During college, we have to rely on the internet a lot to find the information we need for assignments, essays and to understand our coursework. Many of us don’t know how to search for information efficiently and effectively, and so, here is a list to help you do just that:
Know What You’re Looking For
If you don’t fully understand the subject you are searching for information on, it is important to pinpoint exactly what it is that you don’t understand. Often, our muddled thoughts can get in the way of a clear search-term, and the list of answers on the first page of Google will do more harm than good. Think clearly about what exactly you need information on and try to search for that specific thing.
Use the Right Search Engine
There is a wide variety of search engines and websites you can use to find the material you’re looking for. Many of us are foolish to think that we are restricted to using Google for text sources only; however, you can use a range of methods and sources for an assignment. Not only can you use Google, you can also take advantage of YouTube (for music, documentaries, etc), SoundCloud, JStor, Google Books and countless online academic resources specific to universities.
Read Before You Reference
Don’t solely rely on the key search terms that will be generated when you’re looking for sources for an assignment. Read every source, even if you’re just looking to fill a page of your bibliography. It may have the key search terms in its title; however, the content of the article may not have any merit in relation to your subject.
Reference Everything You Read & Use
This is an obvious one for many, but make sure you reference everything you’ve read in your search. Most plagiarism checkers do a quick web search of the entire content of an article to find anything that looks copied. So make sure that you reference anything that inspires your assignment or essay, even if only vaguely.
Use Clear Search Terms
If you’re searching for information on a subject, instead of using an incoherent or colloquial sentence, try to keep your search terms as academic as possible. If you do this, you will be more likely to draw academic results.
Hopefully these tips will help you maximize your ability at searching for the right information!
All the best,