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Search Tips

When you start a research project, one of the first things you should do is develop a research strategy. A big part of your research strategy will be choosing your topic and narrowing the scope of what you want to learn. You can do this by determining:

  1. What you know
  2. What you don't know
  3. The best resources to fill in your knowledge gaps


Google is a powerful search tool, which is often underutilized.

Here's a quick list of various filtering and advanced search features available to you.

  1. Filter results by type: images, video, news, etc.
  2. Narrow down results by country, and publication date
  3. Use "quotation marks" to search for an exact phrase
  4. Boolean operator OR helps when searching for synonyms
  5. A dash right before a -term, will exclude it from results  
  6. filetype: will search for specific files (e.g. pdf)
  7. site: will find info published on a specific site, or domain (e.g. .edu)
  8. Google Advanced Search is a guided search interface, which will help you search all of the above from one place

How to Evaluate Quality