Searching 101


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How to search and find the information resources you need. Time-saving tricks that every college student should know and use!

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Searching 101

  1. 1. Searching 101: Tips that every college student should know An Online Tutorial brought to you by Pilgrim Library
  2. 2. I could tell you all about these awesome search strategies. I could go on and on about how they’re going to save you time and energy and frustration. Or I could show you and let the numbers speak for themselves.
  3. 3. Why you shouldn’t type your thesis/topic into a search box Many search engines/databases don’t understand phrases or sentences
  4. 4. Sentences confuse searches When they don’t understand, search engines and databases either give up or try to compensate by guessing your keywords for you. Either way, you’re probably not going to get the information you want. This search focused just on Hindu rites and rituals and didn’t bring back any results about the American part of our topic.
  5. 5. Use keywords instead! Keywords force you to break down your topic into more manageable pieces This makes it easier to search for specific information. Finding relevant resources will be much easier! It also makes you synthesize and draw your OWN conclusions.
  6. 6. But a single keyword isn’t enough! One keyword by itself makes for a very broad search. To be included in the result list, all a website or resource has to do is mention your keyword one time! There’s simply too much information out there – we have to be more specific about what we want to find.
  7. 7. How to combine keywords AND OR Adds another search criteria Gives the search another option Decreases the number Increases the number of search results of search results Makes the search narrower and Makes the search broader and more specific more vague Great for helping you get back Great when you want to use two results that are relevant synonymous keywords
  8. 8. Using “and” One keyword: About 1.25 billion results Two keywords with AND: 1,138,000,000 less than one keyword Three keywords with AND: 1,248,970,000 less than one keyword 110,970,000 less than two keywords Four keywords with AND: 1,249,834,000 less than one keyword 111,834,000 less than two keywords 864,000 less than three keywords
  9. 9. Using “or” Keywords alone: Ritual: 38,300,000 Rite: 33,800,000 Keywords with OR: 65,700,000 more than ritual 70,200,000 more than rite Keywords alone: Funny website: 291,000,000 Humorous website: 10,600,000 Keywords with OR: 19,000,000 more than funny website 299,400,000 more than humorous website
  10. 10. Why where you search matters: Number of results Google: About 1.25 billion results Google Scholar: 1,247,730,000 less than Google Academic Search Complete Research database: 1,249,774,687 less than Google 2,044,687 less than Google Scholar
  11. 11. Why where you search matters: Quality of results Wikipedia page vs. scholarly article Databases and journals have already done a bit of evaluation for you: you can trust that their information is quality. When you use a search engine or Wikipedia, you have to evaluate your resources more carefully.
  12. 12. Make the Internet work for you Limit your searches by domain and get back better results without sorting through junk. You can tell a search engine that you only want results from websites with a certain domain (.edu, .org, .gov) .edu hosted by an educational institution (K-12 school or college/university) .org hosted by an organization .gov hosted by the government (local, state, or federal)
  13. 13. Bring it all together:
  14. 14. Congratulations! You successfully finished the library tutorial: Searching 101 If you have any questions about this tutorial, please get in touch with Pilgrim Library or email
  15. 15. Click below to check out Pilgrim Library on: side.html&usg=__iFbpPsY6BLjRmwM7tUJNIR19kOk=&h=345&w=487&sz=21&hl=en&start=0&sig2=GZgOzPgZ1jSdBbfHnnMvmA&tbnid=dI7uwE0TkZ9HwM:&tbnh=139&tbnw=229&ei=q_lGTPnhPInFnAf89rmFBA&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dyoutube%2Blogo%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D860%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:10,100&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=149&vpy=267&dur=883&hovh=189&hovw=267&tx=184&ty=67&page=1&ndsp=24&ved=1t:429,r:6,s:0&biw=1280&bih=860; 7A&tbnid=LTkRB8ED8k4OcM:&tbnh=99&tbnw=258&ei=ePtGTOP5O9LtnQfiion2CQ&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfacebook%2Blogo%26hl%3Den%26gbv%3D2%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D860%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=382&vpy=124&dur=5460&hovh=137&hovw=366&tx=266&ty=75&page=1&ndsp=24&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0&biw=1280&bih=860