Eight Free Online Research Tools for Writers

by | Oct 27, 2014

DeathtoStock_Desk9 1000Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, knowing how to research information effectively is critical. Here are 8 free online research tools that you may find useful as a writer. Did I miss some of your favorites? List them in the comments below.


Feedly is a news aggregator application for various web browsers and mobile devices.  It compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources based on your choices.  You can then save those articles to various “read later” applications like Pocket and Instapaper.


InfoPlease combines an encyclopedia, almanac, dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, and biography reference.


This site gives access to statistics from more than 100 government agencies.

U.S. Census Bureau

This site provides data from the Census Bureau online.


Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia written collaboratively by largely anonymous internet volunteers. Since the articles can be edited by anyone, you shouldn’t use it as your sole source of information. However it can be a great way to get basic information and find out where to look for additional references.


Instapaper is a cloud-based tool that allows you to save web articles for later reading. You can then access them on any of your mobile devices.


Pocket is also a “read later” tool that allows you to file away articles you come across in your internet research. It has a few other features, including the ability to save embedded video from articles. You can also send articles to other people via email or directly to other Pocket users.


Evernote is a research organization tool that allows you to capture and store your notes, web clips, files and images. You can access them anytime from your computer or other mobile device.