Helping You Search
Deb Craft, Information Media Specialist
STMA High School
Surfing is not searching.
―Computers download information—
• They do not teach you to think.
• Computer education imparts technical
• It does not impart knowledge.
Not all the information that exists in
the world is on the Internet--
Not all the information that is on the
Internet is accurate.
Let’s Get Started. . .
• Web site addresses
• Searching techniques
• Searching tools
• Evaluating information
• Citing sources
• Uniform Resource Locator
• The web “address” that connects you with a
• Goes in the address bar at the top of the
• Gives you information about the website
Parts of a URL
• http://--hypertext transfer protocol:
• the language computers use to “talk” to one another
• www—world wide web:
• the body of information connected by the cables and
computers of the Internet
• .starwars—domain name:
• the structured, alphabetic-based, unique name for a
computer on a network
Parts of a URL continued
• .com—top level domain:
• gives an idea of where the document is stored
• /seminars—file name:
• a folder within a website
• .html—hypertext markup language:
• the computer language used to format documents
Top Level Domains
• .edu—higher education
• .k-12—elementary and secondary schools
• .gov—government agency
• .org—general noncommercial organization
• .net—computer network
How Do You Find What You Need?
• Libraries and department stores are planned.
• No one is in charge of organizing the
• Well-prepared searches will eliminate useless
hits and wasted time.
Before you search, you need to:
• What do you need to know about your topic?
• Make a list of all the terms connected with
• Include names, organizations, and phrases.
Use Boolean operators to combine your most
• Use AND to connect the terms you want to see.
• Use NOT to exclude terms you don’t want.
• Use OR to include similar terms.
• Use quotation marks around names or phrases
• Use lower case for all proper nouns, except for
mars AND planet AND life NOT god
But what if…
you WERE looking for information about
the Roman god of war?
The Greeks referred to him as “Ares”, so
now your search will look like this….
mars OR ares AND ―god of war‖
Notice the quotation marks
around the phrase “god of war”
Searching tips … an example…
• search on the word ―dogs‖
• Add the word ―collies‖
• Add the word ―breeding‖
• Add the word ―Minnesota‖
• Add the word ―Albertville‖
Searching tips … an example…
• If you search on the word ―dogs‖ you
get over 129 million hits.
• Add the word ―collies‖ – 1,960,000 hits
• Add the word ―breeding‖ – 419,000 hits
• Add the word ―Minnesota‖ – 81,100 hits
• Add the word ―Albertville‖ – 108 hits
What Do You Use To Search?
• Web Directories
• Search engines: Google
• Metasearch Engines: Dogpile, Metacrawler
• Paid Subscription databases: InfoTrac,
World Book Online, SIRS
• Good for browsing topics or general
• Internet Public Library
• Are like the index in the back of a book
• Let you search for specific words and topics
• Use robots known as spiders to search for
• Alta Vista
Paid Subscription Databases--
• Evaluated Resource
• Access allowed after payment
• Information is accurate
• Examples: InfoTrac, World Book Online,
• Sends your search terms to several other
search engines at once.
• Gives an overview of a topic across the
Hits are returned and ranked according to--
• How many times terms appear on the page
• How often terms appear
• How close terms are to each other
• How near the top of the page the terms are
The best results will appear on the first page or
two of hits
No two search engines are alike. Try another
search engine, or rephrase your terms if you
don’t get good results.
Once you’ve found the information,
how do you know it’s good
“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”
The above cartoon by Peter Steiner has been reproduced from page 61 of July 5, 1993 issue of The New
Yorker, (Vol.69 (LXIX) no. 20)only for academic discussion, evaluation, research and complies with the
copyright law of the United States as defined and stipulated under Title 17 U. S. Code.
―Let the buyer beware‖
Book publishers weed out inaccurate
No one checks the Internet for accuracy.
Before you start using the
Who is the author?
• Is he an authority on the subject?
• Do they have an e-mail address?
• Are they an authority on the subject?
(info usually found at the top or bottom
of the webpage or on the homepage)
Is the information accurate?
• Can it be verified in an encyclopedia?
• Is it relevant to your topic?
• Does the author indicate where he found the
• Are there spelling or grammar errors on the
site? More than three errors indicate a poor
Is the information current?
• When was the last time the website
• Are the links broken?
Is the information sufficiently
• Do the links go with the webpage’s
• How in depth is the material?
Is the information objective ?
• Is it trying to persuade you to another
point of view?
• Is it trying to persuade you to buy a
Let’s evaluate a web site!
Five types of websites
Don’t forget. . .
• Google’s advanced search!
Citing a website
• Last name, first name of author.
• If there is no author listed, begin with the title.
• ―Title of article within the website.‖
• Put quote marks around the title
• Name of website.
• Underline the name
• Date article was written.
• Put the date first, then abbreviate the month.
• Date you accessed the article.
• If the URL won’t fit on one line, break it at a slash.
Include the entire URL, not just the one for the home
More Help For Works Cited:
• Citation Machine
• Noodle Tools
• Easy Bib
General Web Site
Author’s Last Name, First Name. Title of web page.
Date web page was created or last updated DD
Mo. YYYY. Date web page was accessed DD Mo.
Abilock, Debbie. Choose the Best Search for Your
Information Need. 23 April 2007. 25 April 2007.
• Use the right search tool for finding
• Evaluate the website information
• Cite your sources