Internet Searching


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Begin by creating a concept map or another type of visual planning guide. This plan could include your central topic or problem, a word list, and a set of required information. Your central topic or problem may have many components. What type of information are you seeking (i.e., ideas, facts, opinions, options)? What form will this information take (i.e., text, graphics, charts)? Your word list should include key words, narrowing words, broadening words, and related words. 
Also, be sure you think about that information you already know versus new information that you need. How can you eliminate background information sites and get to the point of your project? 
Select the Keywords. Use words related to the type of information you seek.

  • Select precise words and avoid common words such as the, of, and apply.
  • If you're looking for teaching materials, use "lesson plan", "teacher guide", or "project ideas" in your search.
  • If you're seeking a particular kind of teaching resource, use "webquest", "tutorial", or "tips" in your search. Search for earthquake+webquest.
  • Students might use words such as "student projects", "examples", or "photographs".
Search in Cycles. View your search from different angles and approaches.

  • If you're exploring information about the art of sculpture, you might do a series of searches the following combination of words: sculpture, sculptors, famous statues, carving, Alexander Calder, and even gargoyles.
  • Try a variety of (at least three different) search engines, directories, and guides in your search. You might start with a general guide such as and end with a more precise tools such as Google.
Use Boolean Logic. Broaden or narrow your search with operators. Keep in mind that different search tools use different operators. Many search engines assume that you're using the word AND between each word even if you don't enter it. Explore the following chart for more ideas: