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.
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.
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.
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.
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."