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What is Email?

Electronic mail, or "email," is the most widely used feature on the Internet. It allows you to send messages almost instantly to other Internet users around the world.

Email can be used to correspond with authors, experts in the field you're researching, classmates, university professors, even your teachers, provided they make their email addresses available to you. It's an unbeatable way to pose questions, collaborate on a problem or project, and send long documents for review.

Below is a list of Web sites that help you connect with experts, teachers, mentors, and other students interested in information exchange and project collaboration--all via email! Be sure to review the guidelines at each site.

Ahoy is an academic-based people finder. Search for an individual or organization's email address or Web site.

AskA+ Locator links you to experts across a range of disciplines. Hosted and filtered by the Virtual Reference Desk.

Ask-a-Linguist is hosted by The Linguist List, an Internet network for linguists. This site allows you to ask linguists questions about language, grammar, and English.

Ask a Question at the IPL Reference Center is sponsored by the Internet Public Library. You can ask a specific question of a reference librarian; or, ask a general question and you'll be provided with a list of resources.

Ask a Reporter at the New York Times on the Web is a wonderful resource. Elementary, middle, and high school students are invited to ask questions of acclaimed journalists. Each journalist is profiled, with accompanying links to several of his or her articles.

Ask an Expert, hosted by the New Jersey Networking Infrastructure in Education project, offers experts across a wide range of topics.

Ask an Expert Sources is an all-in-one expert search site--a great place to begin a hunt for experts on school topics. Hosted by Community Learning Network, this site provides links to a wide variety of Ask-an-Expert websites.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune's Homework Helper allows you to ask questions of teacher volunteers or to link to articles.

Intercultural EMail Classroom Connections is a free service provided by St. Olaf College, enabling you to correspond with "partners in other countries and cultures for email, classroom, pen-pal, and project exchanges."

KidsConnect is an online question-answering and referral service especially for K-12 students. Volunteer school librarians help with selecting research topics and finding good Web sites and other resources.

The Online Writery, hosted by the University of Missouri-Columbia writing center, provides "cybertutors" who "help with every stage of the writing process, including brainstorming, revising, editing, critiquing literature, understanding grammar, researching, and learning about technology."

PhysLink Ask Experts bills itself as the "one and only Interactive Online Physics Forum where you can ask physics-related questions."

Pitsco's Ask an Expert, searchable by category, links to specific experts' email and/or Web pages, and to other "ask an expert" sites.

Schoolwork.ugh! provides links to ask-an-expert sites organized by subject area and to quality reference sites. Students can also email the schoolwork.ugh! librarian.

It is important to note that sloppy, hastily written email messages will usually fail to produce a response from an author or expert. If you don't give your communication any care or consideration, why should someone else? It is crucial that your message and question be thought out, grammatically correct, and free of spelling errors, slang, or unprofessional language. For help writing emails that get results, check out our section on "netiquette."

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Web Basics

What is the Internet?
 What is the World Wide Web?

What is a Web browser?

What are Domain Names and URLs?

 What is a Bookmark?

What is Email?

 What is a Newsgroup?

 What is a Discussion List (or Listserv)?

 What is "Netiquette"?

 What is a Search Engine?