This tutorial presents the substance of the web searching workshop (
) offered by the
Teaching Library at the University of California at Berkeley. The content on this site has been
reflect the latest trends in search engines, directories, and evaluating web pages. We call the workshop
"Research-quality Web Searching" to reflect our belief that there is a lot of great material on the Web -
primary sources, specialized directories and databases, statistical information, educational sites on many
levels, policy, opinion of all kinds, and so much more - and tools for finding it are steadily improving.
Recommended Search Strategy:
- Comparison table of recommended search engines; how search engines work
- Table comparing some of the best human-selected collections of web pages
- Use at your own risk: not recommended as an alternative to directly using
- What it is, how to find it, and its inherent ambiguity (searchable databases on the
Evaluating Web Pages: Why and How
evaluation checklist forms (PDFs)
(MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian)
Handouts and PowerPoints used in our Current Classes
The Five-Step Search Strategy We Recommend
Step #1. Analyze your topic to decide where to begin
(PDF file) as a guide in analyzing your topic.
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have distinctive words or phrases?
, unique meaning
, specific, accepted meaning in word cluster
have NO distinctive words or phrases you can think of? You have only common
or general terms that get the "wrong" pages.
"order out of chaos"
, used in too many contexts to be useful
, retrieves a myth, a rock group, a person, etc.
seek an overview of a broad topic?
victorian literature, alternative energy sources
specify a narrow aspect of a broad or common topic?
, want current research, future designs, not how to recycle or oil
recycling or other community efforts
have synonymous, equivalent terms, or variant spellings or endings that need to