Use Diigo To Help Write Your Next College Essay or Term Paper

iStock 000000743931XSmall copy   Use Diigo To Help Write Your Next College Essay or Term PaperWe have already covered why Diigo, a web bookmarking and annotation service, is a powerful tool for managing bookmarks, but why stop there?  Diigo can be a very useful tool for helping you to write a college essay or research paper.

Since the Internet is a tool that most students use to do research, and since most research papers are based on quotes used from various sources, Diigo provides a way to not only bookmark your sources, but also to manage and access your quotes, notes, and analysis.

The following are some suggested guidelines for using Diigo.

Step 1: Determine Your Thesis

The best way to do research is know what your thesis is for a given topic. So if you’re writing a controversial issue paper on gun laws or gun control in the U.S., you will want to develop your opinion about a particular aspect of the issue.

Having a thesis in mind can help you narrow research, even if you change your thesis during the process.

Step 2: Using Diigo Tools

Before the Internet and Google, research papers were done using reading material in the library and note cards for recording and managing quotes and analysis. The content of the note cards were in turn used to write the paper. Diigo’s highlighting tools and your Diigo library can serve as your note cards.

bookmarktools   Use Diigo To Help Write Your Next College Essay or Term Paper

Before you start doing research using Internet resources, open your Diigo account/library and create a list for your topic. This list will be used to manage all your bookmarks and highlights. This management tool will save you lots of time and provide you with a way to access your research from any computer.

createa list   Use Diigo To Help Write Your Next College Essay or Term Paper

If you have never used Diigo before, you will want to open a free account and install the Diigo bookmarklet, or diigolet, in your favorite web browser (click on the Tools icon on the Diigo homepage to get instructions for setting up a bookmarklet for the browser you use).

bookmarklet   Use Diigo To Help Write Your Next College Essay or Term Paper

Using the Diigo toolbar, you can easily bookmark and annotate sources just as you do with paper documents.

diigolist 1   Use Diigo To Help Write Your Next College Essay or Term Paper

You might consider color coding your highlights, e.g., yellow for quotes that support your thesis, and green for quotes that are against your thesis.

Step 3: Using Your Highlights & Notes

As you do your research using Diigo, you will of course find all your bookmarks, highlights, and notes saved to your Diigo library and list page. Your list page even has a permanent URL, which means you can access it directly.

gunlawslist   Use Diigo To Help Write Your Next College Essay or Term Paper

With your page open, you can simply copy and paste your quotes as you write your paper. Since the URLs for your sources are also saved, they can be easily put into the bibliography in your research paper.

If you’re working on a group research project, Diigo can be used for the same purpose. Simply create a group for which everyone can bookmark sources to.

groupdiigo   Use Diigo To Help Write Your Next College Essay or Term Paper

If you are a student, let us know if this is a good idea for doing Internet-based research. Also please share other online tools that you use to get papers written.

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32 Comments -

0 votes

willh

I’ve used Zotero. They have a great Firefox extension and plug-ins for Word/OO/NeoOffice (though the plugins are buggy in a big way). Also free to use, and a really nice organizational system.

0 votes

David

I swear by Zotero but its functionality differs somewhat to what Diigo is really used for. Ones a hybrid book marking/ read later/information collation tool while the other (zotero) is just a really nice reference/information research tool.

0 votes

Lisa

I use Diigo for my daily bookmarking, but I tried Zotero for my last major research project. Having more than 120 sources, it was great to have Zotero to organize the sources and aid with the bibliography. However, the highlighting and note features are much better on Diigo. When using Zotero there were many times I wished I was using Diigo. Another benefit of Diigo is when you open the list you see all the sources and any highlights or notes for that topic. It makes it quick and easy to find exactly what you are looking for. Many times in the writing process I can think of the perfect quote for a section, but then I waste a lot of time trying to find where the full quote is. In Diigo, the perfect quote is only a click away.

0 votes

Yawar Amin

Zotero’s search feature should help find the article which has the quote you’re looking for … give that a try?

0 votes

Bakari

Thanks each of you for your feedback. I’ll definitely check out Zotero. Had not heard of it until now.

