Jun 26, 2015

How to do Internet Research

Some Rules Need to Know to Do Internet Research

* Be sure you know exactly what information you have to find. The more exactly you know what you are looking for, the easier it will be to find it.

* Filter your results according to their reading level. You can ask Google / Search Engine to show you only the pages that are written at a basic or intermediate, or advanced level of difficulty.

* Research in your own language. Much of the information on the web that is in English will be very hard for ESL students. An excellent idea is to research in your own language. You can then read the corresponding information in English with a far better chance of understanding it.

* Remember: finding the right information is only the beginning. Once you have found the information you are looking for, you will need to do something with it. Often you will make notes on it before putting it into a piece of writing of your own. In this case, be sure to keep the URLs (web addresses) and titles of the web pages.

* Use multiple-word searches. [Let's say you have to find out about Shackle ton’s third journey to Antarctica. Do not just type in Shackle ton. Type Shackle ton third journey Antarctica. You will get fewer results, but you can be confident that these will be relevant to the information you need].

* Enclose phrases in quotation marks. [Suppose you had to find out which was the world's most dangerous animal. Typing the most dangerous animal in Google returns almost 100 million hits. If you enclose the phrase in quotation marks in "the most dangerous animal", you get just over 600,000. This is still a huge number, but you can be more sure the results will be relevant].

* Be sure to evaluate the reliability of the information you find. Anyone can put information on the internet. Not all of the information is correct or up-to-date. If you find a webpage that has unusual colors’/fonts or contains many spelling mistakes, you should be very careful about trusting the information it contains. See if there are details about the author somewhere on the website or ask your teacher/librarian to advise.

* Learn how to skim the search hits for web pages worth opening. If you have used good keywords / keyword groups and correct Boolean logic, you should have a not-too-long list of links that contain the information you are looking for. These links come with one or two lines of information about the webpage they lead to. If you read this information with some care, you can avoid clicking on irrelevant pages. It is very time-wasting to wait a minute or so for a page to load, only to find that it is useless to your needs.

* Remember: you don't always need to use the internet. School libraries are full of books and other resources containing most of the information you need. If you use a library book, you can usually be sure of its reliability (although it may not be up-to-date). Libraries have access to excellent reference resources such as the Encyclopedia Britannica or ProQuest magazine database. It is often best to start research in the library and to use a web search engine only if the library does not have what you are looking for.

Review the reference resources in the Frankfurt International Upper School Library.

* Use the minus sign to filter unwanted results. [Suppose you are searching for information about the Hilton hotel organization. If you just type in Hilton, you will get a huge number of pages with information about Paris Hilton, a famous Hollywood star. If, however, you type in Hilton -Paris, the search results will not include any pages about the actress].

*** In Google, the Advanced Search will help you use this (Boolean) logic correctly or you can read their help page. You could also ask your teacher or librarian to show you.


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