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How to Do Research: A Step-By-Step Guide: 2g. Websites

How to do research

Search Google

Review our Search Strategies for tips on getting the most of your Google search results.

Search Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides an easy way to search for scholarly literature across many disciplines and resources. It also links to Elmira College's full-text content.

Tip!

To help you identify websites, see if there is a Subject Guide for your research topic. Internet resources are listed on the Websites tab.

If you cannot find a relevant subject guide, remember to evaluate the websites you find before you using them in your research assignments.

Google Search Strategies

For more advanced searching tips, visit their Inside Search site.

Search Strategies Examples
Queries are not case sensitive.

Barack Obama and barack obama produce the same results.

Results will typically include each word or punctuation mark included in the query. Some stop words or exceptions apply.

 

Keep queries descriptive, but use as few terms as possible. Avoid natural language.

Use colorado statehood instead of when did colorado first become a state.

Google automatically truncates search terms. To prevent this, use a + sign in front of each term.

A query on child retrives results with "children" and "childcare".

Use double quotations marks (" ") to search terms as an exact phrase.

A query on "Barack Hussein Obama II" will retrieve only those sites that refer to Obama by his full name. Sites that refer to him as simply 'Barack Obama' may be overlooked.

Use the site: feature to limit your results to a specific website or class of websites.

The query cloning site:online.wsj.com will only retrieve articles about cloning from the online version of the Wall Street Journal.
A query on cloning site:.gov will only retrieve results within the government domain.

To allow for either of several words to appear in your results, use the OR operator. The operator must be in all caps.

A query on hotel OR lodging OR inn will retrieve results with any or all of these terms.