Research with Google Docs

Many projects require students to conduct research online. Google Docs has a research feature to help students to look for websites. The tool, which conveniently opens in a sidebar of the document, even allows the user to easily create a footnote citation in the body of the document to list the websites used.

NOTE: These instructions are outdated. The Research tool has been removed. It has been replaced with the Explore tool. At this time (03/02/2018), the Explore tool does not include the features listed in this post.

The following steps describe how to search for information, copy facts, and cite the source.

  1. Open your Google Apps document.
  2. From the Tools menu, pick Research.
  3. Type search term into Research box. Click the drop down box and select Everything.
  4. Research with Google Docx

  5. Search for Information
    • Scroll down to Web results.
    • When you find a site you might like, hold the cursor over it.
    • Click Preview to see a preview pane of the site.
    • Research with Google Docx

    • Click on the page to open it in a new browser tab or close the pane to make another choice.
  6. Copy Facts
  7. Never plagiarize.

    • Scan the site to look for important facts.
    • When you find an important fact, click and drag to select it.
    • Right click and select Copy.
    • Close the browser tab of the website to go back to the organizer.
    • Click in the place in the organizer where the information should go.
    • Right click and select Paste.
  8. Cite the Source
  9. Cite the Source

    • Locate the source of the information in the Research pane. Tip: There is a red bar beside the last site that was previewed.
    • Hover the cursor over the site. Click Cite.
    • Cite the Source

    • What happens? A number indicating a footnote appears beside the fact. At the bottom of the page is a citation. It identifies the website where the fact was copied.

    Choose citation format

  10. Continue to research your topic.

TechnoMap and TechnoTimeline are designed for use with G Suite or Microsoft Office. Students can use the research tool and apply their skills using these projects.


Hella Comat, Curriculum Writer - Hella Comat is a dedicated professional, who has taught in the education system for more than 30 years. As a pioneer of technology integration in Ontario public schools she was one of the first teachers to introduce the internet, video conferencing, web design, and multimedia learning activities to teachers and students in the Halton Board. To inspire teachers to use technology, she has led sessions for the Touch Technology program, ran workshops at education conferences, and sat on numerous advisory committees related to technology-issues. In recent years she taught the Computer in the Classroom course, at York University. Her lifelong commitment to teaching and learning was acknowledged when she was honored as the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology, and Mathematics. Hella's contribution to the blog includes entries about the importance of technology integration. Drawing from her in-depth knowledge of technology in the classroom Hella writes about teaching strategies and useful resources that can benefit your practice. In addition, she provides innovative lesson ideas that you can implement into your own curriculum.

You may also like...