From The Trenches… Research For Writers & Authors: Part II, Finding Information.

Research Part 2


General Directories, Libraries and Academic Directories

+Writing Labs and Publishing Tools¹

Sometimes using superficial articles from Wiki resources aren’t enough to support your work.  So in order to create an authentic voice for your fiction, especially if it’s for a profound piece of fiction or creative nonfiction: You must know exactly what you’re presenting the reader so that they can feel fully immersed in your story.

Often times, especially with creative nonfiction, we forget the factual information that illustrates the entire narrative.  Such as: specific geographical names and locations; the specific cultural impressions and even the foreign languages which heavily influence certain societies.

By researching these important details and re-familiarizing oneself with this pertinent information, it will improve the characters and events you have chosen to write about. Your story will become more believable, thus making the plotmore cohesive and readable.  This allows the reader to burrow themselves deeply into your written world.  They will be able to identify with it intimately; and that’s exactly what the relationship between the writer and reader should be.

General Directories

Open Directory Project

Although this directory is composed of mostly volunteer edited links and categories, it contains a vast amount of resources for reference on every subject matter imaginable.  In the Arts directory, there are large amounts of information specifically regarding writing and media.  Within this directory, this resource contains close to 200,000 links of various websites specifically about writing.  So go, take some time and explore; enjoy the process of researching.  Understand what you’re presenting so that you can create a more enjoyable environment for your reader.

Other Directories

Yahoo! Directory


The Educational Encyclopedia

Subject Finder Directory

Best of the Web Directory

Best of the Web Directory:


Best of the Web Directory:

Major American city guides

Best of the Web Directory:

UK and Ireland

Learning to code WebPages and Websites, Resources for:

Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Technology Learning

Is an excellent resource guide for learning and testing coding/programming languages; especially if you would like to understand how the World Wide Web (WWW) is built and what functionally makes it run.

It has an easy to understand format for learning the most commonly used web coding and programming languages.  From beginner to advanced, you can even experiment with their native code compilers to test the web coding-languages you’re learning, thereby making it a truly active learning process.  They also provide short quizzes on the coding-languages you’re learning, in code-languages such as:

  • HTML/HTML5/CSS/CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, JSON, PHP, SQL, ASP, VBScript, XML

Libraries, Academic Directories and Writing Labs

Librarians’ Internet Index

The WWW Virtual Library

The InfoMine

International Library Index, LibDex

Government Information (Library and Archives Canada)

Statistics Canada

Library of Congress (America)

Free Internet Resources and Journals:

Directory of Open Access Journals

Galileo, from the university system of (the state of) Georgia



Google Scholar

Bartleby Free, Great Books Online

Perseus: Collection of Classical,

Renaissance texts and reference materials

Project Gutenberg, collection of public (non-modern) texts

English Online Writing Labs, Language and Grammar

 The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Literature Resources (MIT Libraries)

 English Scholar, “A Compendium of Electronic Resources”

Maths, Sciences and Humanities, along with test prep

Khan Academy

Tools for:

Writing, Publishing and Graphic Arts

Free and Open Source Software

Scribus, Open Source (Free) Desktop Publishing Software

Lyx – The Document Processor, Open Source (Free)

Free and an excellent PDF real-time editor

PDFy by Sven Slootweg @Joepie31

PDF Xchange Viewer (Free)

“[The] Web’s Best Graphic Design Software, Page & Logo Maker. Free!”

LibreOffice 4.0 (Free)

PDFescape Free PDF Editor and Form Filler

“PDFzen Free PDF editing in your browser.”

Apache “OpenOffice  – The Free and Open Productivity Suite”

PDFedit pdf manipulation library, GUI, tools

Qoppa Software PDF Studio (Free Trial Software Downloads)

Affordable and powerful software options for design, print and DIY projects

Various software titles for word processing,

desktop publishing and graphics.

Scrivener word-processing program designed for authors

(free trial and paid full version available)

 Broderbund Software

“CutePDF ideas for PDF”


“iStudio Publisher, Desktop Publishing. Simplified.”

Serif Software WebPlus, Page Plus, PhotoPlus, DrawPlus, MoviePlus, PanoramaPlus, CraftArtist (both free and paid full version software, very affordably priced!)

Corel: CorelDRAW, WordPerfect, painter, PaintShop, VideoStudio

PDFFusion and CorelCAD

Flip PDF Professional

The Gold Standard for professional

publishing, web design and graphics:

(Higher priced, investment software)

Microsoft Office Publisher

 Quark Desktop Publishing


Adobe InDesign Publishing

 Adobe PageMaker

“Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.”
William Shakespeare


¹Hackman, Grant Thomson Nelson Guide to Web Research, 2007-2008 ed. University of New Brunswick at Saint John, 2007-2008. Toronto: Thomson Nelson P, Print.