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EN 121: Library Modules (Erica Salmonson and Garrett Traylor): Week #7: Effective Web Searching

Google & Internet Searching

Hi everyone,

In this week's library module, we will learn about how to search Google for research content.  Google is a fantastic resource, but using it optimally isn't as easy as you might think. 

Below you'll find two handout/video pairs discussing various searching tricks that will help you get some fantastic stuff for your research.  The "Basic Google Searching" handout and video are absolutely essential, while the "Advanced Google Searching" handout and video are more for the ambitious/curious researcher.  Obviously I recommend both, along with some additional resources below.

For your annotated bibliography assignment, you will find 5 web resources using Google (they can be popular or scholarly, either is fine), and you will include the URL and a one-sentence annotation for each resource in your annotated bibliography Google Doc.  In case you've forgotten, the assignment sheet for the annotated bibliography is in the Week #2 tab of this guide, and you should have received the Google Docs file where you will actually write your annotated bibliography

As usual, if you are having any problems, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me!

Google Tips and Tricks: Basic

Basic Google Searching

Google Tips and Tricks: Advanced

Advanced Google Searching

The Wikipedia Question... Can I Use It?

When researching a topic, one of the first things you might do is head to an encyclopedia or Wikipedia to get a sense of what the city is about.  This is a good strategy!

For an academic report or presentation, however, you usually wouldn't cite Wikipedia itself, but rather you would cite the references that provide whatever information you're interested in.  Doing this allows you and your professor to verify that your information is coming from a reliable source.  Have a look at the below image, taken from the Black Lives Matter Wikipedia page, for an example of where to find references in a Wikipedia.

If for whatever reason you want to cite an entire Wikipedia page (for instance, because there are so many basic facts on it that it wouldn't make sense to cite each of the facts individually), always cite the Permanent link version of the page.  This will provide a snapshot of the Wikipedia page in time, which is better for citation purposes than just citing a page that might (and will) change tomorrow.

Additional/Optional Resources

The following resources are not required readings for this section, but may be helpful to you in understanding resources on the Internet.

Contact Me

Garrett Traylor
 -- Reference & Cataloging Librarian

Office Phone: 217.245.3207

Office: Schewe Library 205
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