TIPS - if you are like a lot of people you probably skipped the other pages and stopped here first. Welcome, but don't forget to visit the other pages as well.
The Top Ten Tips
- Pick your search engine with care. A search engine is a place on the Internet that collects the addresses of web sites and their content. By simply typing a few key words or a question, you can use search engines to locate web sites that might contain the information you need. Each search engine has its strengths and weaknesses. Try lots of them. | learn more |
- Always check your spelling. The old computer programmer saying "garbage in, garbage out" is especially true when searching the Internet. For example, entering "emperor state building" instead of "Empire State Building" will give you some strange results. If you are using a scientific term double check the spelling. | learn more |
- Be an Internet detective. If you don't find what you need with one search engine or set of words, try others. Don't give up after a few tries. This is especially true for science related topics. Once you find a web site that helps, look to see if they have links to other sites. Good sites often have leads to other places you can find information. | learn more|
- Become a good reporter. Always evaluate the information that you find. Just because a web site looks good does not mean the information is correct. Check the source of the information. Is it reliable? Can you confirm that the information is correct by visiting other web sites? | learn more |
- Try and add some logic to your searches. There are some special words that can help you narrow your search. Boolean logic is the way to make it all happen. | learn more |
- Look for advanced search features when using search engines, metasearch sites and directories. This is usually a link found next to the keyword entry box. You can often improve your search results by trying out the extra features. | learn more |
- Think in and use scientific terms when looking for scientific information. If you want to learn about a plant or animal be sure to use both the common name and the scientific name when searching. | learn more |
- Be specific as possible when typing in keywords. For example. If you want to learn about the Alaskan grizzly bear enter all of those words and not just bear or grizzly bear. This will focus your search and give better results
- Need a Translator? Remember, the Internet is international. Many web sites appear in foreign languages. Some have good information. If you cannot read foreign languages, try a search engine like AltaVista, which includes a language translator.
- Don't forget the library! It is still a wonderful place to find information. Many libraries have joined the Internet by providing a way to search their catalogue of books and magazines. This means you can check to see if they have something that will help write your paper before you ever leave the house or school.