Using Google Apps for Research


Using Google Apps in the classroom makes conducting short and sustained research projects easier than ever with a built-in research tool.

Seeing as how my school is almost entirely 1:1 with Chromebook use, my students type all of their papers in Google Docs and create all of their presentations in Google Slides. Not only is this beneficial for collaborating in the classroom, but it also provides me with an opportunity to provide my students with real-time comments and suggestions as they work on their papers.


When students are creating in either Google Docs or Google Slides, instruct them to click on the “tools” menu and then select the “Research” option. Doing so will automatically open a small Google search browser within the Google Doc or Google Slide file. Here is a video demo from one of my SMARTePlans digital, Google-based lessons showing how to do this. This resource is my Of Mice and Men Digital Novel Introduction. This digital introduction is a great way to have students practice their research skills as they prepare to read the novel.

This research tool also provides students with the option to search for websites, images, scholarly articles, and more. Furthermore, this tool is even more valuable if students already have some content typed because the research tool will provide students with a list of related topics of suggested research words to help students jump start their research.

Once students select a source that they like, this research tool makes researching even easier for the students. When students hover over a site, they are presented with three options: preview, insert link, and cite.

Slide10The preview option will open another viewing pane directly inside of the Google Doc or Google Slide file that allows students to read the entire web page. This allows the student to type directly in the document as they read information from the source. The insert link option will automatically generate a small, clean link in the file to the resource. This feature is especially beneficial for collaborative projects that require multiple students in a group to find multiple sources. Finally, the cite automatically cites the source by placing footnotes in the document.

Just think about all of the time these tools will save you and your students!

If you are looking for innovative, engaging research lessons for your students, my SMARTePlans digital, Google-based lessons provide a variety of research assignments for the secondary ELA classroom.

Current SMARTePlans Available for Purchase:

2016 Growing Bundle

Animal Farm Novel Introduction

Annotating Poetry

Descriptive Writing

Digital Argument Writing

End of the Semester Reflection Writing

Digital Informational Writing

Digital Poetry Interactive Notebook

Digital Research Paper Writing

Digital Socratic Seminar


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  • I think teaching research is one of the hardest things to do but using Google apps might just change that!


  • Yes. It is a skill that takes some time to learn. Google apps makes it so much easier though!

  • I love this! With 'old' units it would have been my job to give kids all this knowledge but now they can learn to do it themselves. It will help them learn what is useful on the web and what they need to ignore. Thanks for this!


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