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Pulling up an Internet search might be second nature to you by now. But a little forethought into where you begin your hunt can make your life much easier. Save yourself the time wading through basic Google search results and utilize some of these tools to ensure your results will be up to par with academic standards.
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How may we contact you? Please complete all fields. What would you like to study? It is better to break down the question into manageable portions and search for them individually.
However, you will want to hold off answering any opinion-based questions until you have done some initial research. Write or type out each question that you need to answer. Highlight the words in the question that you need to research further in order to answer the question accurately. Brainstorm ways to answer the question.
Think of further questions you could ask someone in order to accurately answer the question. For example, you are working with the question "What social changes occurred during the Industrial Revolution? Break down each question into search terms. Try to use search terms of 2 to 3 words. They should be adequately specific to cut down your search results into a manageable amount. For example, for the question "When did the Industrial Revolution occur?
Separate your open-ended questions from your fact-based questions. In general, open-ended questions will require more research because they may include opinion or a comparing method.
Fact-based questions should normally be listed as facts on a reputable site. Getting precise results on a search engine can be difficult. Search engines often rank things that are current or for sale high on the results, when you want to do historical, fact-based research. The following best practices will help you to get the best out of each search: Make your terms specific. For example, if you know your class is discussing the English Industrial Revolution, type in "English Industrial Revolution date" instead of "Industrial Revolution dates," because the search results will be focused on English history rather than industrial revolutions in America, India or other countries.
If you have trouble with spelling, look a word up in the dictionary or run your homework questions through a spell check to try to catch any errors. Although some search engines can recognize when a commonly misspelled word appears and change it, this is uncommon with proper names like people and places. Type in the word "AND" to specify that all search results must contain keywords. Type in the word "OR" between terms to specify that search results can contain either of the terms.
Type in the word "NOT" before a search term to exclude it from your search. You can also type the minus symbol before the word to exclude it.
For example, typing "Industrial Revolution -India" will exclude search results that have the word "India" in them. Open up several tabs on your Internet browser. Type in the URL address for some commonly used search engines into each tab. Use popular search engines, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo, but also try search engines specifically made for students. Search on scholarly search engines. While it is good to know how to navigate popular sites, these engines will save time in finding reputable sources.
Search for media on media-specific search engines. Search for video on Blinkx. Using specialized media and educational search engines will take you closer to finding reputable facts and sources. It is important to cite your sources, when asked, and to avoid using inaccurate or opinion-based websites. Evaluate each website that you find using a search engine. If the website does not appear to be reputable and list its sources, then you should try again using another website from your search results.
The following are ways to evaluate websites: Give preference to any sites that have strictly controlled URLs. This means that any website that ends in. These organizations vouch for the material and are more selective that personal or company websites. Look for a name, such as Jill Peterson, jpeterson or j. Look at the author or "about" section to determine who has gathered the information. If the web page is personal, you must find out if the author has enough credentials to be an expert in the field.
Most personal web pages give opinion, but it may be worth citing if the person is an academic or author quoting from their own journals or books. Look for the publisher. The publisher is often listed in the "about" section, at the bottom of the page and in the URL. Decide if the publisher is a news resource, such as The Washington Post, or if it is relatively unknown.
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