9    Researching and writing online

We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true. (Robert Wilensky Conference Speech, 1996)

The Internet offers the writer a wealth of information, some valuable research tools, an opportunity to promote your work and a potential market for your writing. The sheer scope can seem overwhelming. No one knows how many web pages are out there since more than 7.3 million pages appear every day. In January 2004, Google had an index of more than 4 billion pages; by November 2004, this had doubled to over 9 billion. The effortless experience the Internet offers can be seductive. At ...

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