Researching is easy. It’s also incredibly difficult. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to find better resources.
1. Use Google to Your Advantage
Having good Google-fu means knowing how to narrow down your search to find the best resources possible. Fortunately, Google gives you a lot of tools to use to help narrow down your searches.
First of all, trimming your search down to ONLY .edu or .org resources can be very helpful. (A lot of “.com” sites are purely for profit, and may not have the best information. And “.edu” sites are usually from universities.)
To do this, simply include this before your search –
You can also use this to search specific websites for information. For example:
PDFs are also great resources for information – even better, they’re easy to print off, which can be especially helpful if you’re searching for worksheets. You can specifically search for PDFs by including this before your search:
Quotation marks denote specific phrases – “keyword” so always use this if you’re searching for something very specific. And on that note…
2. Be Specific
If you just search for “Roman Buildings” you’re going to get a wide, wide range of results. If you search “Roman Architecture” that will narrow things down. If you search “Ancient Roman Architecture” it will narrow it down even further. And the ultimate would be something like, “5th Century BCE Roman Architecture,” though something that precise may be unnecessary if you just want a general idea.
3. Lists, Lists, Lists!
If you’re searching for anything that may have multiple categories, preface your search with “list of…” 9 times out of 10 there will be a Wikipedia page for it, which will give you direct access to a TON of information.
Bingo Bango. And on THAT note…
4. Learn How Wikipedia Works
If you see a page that’s almost what you want, but not quite, scroll down to the See Also section. Click around until you find what you need.
Great for if you’re searching for higher end resources.