what you're looking for! If you're just interested in browsing
general information, even if it 's on a specific topic, use
a subject index instead of a search engine. For example, if
you're just getting started with the web or teaching someone
who is new to the web, and are interested in seeing what kinds
of history projects are available, don't search for "history"
on a search engine that catalogs all the web sites in the world-you'll
end up with results containing the word "history' in every
kind of context you can imagine! Instead, go to Yahoo!, click
the link for Education, click the link for K-12, and follow
the logical path through that category to find the kinds of
information you're looking for.
which search engine or engines to use. Most people have
at least one or two favorite search engines and after some use,
learn the best types of search terms to enter.
it's your first time at a new search engine, take a few minutes
to read the help file for information about how to phrase your
query. Most search engines have extensive help to ensure
that you can find the materials you want quickly and easily;
but since each search engine does things its own way, it may
save you a lot of time if you read their documentation.
your query carefully. For example, to find Social Studies
lesson plans, don't just enter "lesson plans" or "social
studies" - both categories are too broad to quickly yield
the specific information you're looking for. Instead, try "social
studies lesson plans" (formatted the way the search engine
requires); or, better still, look for something related to the
specific unit you're looking for, such as "geography lesson
plans" or "Civil War lesson plans."
your results. Do the titles of results on the first few
pages appear to be the kinds of materials you're looking for?
If you received several pages of results but there's no unifying
theme to them, then your query may have been too broad; if you
didn't receive any results, then your query may have been so
specific that nothing matching it could be found.
necessary, restructure your query to get a better list of results.
You can do this by entering a different combination of
words; by making sure that your spelling was correct; by checking
your use of upper- and lower-case letters (this matters for
some search engines, but not for others); and by using the advanced
search features of the site. If you still can't find the information
you want, consider using another search engine.
the sites on your list of results. Often, a search engine
will show a site that doesn't appear from the description to
be what you are interested in. However, many times, if you visit
the site, you will find that it does contain useful information.
This can be a time-consuming process, but occasionally what
appears to be an unlikely choice turns out to be one of the
best matches for your topic.
you haven't found anything close to what you want, and you're
sure you structured your query well, try another search engine.