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Internet Searching

How to search the internet like an expert

Search Engine Tips

 

  1. Use quotes (phrase search):  placing two or more words within double quotation marks will tell the search engine to look for the words near one another.  It will narrow your search and often return more relevant results. 

    For example:
    "global warming"
     
  2. Use "field searching": field searching tells the search engine to look for your terms in the field of the record you specify.  Here are examples of field searching in Google (also note Site Search example below right):
     
    • Search for words in the title of the web page:     intitle:globalization
    • Limit to a specific type of web site:     site:edu
    • Combine strategies:      intitle:"global warming" site:edu
       
  3. Be familiar with "Search Options": know the basics of keyword searching and how to use search operators effectively for the search engine you are using.  Check the Help menu for your search engine to learn more about advanced search options.  Or, check the "InfoPeople Best Search Tools Chart" to see a comparison between search engine features.
     
  4. Use more than one search engine: while it is a good idea to become familiar with one search engine, if you aren't having luck, try another.
     
  5. Use the "find on this page" feature (CNTRL or CMD + F): to enter in a search term and see the place on the retrieved web page where your search term is listed.  (For Firefox and IE, select find on the Edit dropdown menu.) 

Handouts

Evaluating Websites

Criteria to always keep in mind when evaluating information. These criteria can be applied to information both online and in print.

Author

Who wrote it? What are their credentials or affiliations?

Audience

Who is it written for? What kind of language is used?

Purpose/Intent

What is the purpose? To inform? Sell? Sway your opinion?

Bias

Is the information presented objectively?

Currency/Date

When was it published or written?

Relevance

How relevant is it to your topic?

Scope

Is the information either too specific or too general for your purposes?