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VFM 8th Grade Science Fair Project: Free Web Search
Click on this link, put the web address you are using in the box and click EVALUATE; answer the questions to find out if the information on the website is reputable.
Getting Started on Free Web Searching
Search engines search electronically whereas most search directories use human editors to exclude irrelevant sites and include beneficial ones. Wikis invite contributors to write and edit articles mostly without authorship. Understanding the pluses and minuses of each of these search tools will help you to determine when they are appropriate to use for particular high school research assignments.
Explore information in the Search Engines, Search Directories, and Wiki boxes and read the following tips.
Tips For Using Search Engines:
Search engines are best when searching for specific things such as “revolutionary war diaries” as opposed to the more general “war”
Use specific academic terms such as “climate change”
Use exact phrases such as “research on medical marijuana”
Go to Advanced Search tools to refine searches
Tips For Using Search Directories:
Read the annotations (summaries of sites written by directory editors) for your top results to see if you are on the right track
Browse subject categories
Keep search terms broad
Check sites for searching tips as all directories are organized differently
AND, OR & NOTare all words that link concepts together to improve searches when using search engines such as Google or databases such as EbscoHost. These terms are associated with Irish mathematician George Boole, thus the term Boolean logic or Boolean searching.
To visualize how these terms work together to organize a search take a look at the Boolean Machine by Rockwell Schrock.
Search directories use expert editors to select and organize websites. Some directories are more tightly organized than others so it’s a good idea to read about how a particular directory is organized before you use it.
Scholarly Research Directories:
InfotopiaSearch engine accessing only trusted websites selected by teachers and librarians