Tag Archives: explore tool

Cite the Source

Why Cite the Source?

In any research assignment, students need to learn the essential skill of how to cite the source. They must list where they found the information. Cite sources to:
cite the source

  • acknowledge the original author
  • allow others to look up additional details
  • avoid plagiarism by giving credit to the work of others
  • show readers that there is trustworthy and credible data on the subject

A citation should include as much information as possible including author’s name, date published, web page title or publisher, and the web address.

There are many citation styles used to format the source. The most popular are APA and MLA. Each style has rules about where to put the information and type of punctuation to use. It can get confusing because the style rules change.

Not all web pages will list the information or put it in the same place. Students will often need to use their detective skills to find all the details.

Tips for finding the date on a web page:

  • Search for date written or date updated at the top or bottom of the article.
  • Look for a copyright date at the bottom of a web page.
  • You may not find month or day. Leave out the information not listed.

Tips for finding the author on a web page:

  • The author might be a person or an organization.
  • Look for a logo as it may show the organization name.
  • Refer to the bottom of the web page to see if there is contact information.

Sample Citations using APA Style

Web Page Article with Author
Author, A. (Year, Month Day) Article Title. Retrieved from http://www.website.com/article/

Web Page with No Author
Article Title. (Year, Month Day). Retrieved from http://www.noauthor.com/article/

Web Page with No Date
Author, A. (n.d.) Article Title. Retrieved from http://www.websitenodate.com/article/

Web Page that May Change or Move
Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Article Title. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from http://www.websitechange.com/article/

Use an Online Citation Maker

In a previous post, I expressed regret over Google’s decision to remove the cite function in the new Explore Tool in G Suite. Until this useful feature returns or if you are using other apps, try an online citation generator as a great alternative. To use one, you select the resource type and enter in the URL. Using an online form, missing information is then manually entered. With the click of one button, the citation is created. Try it!

Citation Machine

Explore Tool in G Suite for Education

explore tool

The Explore Tool is in the lower right corner of any Docs, Slides, or Sheets document.

Google Apps for Education recently announced that it will now be known as G Suite for Education. Along with the rebranding, some other updates were made. Most notable for teachers, the Research Tool has been eliminated and replaced by the Explore Tool, which has some benefits and but also a significant shortcoming.

First, the bad news. Gone is the ability to add citations and footnotes directly into a document using the Research Tool. For teachers and students, this is an unfortunate setback. Being able to easily and quickly identify sources is an essential research skill. What used to be an onerous task, was made simple by the Research Tool. One click on Cite automatically inserted a citation and footnote. We hope that Google will reinstate this function soon. In the meantime, in my next post, I’ll include some online citation makers that create a citation with the click of a button!

The good news is that you can still search without leaving the document. Spending less time switching between apps allows students to focus on the assignment and its content.

In Docs, clicking on the Explore Tool offers three options: WEB, IMAGES, and DRIVE.

Enter a topic into the search box. WEB results include a title, URL, and short snippet summarizing the website. Clicking on a link opens a new browser tab.
explore search results

Clicking on IMAGES offers a gallery of pictures related to the search term. To insert an image into the document, simply drag it where it is to be placed. It will, by default, be in line but text wrap can be changed by selecting the image and choosing Wrap text.
explore tool images

Selecting DRIVE looks in your Google Drive for files that include the search term.

If the Explore Tool is opened when there is already text in the document, instant search suggestions are given based on the contents. Google calls this ‘insight’ and it does seem to work quite well.

The Explore Tool is consistent in Sheets and Slides. In Sheets, use the Explore Tool to ask questions about data using words if you do not know how to construct a formula. Formula and formatting suggestions are offered based on the content of the spreadsheet. In Slides, the Explore Tool also offers design suggestions as well as search results.

The research recommendations, design tools, and insight capability of this new tool make it an effective and productive update to G Suite for Education.