Become an expert searcher

FROM COAL TO DIAMONDS: MINING FOR GEMS WITH GOOGLE

Here are four short activities to hone your researching skills on the web and to better impart that wisdom on your google loving students. The idea is not to shun those tools students like to use, but to empower students to use those tools in a more efficient, effective way.











YOU WANT...

To find an article on flooding as a result of Hurricane Sandy, published in the NY Times. You do not want to read any articles that discuss flooding in New Jersey.


TO FIND AND MINE...

Use the search modifiers below to "isolate" your search results based on exactly what you want from Google. There is no ONE RIGHT answer, so mix and match and see how it affects your search results.

the - sign (minus sign) allows you to eliminate results that contain certain keywords. For instance, if I want a salsa recipe that doesn't use tomatoes, I can try salsa recipe -tomatoes.

Tip: If no results turn up, check your search string. Often times, it means there is a typo or you haven't correctly used one of the modifiers!

You want...

To ask Google a Question.

DON'T.

Try to frame your question as you THINK it would be answered.

DON'T search: "Why is my head killing me?"

DO search: "headache" or ~causes +headache

TO FIND AND MINE...

You want to ask Google: "What are the effects of drone attacks on civilians in Pakistan?"

Turn this question into a plausible search string.


Answer this: Have any official reports on this been completed?

Go Beyond: Is there a .pdf file I can use on reported drone attacks in Pakinstan?

Hint: Use the same search, but include a filetype: modifier in your search string.


You Want...

To Find a book you recently read but can't recall the title. All you know it is what about Napoleon, was green, and had an eagle on it.


To Find and Mine...

Go to Google Image Search.

Search: Napoleon book

Select: Tools

Select Color, then check the green box.


You Want...

To find "vetted" websites without much effort. Don't want to face Google Search Result Rankings? Sweet Search is a collection of 35,000 white listed websites, not a filtering system.


To Find and Mine...

Visit this website: Sweet Searching

Try the following searches:

World War II

Shakespeare Sonnets

War of 1812

Take Something Away

TEST YOUR NEW SKILLS AT A GOOGLE A DAY

GRAB THIS GUIDE TO BETTER GOOGLE SEARCHING