The Internet makes it particularly easy for writers to find resources. No matter what type of writer you are, the worldwide web is filled with all types of writing resources that writers can use.
This article outlines four types of online resources available for writers and gives examples of each type of resource. There are many more resources available. A few of the resources, such as the Chicago Manual of Style, require a small fee for usage. Other online resources are free.
A writer can find additional resources through diligent use of one of the popular search engines such as Google or MSN Search. To find writing resources using a search engine, simply type a description of what you are looking for into the search field and click the search button. For example, if I wish to find a list of tools for writers I simply type the phrase "tools for writers" into the search engine to retrieve a list of tools for writers.
The four types of resources outlined in this article include:
- Writing tools. Writing tools that are available online include style guides, online spell checkers, online dictionaries, and more.
Research tools. There are a vast number of research tools available online for writers. This section gives examples of online encyclopedias, access to reference libraries, and government documents.
- Style guides you can find online include: the Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Formatting and Style Guide, the APA style guide, and many others.
- Online spell checkers you can find include: SpellCheck.net, orangoo.com, GrammarStation (also includes a grammar guide), and many others.
- Online dictionaries that are available include: Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster Online, AskOxford.com, and many others.
Networking tools. Two primary networking tools for writers online include forums and blogs.
- Online encyclopedias that you can fine online include: Wikipedia, the Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, and MSN Encarta, and others.
- Reference libraries that can be contacted online include: Internet Public Library, LibrarySpot, and others. (These sources function as sort of a virtual reference librarian.)
- Government documents can be accessed by going to the advanced parameters of your search engine and specifying *.gov in the domain field. Government documents contain the results of government studies as well as information about government programs.
Job leads. The Internet is an excellent place for writers to begin their job search. Deborah Ng scours the Internet daily for the best writing jobs and post them in her popular blog, Freelance Writing Jobs. Many writers find work through job bidding sites such as: Elance.com and Guru.com. Finally, writers can contact a site they wish to write for directly.
- An online forum is a discussion group. There are many forums for writers on the Internet. A few of writer's forums are: Absolute Write, Writers Weekly, and FreelanceWriting.com.
- A blog is an online journal. Most blogs allow for comments and other interaction with the blog's creator. Just a few of the many, many excellent blog sites on the Internet designed for writers include: Copyblogger, The Copywriter Underground, and Content Done Better.
In conclusion, it is hard not to get lost in the jungle of information available for writers on the Internet. However, with a little organization and a paced approach to gathering resources, most writers will be able to build a list of writing resources that they will return to again and again.