Bob Ballentine

Welcome to The Burning Tree Wikispace external image ?ui=2&ik=b047a5c791&view=att&th=130af48abda5fe6d&attid=0.1&disp=thd&realattid=18e763a47d648d8a_0.1&zw

My Motto: "Work hard, but smart."

Students, this is for you. Within these pages you will find course pages for all of the subjects I teach and have taught. Please use their resources for your continuing study and general benefit. The documents and links serve as a one-stop portal for study skills, reading, writing, and research; you can even check your homework.

Note that The Burning Tree Home is the main page for all students, with icon links to all of the sources that are of interest to students. For instance, at the click of an icon, you have access to:

  • ‍Buzzword‍, Adobe Systems' powerful online tool for word processing and presentations. You can even have an online meeting with your collaborators.
  • The Purdue University OWL (Online Writing Lab), the Internet's most thorough and reliable source for all things related to language, writing, and research. Use it as your authoritative, up-to-date resource for writing research papers. Consult it for questions (and practice) for problems with grammar and writing. Use its tutorials and presentations to overview a topic related to writing and research.
  • The CRLS (Cambridge Rindge and Latin School) Research Guide. If you want a simpler guide to doing research, and a step-by-step process to keep your mind focused, then use the CRLS Guide. If your mind craves a tool that will literally guide you through all the steps in conducting research, then this is the one for you. Use it to get yourself up to speed for using the Purdue OWL.
  • Noodletools, your single source for writing research papers. Do it all right here from the beginning: collecting bibliographies, taking notes, outlining, drafting, and document preparation. Use it to streamline your research process. Give order to your study with Noodletools.
  • EasyBib: need a quick citation or bibliography? Use EasyBib to take the confusion out of writing accurate Works Cited and Bibliography entries. Get it right, and fast, with EasyBib.
  • JSTOR (Journal Storage), the most authoritative database of scholarly articles that you can use for research. You know that JSTOR articles are professional, peer-reviewed documents. Use JSTOR to overcome the dangers of unreliable Wikipedia. Use JSTOR to filter out the questionable and downright invalid resources that come with a Google search. Save time with JSTOR.
  • The British Library holds one of the world's largest depositories of complete (and original) documents: 14 million books; almost a million articles--awesome for advanced study.
  • The University of Virginia etext Center: get free, legal downloads of thousands of public domain books. Save time and money.
  • Vocabulary Workshop Online: study your units right here. Play some games while you study. Listen to audio pronunciation and definition.
  • Quizlet: make (or access) flashcards for all subjects. Make your study efficient, with wordgames, printable flash cards, and practice tests specific to your exact units of study. This is especially valuable for Vocabulary Workshop students, as flashcards for every book (D-H) and every unit (1-15) are already made for you.

Of course, we study hard, but do we study smart? As time is the problem we all share, it is important to use the tools that save study time. But if those tools don't help us study smart, they are of little use. The tools that I give you here do both. They offer you the opportunity to save time and get the maximum academic result. With these tools you will become a better writer, a better researcher, a more knowledgeable student--and all of this while saving time. We must study hard. But if we also study smart, the outcome of our study is better. You will have better grades because you have the best tools...if you use them. Imagine this: you have a basketbal, and you have a pump right beside you. You have a choice, to blow it up by huffing and puffing, or you can use the pump. These tools are your pump. You still have to do some work, but it's easier--and to greater effect.

Finally, if you have any suggestions for ways to improve the page, please let me know at my email address: Or, if you are a member of the wiki, send me a comment in the Discussion page.