Using a search engine effectively sounds a lot easier than it actually often is. With so many pages out in cyberspace, common searches regularly yield millions of results. The good news is that as the net grows, so too do search engines’ functions and accuracy, helping online searchers to get to the most appropriate information quickly. In this article, we summarize some of the most useful ideas and tips for effective search engine use.
‘Keywords’ are the words you type into the search box on the engine’s homepage. For example, net users looking for books will often simply type books and hit ‘return’. It’s a much better idea to decide beforehand exactly what *type* of book you might be interested in. In other words, poetry books or religious books are examples of better keyword choices, because they will return more accurate and useful results.
Typing poetry books author Auden will limit results to only pages that contain all of those words. The more keywords, the more accurate and streamlined the results will be.
Typing keywords like Paris or London will produce millions of results, the vast majority of which are likely to be unsuitable or irrelevant to your search. Instead, follow the suggestions above and use a variety of well-chosen keywords.
Search engines also have directories, organized alphabetically, by category and region. Using directories will help bring focus to your search query. For example, by looking up ‘French’, you will find a wide range of options to follow up on - from cuisine and wine to language learning. A good place to start is the Google Directory.
You can choose to include or exclude certain terms from your search, by using the ‘+’ or ‘-’ signs with your text. For example, vacation disneyland -paris will bring back results for Disneyland in Florida, but not for Disneyland, Paris.
If you want to search for a part or whole phrase, such as how to use a search engine, put the text in commas: “how to use a search engine”.
To search within a particular site, type ’site:’ followed by the URL of the website. If you want to search for a keyword within a particular site, type the word and then the ’site:’ with the site’s address. Example: site: www.cnn.com.
If you want to search in another language, Yahoo and Google - currently the most popular search engines - both have alternative language-specific search pages for a variety of different languages. Try ‘fr’ or ‘de’ (instead of ‘com’) at the end of a search engine address to bring up French and German language versions. Google also provides an excellent website or page translation tool at //www.google.com/language_tools
The following websites are some of the website that I use and it will be very useful to students. A student can bookmark and use to research school projects and homework assignments.
Domain Name : //encarta.msn.com
The free MSN Encarta site features more than 4,500 articles pooled from Microsoft Encarta, the award-winning electronic reference library, and comes with dictionaries, maps, fast facts, interactive quizzes, handy homework tools, and more.
Domain Name : //www.refdesk.com
Since 1995, Refdesk.com, which stands for "reference desk," has served as a one-click springboard to many of the Web's top dictionaries, encyclopedias, calculators, atlases, news headlines, and search engines. The site also includes a handy "homework helper" section that provides help in all subjects to students in every grade.
Domain Name : //www.howstuffworks.com
Ever wanted to know why earthquakes happen? How CD burners work? What the sun is made of? These questions, and a large amount of others related to computers/electronics, automobiles, science, entertainment, and people, are all answered at this award-winning Web site. Simply type a query into the search window or peruse the topics by category. Extras include free newsletters, surveys, and printable versions of all answers.
Domain Name : www.FactMonster.com
This site features an almanac, atlas, dictionary and encyclopedia made especially for kids, as well as handy search engine and layout designed for easy fact-finding. Check out fun features such as Biographies of the Presidents, the Geography Hall of Fame, and the Tallest Buildings Slideshow.
Domain Name : //www.download.com
Consider Download.com the ultimate file repository that links to literally tens of thousands of downloadable free or shareware programs. This includes utilities for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux, Internet tools, desktop dictionaries and language translators, Pocket PC and Palm applications, and of course, computer games. Visitors can search by typing in a keyword or by perusing the many sections.
Domain Name : //www.novelguide.com
The Web's answer to those black- and yellow-striped Cliff Notes is Novelguide.com, a reliable and free source for literary analysis of classic and contemporary books such as Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Notes from the Underground. The site offers character profiles, metaphor and theme analysis, and author biographies.
Domain Name : //www.math.com
This site provides help in a number of mathematics-related subjects, including basic grade-school math, calculus, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics. Practice exercises are automatically graded, plus this free site also features a glossary, calculators, homework tips, math games, and lesson plans for teachers.
Domain Name : //www.freetranslation.com
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Perfect for language studies, this handy Web site automatically converts text from one language into another, such as English to Simplified Chinese or French to English. Simply type and paste up to 10,000 characters (about 1,800 words) into the search window and then select the desired language. Alternatively, you can cut and paste a Web URL to convert the entire site.
Domain Name : //www.Shakespeare-Online.com
This Web site can be filed in the "where was this when I was a kid?" category. On the aptly named Shakespeare Online site, visitors can read every play or poem from the world's most celebrated writer and, more importantly, make some sense of his works with free analysis, Old English language translations, and famous quotes.
Domain Name : //www.sciencemadesimple.com
Science classes—including the ubiquitous science project—aren't as easy for some to grasp as for others. At Science Made Simple, kids of all ages can get detailed answers to many of science's questions, read current news articles related to science, get ideas on school projects, and take advantage of unit conversion tables. Users can also find out if their school's textbooks pass the test.
Worldaware's award-winning website on global issues. Two separate sites, for primary and secondary schools, offer interactive pages for pupils.
A website geared towards primary schools to explore the social and environmental impacts of lifestyle choices, and how to take steps towards a more sustainable future.
www.olliesworld.com is the umbrella site with planned sites on water, energy, air and biodiversity currently being developed.
www.eco-schools.org.uk provides ideas for action and class activities on litter, waste, energy, water, transport and the school grounds. The site includes a 'kids' zone' page with games.
www.wwf.org.uk and www.wwflearning.co.uk includes the 'Go Wild' kids page with information on a range of environmental issues and 'what you can do' and a new interactive site, 'Primary Internet Investigator'. Young people can take part in an on-line debate on what should happen at Earth Summit II. The debate begins on May 31 and you can register on the 'Our World' website at: www.wwflearning.co.uk
The UK charity, Global Action Plan, with ideas for action in school.
A site for teachers of Business Studies and Economics, including the excellent 'timber' game (for 10-13 year olds), the 'debt' game and the 'tourism' game (two versions for 9-11 year olds and 12+ year olds).
www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/schools/index.htm Two sites developed by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs department.
The Globe Programme, an international environmental education project involving 90 countries. Data is collected from schools and collated in the USA. The teachers' page has suggestions for activities and downloadable worksheets.
Christian Aid's user-friendly site with games and teaching ideas on global issues.
www.childrensforest.com is a very attractive, interactive site funded by Yorkshire Water (UK)