinforcement. Help can relate back to social media, especially if you manage to find and an active group which you trust. Just beware that these people are busy, so if you want more direct answers you would be better served to try this site for some help with your homework, or messageboard websites for longer or more engaging questions.
Practice and reinforcement can come from both rereading what you have read already, and testing your knowledge to ensure you can apply the concepts. This is where another helpful industry comes in – that of educational apps. Using your mobile phone or tablet you can download an incredibly wide range of apps which can aid in your learning experience. From languages to math and game theory, and everything in-between, many of these are cheap or free, and are a great help even if you only have a few minutes to spare.
Keep With It
Few things worth having come easy, and study is rarely an easy thing. By doing a little bit of work whenever you have the time, even if it’s just going over the concepts in your head, you massively increase your chances of retaining what you have learned. Study at home, school, or at work, and use your apps to keep your mind engaged on the subject in short bursts, and you’ll be well on your way to learning and mastering something new.