Monday, April 25, 2011

Resource Roundup: Search Engines for Authors

In this era of Internet omnipresence, writers have a digital world at their fingertips. So long as we know the right words to type into the search engine, we can access information on almost every subject available. This month, we’ve rounded up a collection of search engines that are particularly useful for writers.



  • Google: Let’s start off with the obvious. Make sure you’re taking full advantage of Google by using their Cheat Sheet.

  • Dictionary.com: This site offers a wealth of word tools for authors, including accessible definitions, synonyms, and flashcards.




  • Wolfram Alpha: This “computational knowledge engine” is an amazingly versatile and powerful search engine that allows an author to discover all kinds of esoteric and hard-to-find tidbits. Here’s where you stop when you need to find out the average rainfall in Hawaii, the day of the week a certain date falls on, or the mileage between two points—and that’s not even tapping the surface of this site’s capabilities.

  • Qwiki: Need information fast and want a visual and auditory feast? Qwiki “knows millions of things” and offers a fun and interactive platform through which to access them.

  • Many Books: Even libraries are available on the Internet these days. Search through this huge database of titles to find the information (or pleasure reading) you require.

  • Yahoo! Answers: If you need a quick answer on a specific subject, Yahoo! Answers is a fun, easy, and often reliable place to start.
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12 comments:

  1. Good list! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Ooo...thanks, Katie, for some new sites to add to my list!

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  3. Excellent list of resources. I really needed one look reverse dictionary! Thanks!

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  4. Glad you all found the sites useful!

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  5. I love the reverse dictionary, thanks!

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  6. Ooo Bookmark!!! Thanks for sharing ;o)

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  7. Oh, I like the reverse dictionary. That could really come in handy. Although, when I put in "African Explorer" David Livingstone, probably the most famous African Explorer ever, was way down the list at #65 - and he was only listed as "livingstone." Still, it has a lot of potential.

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  8. Well, it is a dictionary more than encyclopedia, so it probably listed words ahead of names.

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  9. Actually, I'd say it's more like a thesaurus--or even a crossword dictionary--than a standard dictionary (which doesn't diminish its usefulness one bit).

    I had a blast with Qwiki. Learned a thing or to as well, which is always a plus.

    Thanks for the list!

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  10. I thought Qwiki was a lot of fun too. It can be highly addictive!

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  11. I love the reverse dictionary! What a terrific idea!

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