Internet Research Skills

1. Searching for Information

1. How does a search engine work?

You go to a search engine website (such as Google).

You type words into the search box.

These words get sent to the search engine’s vast computers.

They look up your words in a huge index (that they build up all the time to keep it up to date).

The results are given back to you.

2. Using key words in your search

Keywords could give you better search results.

Keywords help you to focus and expand your search.

Also, search engines generally ignore small words (‘is’, ‘of’, ‘and’…).

3. Expanding your search

Use more keywords in your search, such as synonyms.

For example, if you would like to know the height of the empire state building you could type:

Height Empire State Building

High Empire State Building

Empire State Building tall

Also look out for ‘related searches’ suggested by the search engine. For example:

4. Using quotation marks to search for “whole phrases”

This will make your search more specific. For example:

5. Different search engines

You may obtain slightly different results from different search engines. You haven’t got to use Google all the time!

2. Evaluating Websites

3. But surely teenagers know all of this…….

A recent study showed that teenagers had a success rate of only 55% when searching for information (compared with 66% for adults).

Compare to adults, teenagers were found to:

• Rush the reading of web pages,
• research in a more simple way,
• not be very patient when using the web,
• rate a website’s visual appearance as more important than the content.

Make sure that you search smartly!

4. Lesson examples using Internet research skills