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How Do I...

Search the Internet?

Finding "good" information on the Internet that your instructor will find credible and authoritative can be difficult and time consuming. Before using the Internet...

If you've tried these approaches from the LRC Web site and still want to search the Internet, try using a directory/search engine such as Librarian's Index to the Internet or the Google Directory. Another alternative is Google's Advanced Search Page. Among other options, this search engine allows you to easily enter phrases and to include only domains from government or education sites. If you need help, go the relevant section of Google Help Central. Search engines like Alta Vista and Lycos can yield good results but may place paying organizations at the top of the hit list, put pop-up ads on your computer, or produce varying degrees of relevancy.

Here are some tips on search engines:

  1. Don't struggle through more than three or four screens of unproductive hits without trying a different search engine or an alternate term.
  2. In general, use key words instead of phrasing a question (ex. Where do I find information on Mark Twain's novels?) Instead, the key words would be: "Mark Twain" novel criticism.
  3. Generally, use more words to get fewer hits.
  4. Use fewer words to get more hits.
  5. Use quotes " " around multiple terms to search for a phrase liked "global warming."
  6. Always evaluate Web sites based on who created them, their timeliness, and what their purpose might be. Compare Web site information to that in books and published articles to identify factual inaccuracies.
  7. Cite - or give credit to - Web pages as your instructor requires. Don't plagiarize.
  8. For more help see Web Searching Tips from Search Engine Watch.