Searching

What is a good Internet search?


Internet search = the search terms you enter into Google!

The best search term will help you (1) find the information you are looking for (2) in the fastest way possible, (3) from a reliable source.

How to be an expert researcher


1. Create GREAT search terms!
It is always a good idea to make a list of words or terms to search for BEFORE you begin searching.

Ask your self the following questions:

Ask Yourself:
Examples:
“What is my topic?”“What are the vocabulary words I need to know?”
Ecosystems vocabulary: ecosystem, biosphere, abiotic, biotic, organisms, ecological succession, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, ecological pyramid, bioaccumulation, scavengers, decomposers, micro-organisms
“Is there another way to say or spell the word or term?”
Cars or Automobiles; Vikings or Norsemen; Leonardo da Vinci or Da Vinci or Leonardo or Vinci; Grey Owl or ArchieBelaney; Literature, Canada or Canadian Literature
“Is there a larger subject that might include my topic?”
Ants—try Insects

Model Airplanes—try Models and Model Making

D-day—try World War II

“Is there a smaller subject that might be worth looking up?”
Amphibians—try Frogs, Toads or Salamanders

Funny Poems—try Limericks

“Does my topic overlap another topic?”
Festivals in China—try Festivals and try China
For people ask:
“When and where did this person live? What is she or he famous for?”

Leonardo da Vinci—try Renaissance; Italy, History; Art, History; Mona LisaEmily Carr—try Art, Canadian; Painters, Canada; Vancouver Artists

After you have answered these questions, add all of these alternative search terms to your list of things to search for.

Information for the above section was retrieved from http://education.alberta.ca/media/313361/focusoninquiry.pdf on Oct 18, 2009.

2. Know where to look for information!

Our School Library:

Go to the John Henderson Homepage.
Click on the Library button on the left.
A new menu will drop down.
Click on the Search Our Library button at the bottom.
A new window will open with the basic search.

You can search our library for books on your topic by doing a basic search or a visual search. A basic search lets you enter in keywords just like you would on Google. A visual search lets you click on images that represent categories.


You can also use Boolean Searches with the library’s basic search. For more information on Boolean searching, go to the Boolean Search page.

World Book Online:
Go to the John Henderson Homepage
Click on the Library button on the left.
A new menu will drop down.
Click on the “Research Tools – MY” button.
A new window will open.
Under “Online Resources”, click on World Book Online.
A new window will open.
Choose World Book Student.

World Book is an online Encyclopedia and it can give you definitions, pictures and articles with information.

On the Middle Years Research Toolspage there are also other good online resources you can use to find information, like the Atlas of Canada, The Canadian Encyclopediaand How Stuff Works. Also if you are research Canadian History then try the CBC Archives which has lots of old news videos or Manitobiawhich allows you to access documents from the Manitoba Archives.


Advanced Search:
If a search engine such as Google is not giving you the results you are looking for sometimes using the advanced search will help you make your search more effective.

Often the advanced searches allow you to eliminate terms that are unrelated, look for exact wording or phrases or look for a combination of words.

Advance searching in Google also allows you to search for pictures or other images that are copyright free or where the owners allow the use of their images.

Use Other Search Engines:
Don't just rely on Google!!
Check out the other search engines listed on the Middle Years Research Tools page.

Yippy categorizes results for you.


The Virtual Reference Library is also a good place to try, so is Dogpile.

3. Know how to use books for research too!

To find information in a book look at:
the table of contents: this is located at the front of the book and it will give you a list of general topics covered by the book.

the index: this is usually located at the back of the book and is alphabetical by topic. This is a more specific list of the topics covered by the book and it will tell you on which page each topic is mentioned.



the glossary: this is usually located at the back of the book and is a list of definitions of important terms, words or phrases used in the book.


When you read through the book don’t forget to pay close attention to the following things:

pictures and captions: these can give you important information on the topics shown in the pictures and the captions sometimes tell you where to find more information.

side bars or information boxes: these can include lists of important facts, related information or topics, timelines. related personal stories, or any other important information

charts or graphs: these usually show important numbers and statistics, or show the information in a visual way that can be easier to read.

diagrams: these usually show how things work, the parts of important things and provide good visual information that can make the topic easier to understand.