Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Search School: Make Predictions

So far in this Search School series, I have covered how to use words and phrases, not whole sentences, when searching. I have also showed how to use nouns, pronouns and words that are unique. This time I want to discuss making predictions when you search. In other words, ask yourself who would write a web page about the information you need and why?


Let's say you are looking up information about giraffes. It is an assignment for your Biology class and you know you need some basic facts about your assigned animal and some other interesting tidbits as well.

Ask yourself, "who would want to share information about animals?"

People who work at zoos and scientists who study animals (zoologists) would be your best bet. Websites from zoos, natural history museums, organizations that protect wildlife and other places that would employ scientists or related careers would be good sources of information.

Based on these assumptions, you might try several different strategies. Search for…

giraffe"natural history museum"
giraffa camelopardalis
(the scientific name you found in your textbook)
giraffe conservation
More Strategies

You might ask these questions too.

Is your topic currently in the news?
Use a news search engine like Google News

Is it an historical event?
Look for sites that that specialize in history or online reference sources like Answers.com

Do you need results from research studies or scholarly analysis?
Try Google Scholar.

Do you need some quality resources or some assistance figuring out where to start?
Try Noodle Quest to plan a strategy. Or use Sweet Search to limit your search to high quality sites.

Or you could just as a librarian. We know a few things about searching too.

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