Search Syntax

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This lesson includes several practice searches using different symbols. You will learn how to combine the symbols and words to search for a topic.

You will use a search engine, a directory, an index, a guide and a meta search to search for the same word combination. This will allow you to compare the effectiveness of each method.

Search Engine

1. Click on the Alta Vista button.



into the white selection box. Press "search"

13,000,000 entries?too many.


sun AND corona

into the AltaVista text box; press "search".

48,000 entries. too many.

4. Type:


163 entries. managable.

5. Type:

sun NOT corona

53,000. too much stuff.

6. Type:


163 . managable.

7. Type:

sun NEAR corona

69,000. bad.

8. You can't remember how to spell Mendelyev's name. Type


38 . managable.

9. Type:

"sun's corona"

1000. not too bad.

How do I know when to use a directory, a guide or a search engine?


10. Click on Yahoo.This will take you to the Science directory. Scroll down and click on Astronomy.Type:

"sun's corona"

2 !!!!!! great

go back to the astronomy directory. Type:


What happened?


11. Go to the Argus Index.

Click on "Science and Mathematics."

Click on "Astronomy"

Click "search " on the left side.




12. Go to the meta-Index. Select an appropriate index and search for

"sun corona"

Are you happy with the results?


13. We will use DogPile to search all search engines at once. Click on Dogpile and type

"sun corona"

Is this what you need?









altavista.gif (2345 bytes)































yahoo.gif (465 bytes)
















Internet Resources Meta-Index



arf-pile2.jpg (11314 bytes)

These pages authored and maintained by Marcella Dawson. Revised 02/03/99. Copyright 1995 CRPC GirlTECH. All rights reserved. . Email your comments. These pages were developed through GirlTECH '96, a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.