Welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums!
Any basic computer will be able to surf the web and use email. The only requirement is that you have internet access, and an email account.
For internet access you must be subscribed to an internet service provider (ISP), or use free services provided at public libraries, coffee shops, some airports, etc.
For email you must have your own email account, or create one using any one of the numerous free email services such as yahoo, gmail, etc.
Good luck with your paper.