A Continuation of Web Search Techniques Please be aware that this Lesson is being revamped and will be changed shortly.

Venue: Book a large seminar room and the L.R.C. computer lab.

Discuss: How to Break Search Habits: by Carl Heine

Here are a few more thoughts about getting outside the search box to find answers to Search Challenges and whatever else you need:
  • Think about where to look. Another database besides Google probably has the answer too--and what you need might not be buried as deeply there.
  • Think about the answer, not the question. Most of the time, new terms will emerge by imagining how an answer may be worded.
  • Use advanced search whenever you can. Don't just stick with the AND search box (the simple Google search). Try the other options: eliminate a pesky domain with the -site: search box, look for synonyms with the ~ search box. Each database's advanced search box may offer different powerful controls.
  • Browse without getting lost. While the least efficient method of searching, browsing has a lot going for it when used wisely. Keep a set of keywords in mind and follow links that match those or better terms you discover. Turn around whenever the trail goes cold. A persistent, determined browser can and will find the information.
  • The same browsing skills apply to using a subject directory: start with known keywords, be on the lookout for better ones and turn around whenever a trail peeters out.
  • Ask someone else what they did. You don't have to discover everything on your own the hard way.
  • Try breaking the rules of good search. Searching the Internet is all about the unknown and probability. The most seasoned searchers cannot always predict what they will find or the best way to get there. If the high probability techniques don't work, try experimenting.

Work through the online tutorial on Keywords

Check out the Challenges!

  1. Try to beat the clock! Get through as many challenges as possible.