ENGL 101 English Composition 1

Don't Settle: Effective Web Searching

Effective Web Searching

Improve your search results with site-specific searching: 

Limit to:

  • Government websites: site:.gov
  • Educational institutions (but watch out for student work!) site:.edu
  • Non-profit organizations (and some businesses) site:.org
  • Specific industries and many news sources are commercial enterprises. site:.com

Key Web Resources

Useful Websites

The following web sites (and search engines) are a place to start, though they offer just a hint of what's out there.

Statistics & Government Resources

Select Research Centers /Public Policy Think Tanks:

Specific Social Issues:

Why Websites

browser search bar with http://www. in it

image source below

The web is a great resource for:
  • Government information
  • International sources
  • Up-to-the-minute and local news
  • Local resources
  • Organizations involved in an issue
  • Statistics
  • Opinion
  • Images and video
  • and much more

Image Source: "Internet1" by Rock1997 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Google Advanced Search Tips

 Google Advanced Search

  Find websites that are more relevant to your needs by using the advanced search features in Google

Example scenario:

You are researching how stem cells from human embryos might help cure neurological diseases, especially Parkinson's disease

As outlined in the example search in the image below, you can use the following advanced search limiters are used and why:

  • Limiter: this exact word or phrase
    • this will wrap whatever words you place into the box in quotation marks  - that will limit the results to websites with this exact phrase
  • Limiter: any of these words
    •  By putting in "neural disease" OR "Parkinson's disease" - your search will show you websites that refer to either neural disease OR specifically to Parkinson's disease (a type of neural disease). This broadens your search
  • Limiter: none of these words
    • ‚ÄčUse this limiter by putting in a term or phrase that you do not want to see on any of the websites. The example word of cloning will not show up in your results about stem cells.
  • Limiter: site or domain
    • And since you hope to find good, authoritative websites that have content that have been thoroughly researched, limit your results to government (.gov) websites

(click on image to enlarge)

screenshot of the advanced search options in Google, as outlined in the text after the image