I am just finishing my PhD and currently working on my dissertation. I have published two academic articles related to communication so I feel qualified to answer your question.
When talking about academic writing resources, the question is a little vague. If you are looking for a platform on which to write academic papers, of course Microsoft Word works well and integrates bibliographies and sources depending upon the formatting. Word, of course, costs money but there is an open source word processor at Open Office (https://www.openoffice.org/) which is free.
For keeping a basic bibliography, I would recommend bibme.org. This website allows you to easily enter citations and sources and copy them into your document. It also allows you to keep a running bibliography for different papers you may be working on and it saves them for you online (if you set up an account.)
If you are wanting to go a little more in depth, I would highly recommend Zotero. It is a free product which allows you to store sources in multiple folders. Zotero has a Chrome extension which allows you to bring your sources in directly from web pages (even in Google Scholar) and the Word plugin allows you to put the citations right into your document. I use this all the time and it has saved me countless hours. (www.zotero.org)
As for research, Google Scholar can provide you with the sources you need, however I recommend using your university's online library resources. Some university's subscribe to a lot of online journals and if yours does, then this is the best way to go and gives you more of the current research on your topic.
Finally, one platform that I'm looking into that you may want to check out is Scrivener. It is a word processing program that allows you to really organize big projects by using digital cards to keep your outline solid and consistent. The program is great for getting your thoughts right and your argument organized and it has the ability to do sourcing but it doesn't work well with Zotero. You can get a 30 day free trial (www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php) and check it out to see if it will work for you. All the resources (with the exception of Word) are free.
I hope this answers the question.
Answered 5 years ago