What Eyeplorer does, is to search Wikipedia for information based around one or two or even more search terms. It then produces a spectrum of key words and concepts linked to those terms.
You can then see notes on each term by hovering over the keyword. If the notes are relevant to your essay, you can drag them to the notepad at the side.
Here's a video showing how it work.
Once students have their notes they can either save, copy or email then to themselves. They then have notes on which to base their essay along with links to follow up and find more information.
Great tool and a great way to show students how to use web sources without just copying and pasting complete articles.
Hope you find it useful. Here you can find more writing activities for students
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- Using wikis for teacher development
- Improve Typing and Punctuation and Have Fun