Effective Search Tips

Students tend to take Internet information at face value and are not innately aware of the need to question the information they are exposed to. We can teach our students strategies that will help them to become more effective at searching for the information they need on the Internet. Watch the video below to look at some basic web search strategies.

Some tips from the video include:

  • Be descriptive. Imagine the website that has your answers. What words are on it? 
  • For words that appear together, use quotes around the phrase. (example: "sand shark") 
  • For words with multiple meanings, use a minus sign/hyphen and the meaning you are not looking for. This symbol can also be used when you want to exclude a word from your search results. (examples: mullet -hair, bass -fishing) 

Some other search shortcuts that will provide more effective searches are:

  • Use ~ to find a word and all it's synonyms. (example: ~mobile phone) 
  • Use OR (capitalized) when searching for multiple words. (example: vacation London OR Paris) This will find web pages that include either word. 
  • Use ... to search for a certain time period. (example: Willie Mays 1950...1960 will get you results about Willie from this time period) 
  • Use site: to search for more reliable web pages, such as those sponsored by a educational institution (.edu) or the government (.gov), (example: global warming site:edu)

Some quick and fun ways for students to practice their searching skills is by using A Google A Day or these Keyword Challenges - check them out!


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