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Research Guide - Finding Internet Resources

Find the best web sites

Here are a few tips for finding accurate, first-rate information for your topic online.

Evaluate your information

This may be the most important thing you can do to ensure that the web sites you use in your academic work are of the highest possible quality.

Some of the most important rules for evaluating Web sites are in Evaluating Information.

Because anyone can create and post Web pages, every web site you find needs to be evaluated carefully.

Limit your search to a specific domain

Some online domains are more likely to provide accurate information than others. For example, .edu, denoting sites created by colleges and universities, and .gov, denoting sites created by the state and federal government, both have a reputation for providing accurate, current, and authoritative information.

To limit your search to a specific domain in Google, simply type this formula after your search terms: site:.edu or .gov

To find out how to perform this type of search in other search engines, check the advanced search options for your preferred engine.

For more information see What is a Domain?

Do some background reading on your topic

The more terms you can add to your search, the more likely you are to find in-depth information.

For example, a search for Shakespeare and A Midsummer Night's Dream may retrieve fewer relevant hits than a search that also includes the terms interpretation, criticism, performance, stage, or the names of the characters.

Google search tips

Use quotation marks to force Google to search for the phrase.

For example:

    "River of no Return"

    "Tiger Woods"

Use a minus sign to remove a word from a search.

For example:

    Bass -music

    Tiger -golf

Use the ~ to get synonyms

For example:

    ~child ~education

    chicken ~recipes

Be sure to check out the Advanced Search options. It includes limiting to specific domains, languages, file formats and more.

For even more help check out the Google Cheat Sheet.


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