Must Read for Any Teacher Who Assigns Research

Post date: Jul 14, 2013 7:14:45 PM

You’ve probably heard of Google Books. It is the “More” bar of your Google Drive Black Bar. If you’re like me, you probably only think of it as somewhere to go to but an electronic version of a book, and then once you do, you’re not really sure how to go about reading it comfortably.

Well, my friends, I’ve just learned it is SOOO much more than that. I attended Mark Wagner’s Search for Educator class at the California GAFE Summit this weekend and he put many Google Apps into a new perspective for me, i.e. more posts to come.

Steps for Research Online Instead of the Library (An Example)

    1. Google “Google Books”- it will prompt you for a search. Rather than putting in the name of a book, put in a search term. Here I’ve put in “The Great Gatsby” and “green light.”
    2. Notice it gives you a list of a few Great Gatsby books but under, it gives you other texts that reference the green light in the Great Gatsby.
Search with "Great Gatsby" and "Green Light"

I chose a book on the list and notice it gave me the page from the book that my search was found on. I’ve circled some cool features that you can play around with (I’ll go over Google Library in the next post).

Here’s What You Need to Know:

Book View with Green Light highlighted
Get the Book in Print Image

If you search for a book in Google Books, the search will give you the book with the option to either buy it, search for it in your local library (freaking amazing, right?), or, depending on the copyright, view it for free.

HOWEVER, if you search for a term or phrase, books will show you the page the term was found on and allow you to view any other pages the term was found on as well. If your student is doing a paper on the green light, search for the book/topic and the specific search term they need to find to get relevant texts.

Find this book in a library image

So, You Found Something Good and Need to Read More of the Text Than It Will Show:

You have two options:

    1. Buy the ebook
    2. Click the button that says “Find in print”- here you will be given booksellers that carry the book OR go to “Find in a library”! Put in your zip code to find a library near you where you can check out the book.


Students in my school have a fairly large literary criticism research essay they have to write during their junior year of high school. Each year, the junior English teachers have a cart reserved in the library with literary criticism books in the library on it. Students find books and spend time finding the information they need in them.

With Google Books, students don’t have to spend time flipping through books and they aren’t limited to the few books our library holds. Most of the time, they’ll find the information they need on the page excerpts they find right in Google Books, if they need more, they now have the ability to find what they need near them.


Check it out!! It might just transform your research project for the better.