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Info Tech 8: Internet Search Tips

1. Online Research: Tips for Effective Search Strategies

2. Read the URL

Read the URL

Being able to read the URL of a site will help you evaluate before you spend time working with it. The domain designation has information related to the source of the web page.

  • .com (commercial $)
  • .edu (educational institutions)
  • .org (any organization)
  • .net (internet / network – no specific designation)
  • .gov (US government agency)
  • (Canadian government agency)
  • .mil (military institution - U.S.)

Indications you are on a personal page that should be scrutinized for bias, accuracy and authority.
Does the URL have a tilde: ~?
Does the URL have %?
Does the URL include a personal name?
Does the URL include words like: users, people or members?

Boolean Searching

Boolean searching is the traditional way to search for information in most online databases and on the Internet. Boolean operators or connector words, such as AND, OR, and NOT, are used to create phrases and concepts based on specific rules of search logic.  

Operator Examples Results

business AND ethics
cooking AND Spain

Retrieves records that contain    
ALL of the search terms.

hotels OR motels
www OR world wide web
theater OR theatre

Retrieves records that contain
ANY of the search terms, but
does not necessarily include
all of them.

java NOT coffee
Clinton NOT (William OR Bill)    

Excludes records containing
the second search term.

Other Search Tips

Quotation Marks: Use quotation marks when searching to keep phrases together. 


Solar System, search "Solar System"

War of 1812 , search "War of 1812".

Truncation:  Add the symbol * to a root word to locate various forms of that word


teen* would locate teen, teens, teenager, teenagers

child* would locate child, children, childhood