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					           Diamonds Not Duds: Mining the Web for Jewels of Information

                             Basic Web Search Tips
                                     These search tips will help make your web
                             searching more efficient resulting in more reliable websites
                          located. You will find diamonds and not duds in your website
                       results. Good luck searching!

1.   Develop a search plan – this will help to narrow your search.
       a. What do I know about subject?
       b. How much information do I need?
       c. What are possible keywords or phrases? Brainstorm possible keywords.
           Make sure to include them in your search phrase.
       d. Brainstorm possible synonyms for keywords. Try using them in your search

2. Quotation Marks
     a. Helps to ensure that entire phrase will be searched as one word.
     b. EXAMPLE: “Iraq War”

3. Plus (+) and Minus (-) signs
      a. Use in front of words
      b. Plus (+) – term must be included in the search result
            EXAMPLE: Dallas +cowboys - must include Dallas cowboys in results.
              (No space is needed after the +symbol)
      c. Minus (-) – excludes the term in the search results
              EXAMPLE: Dallas –cowboys (excludes Dallas Cowboys in results)
                (No space is needed after the –symbol)

4. Using AND in search phrase
      a. Search term must be included in results helping to limit results.
      b. Does not necessarily search as a phrase. Term must just be included
         somewhere in websites located.
      c. EXAMPLE: Dallas AND cowboys (may bring up other results besides the
         football team).

5. Using NOT in search phrase
      a. Excludes search term from being included in search results.
      b. Helps to limit results
      c. EXAMPLE: Hurricanes NOT basketball (will eliminate basketball team

6. Using OR in search phrase
      a. Both terms must be included in search results.
          b. Helps to expand search results
          c. EXAMPLE: Hurricanes OR Tornadoes

7. Using * (wildcard)
      a. Can be used at the end or middle of word or as partial word.
      b. EXAMPLES: woman*, RETRIEVES: woman, womans, woman’s,
                    wom*, RETRIEVES: woman, women, wombats, womb
                    wom*n, RETRIEVES: woman, women
                    wom*n* , RETRIEVES: woman’s womens’

                        Resources utilized to create this handout

Boswell, Wendy. “Developing A Search Plan.” About.com: Web Search. 2007.
      4 January 2008.

Chamberlain, E. “Bare Bones Lesson 7: Basic Search Tips.” USC Beaufort Library.
     7 September 2006. http://www.sc.edu/beaufort/library/pages/lesson7.shtml.
              4 January 2008

    “Web Search Techniques.” IAC. 1 January 2002. http://www.iage.com/boolean.shtm.
         24 January 2002.


          Developed by Ms. Moyer, SLMS, Delsea Regional HS
          January 2, 2008

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