Where would we be without Google? For every little question we have, Google is there to guide us to the right answer. But sometimes, a basic Google search just isn’t enough. Every student can relate to the frustration of searching through multiple pages of the search engine and not finding exactly what you need. Luckily, there are secret tips and tricks to upgrade your search to get more precise results.
Let’s say you can’t possibly wait to find out what happens in the next episode of Scandal –a quick Google search will get you filled in. You probably wouldn’t even have to use special search terms, just Scandal spoilers 2015 would provide ample results, but what about when Google lets you down? What do you do if aren’t finding your answer? Let’s learn the art of tweaking your search terms to get a more specific search.
Here are some easy additions to the search bar that can completely change your results:
– Using a dash before a word will remove that word from the search results. If you wanted to searc
h for Scandal but leave out any possible spoilers that might come up, you would search Scandal -spoilers
~ This symbol allows for similar words to be included in the search results. Doing a search like TV ~schedule would also provide you with results on TV listings, TV guides, and other synonymous phrases.
…An ellipsis can be used when searching for a range of numbers. For example, you could search Scandal news 2013…2015 to find a more broad range of information about the show’s past updates.
site: Site: is used to limit your search to a certain website domain. For example, let’s say that watching Scandal has gotten you interested in REAL politics. Maybe you think, “hey, I wonder who’s the real life White House Press Secretary?” You could search for information about the White House press secretary on government websites by limiting your search to site:gov
For academic searches, Google usually doesn’t stack up. Whether the results are few and far between, or plentiful but unreliable, regular Google isn’t cut out for scholarly sources. This is where Google Scholar comes in. Like Google’s more studious cousin, Google Scholar (scholar.google.com) locates academic articles and other scholarly sources like books, theses, and court opinions. Google Scholar can also help generate citations for those tedious Reference pages.
Just like with Google searches, there are also advanced searches available for Google Scholar.
Intitle: Remember part of a source’s title but not the whole thing? Use “intitle:” followed by the key words you remember to find title’s including those words.
These are just a few ways that you can create more focused searches for academic papers or just for general research. Of course, you can always use Cook Library’s OneSearch and other databases, as well as course and subject gateways along with Google for a complete range of searches. Visit the library’s website: http://libraries.towson.edu