Free Online Tools for Students

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There are an increasing number of online tools that students can use for free to help them with their assignments. There are citation tools such as Cite.com which generates a list of references in either APA or MLA7 style; there are complex language learning online communities, quizzes and tools. And there are several kinds of open-source software that can be invaluable to students. These sorts of things make it much easier for students to keep track of their references, stay consistent in their referencing styles, practice academic skills and expand their knowledge.

For language-learners, especially English language-learners, this is especially true. There has been a marked increase in online language learning tools, many of them free! These can help improve vocabulary, or teach grammar skills, give you the means to practice spelling, and even check your pronunciation! Second language English speakers, like those from Spain, have a wealth of possibilities to help them with their English language skills. And native English speakers can much more easily learn other languages too.

Websites such as Memrise use user-generated content to help users learn just about anything! English grammar and vocabulary is just the tip of the iceberg on Memrise! There are courses on any number of languages, as well as science, art, pop-culture. Just about anything you can think of. Duolingo is a very sophisticated language learning tool – created by the geniuses behind the CAPTCHA technology which allows thousands of books to be transcribed one word at a time by millions of users. Duolingo uses a similar principle to translate websites while simultaneously teaching multiple languages to users, and all totally for free. It makes language learning feel like a Facebook game, complete with levels and achievements! Stop clicking your cows on Facebook, and go learn a language.

Cite.com

Cite.com is a very simple online form, combined with a search function, to find the books in question, which quickly and easily generates references. No more painstaking typing out of dates and author names. You can set it to either APA or MLA7 referencing style – you can even switch between them! And it is entirely free, so it doesn’t require the financial capital of buying a program like Endnote to manage your citations for you. (Cite.com only seems to generate the final list, however. It does not seem to create the in-text ones required for most academic work.)

Zotero

Zotero is an open-source Endnote-like software for students needing something a little more complex than what Cite.com offers. And it is not the only open source thing out there for students. Open Office does almost everything that Microsoft Office does. And you can download it right now for free, absolutely legally. It’s not as pretty as Microsoft’s one, but given what you’re paying for it (Nothing!), you get a very adept piece of software.

These sorts of online tools are making it increasingly easy to learn languages, manage academic referencing, and take control of your learning. And many of them are totally free. It is well worth taking the time to investigate some of these options if you are a student. They may save you a lot of time, energy and money!

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