Get it from the Web!

Be a copy and paste magician for career/job research and papers, and save time, money, and resources!

Now that you've found all this valuable information on the Internet that is precisely what you were looking for, what's next? You could write it down on a scrap of paper--that's pretty tedious and time consuming. You could select File, Print on your web browser--that's also time consuming and wasteful of paper and printer ink; besides, you would have to retype your paper citations or information. You could select File, Save As, Text on your browser--while it does get the text, it also may get quite a bit of other material and may require a lot of editing time. Copy and paste to the rescue--it's fast, efficient, and magical!

Copy That Text

Here are the steps for copying text from a website and pasting it into your own word processing file for use as a research reference or a quote:

  1. Place your mouse cursor carefully at the beginning of the text you wish to copy; hold the left mouse button down and "drag" to the exact end of the text to copy. Release the left button, and your text is blocked. 

  2. Now click the right mouse button once with the arrow or cursor in the blocked text area and select Copy. 

  3. Open up your word processor (WordPerfect® and Microsoft® Word are great because they correctly import formatting codes as well as tables for figures from web pages). 

    1. Place the cursor where you want the text to be inserted, click the right mouse button once, and select Paste. Voilá! There's your citation! 

    2. Just put quotes around it or double indent, add your footnote for the cite, and you're done in about 20 seconds. 

NOTE: Of course you can also grab other information such as job listings and company information for your career development and job search activities in the same way. 

See How This Looks: Click here for a full-size graphic image of this technique in action.

Copying Pictures or Graphic Images

To copy pictures and other graphic images from a web site, follow the steps below:

  1. Place your mouse cursor on the picture or image and click the right mouse button once. You could select Save As to save the image to disk to be used later, or you can select Copy and open up your word processor. 

  2. Put the cursor where you want the image inserted, click the right mouse button once, and select Paste. It will pop right in there! 

  3. Then position and size the picture in your document, add your footnote to indicate the source, and you're done again in about 15 seconds. 

You can also paste the picture into a graphic editing program such as Corel PhotoPaint® for editing or special effects. 

See How This Looks: Click here for a full-size graphic image of how this technique works.

Grab the HTML from a Website

So you're not a wizard writing Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the coding used to make web pages.  Well, you could always "steal" that coding from a web page you like.  Say, for instance, that you found a web résumé format that's just right for your online résumé.  Try out these steps:

  1. Simply do that old magical right mouse button click in a blank area of the web page and select View Source. 

  2. The HTML coding will pop up in Notepad; then click File, Save As, and name it with a file extension of .htm. 

  3. If the web page has a background graphic, right click in a blank area of the page again and select Save Background. 

  4. From there you can load it all into a web page editor like Microsoft® FrontPage, make the revisions you need to the text (carefully) and save it.  Don't forget to edit the HTML meta tags with your personal information too (some search engines use the meta tag information to list your web page in their database). 

  5. Then you can upload it to a web host and you're done. 

Presto change-o, you are ready for the employers to come knocking at your door!  Try it with this web page to see the HTML coding back behind what you see in your browser window.

See How This Looks: Click here for a full-size picture of this operation. 

Reminders for Research Papers

Remember to always verify the credibility of your source. Anyone can put anything on the Internet, and it is a fact that there is erroneous information on the Net. Generally, known organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association (these types of organizations usually have a primary domain of .org in their Internet addresses) are reasonably credible. Reputable educational institutions also are reasonably reliable sources (these usually have a primary domain of .edu in their Internet addresses). Government sources are also good (these have .gov, .mil, or .us as the primary domain of their Internet addresses).

Be sure to cite your source in your paper too! Copy and paste or type the name of the organization; copy the Internet address of the page (it's up in your browser address window--left click once on it, then right click, copy and paste). If the author of the work is given, copy and paste that information as well. Sometimes, you will find a date on the page--include that in your citation too. Here are a couple formats for Internet citations in a research paper:

General Information, No Author Listed, List Title in Quotes if Given: 

 

American Heart Association, "Heart Attack," 1998, http://www.

 

 

americanheart.org/Heart_and_Stroke_A_Z_Guide/ha.html

     
 

Mayo Clinic Health Letter, "Heart Attack: The first hour can be a killer,"

 

 

May 1994, http://www.mayohealth.org/mayo/9405/htm/heartatt.htm

Author Listed, List Title in Quotes if Given: 

 

Huang, Thomas S., et.al., "Visualization of Heart Motion," National Science 

   

Foundation, Cornell University, November 7, 1991, http://www.ncsa.
uiuc.edu/SCMS/Metascience/Articles/MS_Visualization-Heart-
Motion-Huang.html

Plagiarism is pure and simple stealing of someone else's intellectual work. Not only is it illegal to copy and use a copyrighted source as your own work, but it's sure to get you a big zero on a research paper. The Internet may make it very tempting to copy and paste other people's work into a patchwork paper with no original content, so always remember that this is both unethical as well as illegal. Do your own work, and use Internet sources as you would use for more traditional hardcopy research material. 

You're Ready -- Go for It!

Developing your skills using the full range of tools available with today's modern computer applications programs will make you very efficient, often resulting in tremendous savings of time and money.  In most newer applications programs, the right mouse button click will pop up a context sensitive menu that varies depending on where you position the arrow or cursor.  Try it out with your favorite programs, and see what happens when you right click in various places--it's much faster than searching for that command up on the menu or tool bars.  Experiment and explore!  You never know all the neat features you might find just a quick right click away. 
 
Tere Prasse
San Antonio College of Medical & Dental Assistants
IT Department Lead Instructor