0 votes

Bakari

Thanks each of you for your feedback. I’ll definitely check out Zotero. Had not heard of it until now.

0 votes

Dwoolrog

The Chrome extension works erratically; further, it never seems to work on a site with frames (tried it on the U-Cal Press site, on an online text book). But if I can figure a way to use it, Diigo would be very helpful. Thanks to MUO for suggesting yet another useful tool!

0 votes

annie

Be careful with Zotero, check that your citations are correct. It messed up my bibliography and Cost me a lower grade on my paper.

0 votes

Bakari

Am I correct that Zotero is only for Firefox?

0 votes

Yawar Amin

Yes. They use some features that only Firefox has and they’re not too keen on porting to other browsers from what I can tell. Still, Firefox is really a great browser.

0 votes

Maggie Tsai

Bakari,

Thanks for a great writeup! You have nicely summarized ways to make good use of several key Diigo features:

a) Diigo “List” ~ great way to organize, share and display specific collections of bookmarks. Not only you can drag and drop to re-arrange the order of bookmarks in a list, you can also play. browse, and annotate any list of URLs as a slide show through Diigo’s WebSlides! To learn more, please see http://bit.ly/9EpFX9

b) Diigo “Groups” is espeically useful for sharing resources and conducting discussions for specific purposes or interests.

c) Of course, Diigo bookmarks, highlights & sticky notes, etc, etc and how all those bits of info are nicely collected and organized in your Diigo library.

As David summarized the difference well earlier, Zotero is another nice research tool. Although Diigo doesn’t offer citation support like Zotero, Diigo is a fantastic all around integrated suite of online research and collaboration tool. It also offers various solutions for multiple platform support, including Firefox, IE, Chrome, iPad, iPhone and Android. Check out our latest V5 video to learn more: http://vimeo.com/12687333

0 votes

Maggie Tsai

Bakari,

Thanks for a great writeup! You have nicely summarized ways to make good use of several key Diigo features:

a) Diigo “List” ~ great way to organize, share and display specific collections of bookmarks. Not only you can drag and drop to re-arrange the order of bookmarks in a list, you can also play. browse, and annotate any list of URLs as a slide show through Diigo’s WebSlides! To learn more, please see http://bit.ly/9EpFX9

b) Diigo “Groups” is espeically useful for sharing resources and conducting discussions for specific purposes or interests.

c) Of course, Diigo bookmarks, highlights & sticky notes, etc, etc and how all those bits of info are nicely collected and organized in your Diigo library.

As David summarized the difference well earlier, Zotero is another nice research tool. Although Diigo doesn’t offer citation support like Zotero, Diigo is a fantastic all around integrated suite of online research and collaboration tool. It also offers various solutions for multiple platform support, including Firefox, IE, Chrome, iPad, iPhone and Android. Check out our latest V5 video to learn more: http://vimeo.com/12687333

0 votes

Dallas McPheeters

During my graduate work spanning two years, I used Diigo and Zotero. Then I discovered Evernote.com and made a complete switch. I find it useful for social bookmarking, archiving, annotating, sharing, and it works with all types of media. Has anyone else tried Evernote?

0 votes

Dallas McPheeters

During my graduate work spanning two years, I used Diigo and Zotero. Then I discovered Evernote.com and made a complete switch. I find it useful for social bookmarking, archiving, annotating, sharing, and it works with all types of media. Has anyone else tried Evernote?

0 votes

Dallas McPheeters

I spent two years doing graduate research and switched between Zotero and Diigo. Then I discovered Evernote.com and used it exclusively from that point on. Anyone else use Evernote?

0 votes

Bakari

I primarily use Evernote as large document folder in which I can access via my iPhone and iPad. I never thought about using it for bookmarking and annotating. How are you doing that?

0 votes

Togotutor

I like diigo more than delicious and evernote, I believe its the best.

0 votes

Anonymous

Surfmark is really the kind of tool I need. The idea is just right on awesome but it is still a work in progress. It is a much more automated tool than Diigo. You just hit “record” and it does everything for you. No manual button clicks. Once it gets internet/web sync, I will move over to Surfmark like in one second.

0 votes

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0 votes

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0 votes

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