Is Google OK for formal research? Sure … if you know how to use it.
For those of us who remember a meter before the internet, using Google for research might feel foreign — like being jab from the cozy confines of a favorite library straightaway into the Wild West of the web. But in today ’ second universe, it ’ s impossible to ignore Google Search as a lawful cock for inquiry .
Most of us begin any simple quest for cognition with a Google search. So it makes feel that more dangerous searches might start there, besides. But is Google OK for dinner dress research ? That depends. It ’ s still best to combine Googling with other forms of research, like visiting a library or using an academician database. But the good news is that Google Search can get you well on your direction to finding credible, accurate information for a inquiry paper or project — that is, if you know how to use it .
Essential Tips for Google Research
1. Use quotation marks to find exact wording.
normally, Google will take a count at the laid of words you type in, then try to find matches based on those words — not necessarily in the orderliness you type them. sometimes this means that Google might separate the words you ’ ve entered or even find matches for similar words. But you can besides tell Google not to do this and rather look merely for the words you entered in the accurate order you entered them. To restrict your search to exact give voice, surround the bible or phrase in quotation marks .
Example : I ‘ve found this particularly utilitarian when hunting down sources. Say you want to know who wrote something you ‘d like to cite : You ‘ll get much better results for the citation if you put it in quotation marks and count for an demand match.
Another use case : Found a dependable quotation in the fresh you ‘re reading for class ? Wonder what others have said about that specific quote ? research for it with quotation marks to find out !
Bonus : You can besides use this as a tool for fact-checking. Say you come across a meme on social media and find yourself wondering, Did Abraham Lincoln very say that ? Google the claim wording of the quote -– using quotation marks -– to see if you can find the right attribution .
2. Use “OR” to get options.
By typing “ OR ” ( in capital letters ) between search terms, you ‘re telling Google to look for matches to either term .
Example: This can be helpful when you ‘re searching for something that varying sources might describe differently. For case, say you ‘re looking for data on climate variety. Some sources might refer to climate change as “ global thaw, ” so your search could look like this :
3. Use a hyphenate ( or minus symbol ) to remove options .
To narrow your results, you can omit certain words and sites from your results by adding a “ – “ symbol in front of the news ( or words ) you do n’t want your search results to include .
Example : This comes in handy when your research question has a double think of. Imagine that you ‘re trying to research the company Apple, but you do n’t want any results about the actual yield. Your research could look like this :
As another exemplar, say you ‘re researching critical chemical reaction to the novel The Great Gatsby, and you do n’t want any sources that mention film adaptations of the bible. Your search could look like this :
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4. Use “site:” to limit your search to within one website.
By using the news “ web site : ” ( followed by a colon ), then typing a web site ’ south address, you can limit your search to results from only that web site or source. This tip off is helpful when you ‘re looking for a page on a web site that does n’t have its own search routine ( or when a web site ‘s search function does n’t work american samoa well as Google ) .
Example : Say you want to see whether a specific informant, like the New York Times, has covered a particular topic, like single-payer health concern. You might assume that they have but possibly ca n’t quite track down the claim article you ‘re looking for. In this case, you ‘d type something like this :
Another direction to use this flim-flam, but for broader results, is to restrict your search to a type of source, like academician institutions ( “ edu ” ) or nonprofit organizations ( “ org ” ). Simply follow the “ site : ” with “ org ” or “ edu, ” then your search terms. This is particularly helpful when looking for more credible or research-backed information. The lapp research for single-payer health wish could look like this :
You can flush combine this topple with others. In fact, you can combine lots of Google search tips. here ’ s an example :
5. Use “site:” and a country code to explore sources from a particular place .
This is a classical Alan November example, which he explains here in more detail ( be surely to check out his web site in the links below ). You might already know that Google ‘s search algorithm populates users ‘ results based on their geographic location. But for some searches, it could be crucial to break out of your bubble and consider information from other locations or countries .
Example : Say you ‘re researching how syrian refugees have been received in different parts of Europe. american news program sources have decidedly covered the issue. But how has this issue been covered in, say, Germany ? By typing “ site : ” and the state code for Germany ( “ DE ” ), Google will give you results entirely from german sources. hera ’ s how that search might look :
Other useful tips for Google research:
- Add “ @ [ mention of social media site ] ” after your research words to get results from entirely that platform.
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- use”intitle:” to only get results with your search words in the title.
- consumption”related:” before a web address you know to find results from similar sites.
Looking for a lesson plan on this topic?
Check out these news and media literacy lesson plans .