Finding something on Google is as easy as entering the search term and sifting through the results, right? Yes. And no. It turns out that getting the information you need — or that your child needs for that research paper — can be more more nuanced that punching in a term-paper topic and hitting go.
The good news: You don’t need to be a computer programmer to use a few simple tricks that will yield much richer, meaningful and targeted results.
Here are the top three ways to up your Google game:
- Instead of Google-ing a term, opt for the Google Scholar search engine (scholar.google.com) which provides a simple way to broadly search scholarly literature. Get articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.
- Get country specific. When students are researching information about a foreign country, a Google search generated in North America often will not include links originating from the place in question. Work around that by preceding the search with the term “site:” plus the country’s code, a list of which can be found here. So if you’re researching “Armenian churches” try Googling “site:AM Armenian churches.”
- Want to further refine that search to returns from institutions of higher education? Add “ac” so it looks like this: “site:ac.AM Armenian churches” and notices how it yields yet another, incredibly rich return.
Read more about refining your research here.