Research Tips

Get to the Right SiteUse this eBook to learn how to Get to the Right Site. You will find these chapters useful for evaluating search results and Websites related to your topic:
  • Chapter 3: Asking the Right Questions (pages 14-17)
  • Chapter 4: Is it the Right Site? (pages 18-21)

*From the Information Explorer Jr. series for grades 1-4.


Find the Right SiteUse this eBook to learn how to Find the Right Site. You will find each chapter useful for evaluating search results and Websites related to your topic:
  • Chapter 1: Are These Facts Correct?
  • Chapter 2: Who Wrote This Stuff?
  • Chapter 3: Why Is This Web Site Here?
  • Chapter 4: Judging a Web Site by Its Cover
  • Chapter 5: Putting the Clues Together

*From the Information Explorer series for grades 4-8.



Internet searches
There are many ways to search for information on the internet. Most students like to search on Google or type in whateverI'mlookingfor.com. BUT there are better ways. Trust me! 

A subscription database is helpful when you know you need good content that is written by a true authority. (By this, I mean a "real" author or publisher like National Geographic, and not just another 4th grader doing a report. Sometimes it's hard to tell!) You'll be sure to get the best information for your research project by starting with a database or encyclopedia, either online or print. 

Teachers and librarians at Happy Hollow have also sifted through some of the best internet sites that are out there and put together a list of what we consider to be reliable sites. Take the guesswork out of blind web surfing, and click on these tried and true links for best results. If anyone notices a link that no longer works, please tell the librarian. 

For younger students...
  • Every web site in Sweet Search has been carefully evaluated by research experts to be relevant and safe for school children.  The search engine also features custom searches such as Sweet Search BiographySweet Search Research, and Sweet Search Social Studies to name just a few.
  • KidsClick! is a web search site designed for kids by librarians, so you can search by key word or Dewey Decimal number.
For older students...
  • Unlike Google and BingRefSeek is a search engine that lists the sites with academic or educational domains before commercial ones.
  • Mashpedia calls itself a video encyclopedia, but it's really a search engine that does media and images better than a Google or Wikipedia search by 'mashing' or featuring multiple digital resources on a topic.
  • InstaGrok -  Kids as well as teachers will find this 'webbing' search engine very useful.


BUT I'm still not finding anything!!!

This happens all the time, whether you're a middle schooler or a college student or an author. So, what do you do when you hit a wall? Here are some tips and strategies to help you out when you are just not finding anything.
  1. Narrow down your topic. You may be using search terms that are just too general. Try to hone in on exactly what you are looking for. 
  2. Broaden your tropic. In contrast, it's also possible that you are being too specific. Try to look at the big picture and see if that helps. 
  3. USE KEYWORDS!! What are keywords? Think about your topic. Now write down anything and everything you already know or want to know about it. THESE ARE YOUR KEYWORDS! You may find it helpful to use some of these words as seach terms when you surf the internet, refer to a book, or use some other reference tool or resource. Remember to look at the table of contents and the index. 
  4. ASK A LIBRARIAN!! Guess what? Your librarian is really good at finding information, and if you ask for help, you will probably get some great resources
  5. If all else fails, it is possible that you may need to re-think your topic. If you have been researching for a while and just not finding anything, make sure to talk to your teacher. Explain what you've done and that you're not getting any good information. No one wants you to spend hours and hours just getting frustrated. Your teacher or librarian will surely be able to give you some advice. 

Subpages (1): Bibliography
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