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Search Tips: Finding What You Need...Maybe
Examples: "Science--Biotechnology," "Education--Special Education," "Government --State Government."
GOOD POINTS: Selection of major sources.
MAJOR Resources for a wide range of SUBJECTS (Education, Engineering, Medicine, Museums, Publishers.
GOOD POINTS: You can find single words, uncommon expressions appearing in thousands (millions) of pages. Since humans are not involved, the updates are quick and cheap.
BAD POINTS: It is often unclear how BIG or how CURRENT the database is. No human is involved so you will get lots of "noise"--"apple" will get you fruit AND Apple Computer. Searching for general information is extremely difficult here: "Architecture," "Education." Your search must be VERY precise!
Example: "A-frame and construction and standards" or
Keep in mind that each tool works differently, so don't give up after one or two. Keep trying.
When you find a site that's "smack on" your topic, spend sometime exploring their links. Chances are the sites THEY include will also interest you.
All this takes a bit of practice. But what it really takes is TIME. The World Wide Web is a medium that tantalizes us with its speed. But there's so much to see, that sorting through it all can take a lifetime. So focus, bookmark, get connected and put in the time. There's a lot of useless stuff out there, but with time you'll find the gems.
1. Write down your search GOAL:
Multimedia, Job Descriptions
Teaching, high school, California
2. Start with YAHOO.(Note that Yahoo will first present you with YAHOO Categories using your term and then YAHOO Sites containing your term. Compare the usefulness of the headings and the keyword.)
Play with the term until you get adequate results (for example, "accountants" might work better than "accounting.")
3. Explore several resources from your YAHOO search and evaluate the usefulness to your search topic.
4. Return to YAHOO and modify your search:If you got too many results in Step 2, make your search more SPECIFIC:
Special education, Bay Area
If you got too few results in Step 2, make your search more GENERAL:
5. Take your BEST search statement from YAHOO ("special education, "Bay Area") and try the same terms in a KEYWORD search site:
6. Assess your results so far and make a plan for a new strategy: more precise or more general.What were the BEST sites you found?
Which search strategy worked best?
What other searches would you like to try?
How much time might it take to find the BEST resources on your topic?