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Doing Research on the Web Web Research Review

Return To: Doing Research on the Web

1. Search Wisely. That is, make sure you have a strategy before you begin your research on the Web. No matter which tool you're using, always formulate questions and identify specific keywords before going online.

2. Refine your search. Go beyond simple keyword searches. Use more than one keyword or phrase to make your search query more specific. Also, you can greatly improve the results of your search by learning to construct Boolean searches.

3. Diversify. Experiment with different search tools (i.e., search engines, directories, and your own collection of bookmarked links). It's a good idea to use two or three reliable search engines and/or directories. Also, make sure you familiarize yourself with the Help and Search Tips sections available on most search engine and directory sites.

4. Stay focused. It's easy to be distracted on the Web. Ads, sweepstakes, offers, links—all are designed to get your attention and entice you to go elsewhere. Giving in to these distractions is a sure way to squander time and lose momentum. If a site that's unrelated to your research topic interests you, bookmark the URL so you can return to it when you are surfing the Web for fun.

5. Cast a Wide Net. A thorough search will increase the quality of the results you find online. If you're investigating a particular topic, don't rely on the first relevant site you find for the basis of all your research. Find many sites, evaluate them, pick out a handful of the best, and bookmark those for future reference.

Next: Activity—Create a Search Strategy