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How to Research: Find Websites

Just getting started on a research paper or project? Don't know where to start? This is the guide for you!

Find Websites

Use websites to find:

  • current information
  • government information
  • company and corporate information
  • information from professional organizations
  • personal and expert opinions

    Find websites using a search engine like Google or Yahoo!

      Search Engines

      Search engines are handy tools that help you find what you want on the Web.

      Each search engine, such as Google, uses software (called a spider or a robot) to compile a database of pages found on the publicly accessible Web. When you enter a search, the search engine scans its database to match your terms to terms in the pages of its database.

      Each search engine searches the part of the Web it has collected--not the whole Web--and each search engine has a somewhat different database.

      Most of the Library Guides by subject include recommended websites for research.

      Search Tips

      Be Specific

      • Use nouns and unique words
      • Put the most important words first
      • Use multiple terms when possible

      For example, if you were interested in "bias in newspapers" you could search for:
      newspapers bias slant censorship journalism

      Use Descriptive Words

      Use words that describe the kind of information you want.

        For example, use words like policy or research to find sites that might be more scholarly, or words like controversy, debate, or issue to find sites that cover both sides of an issue.

        Use Quotes for Phrase Searches

        To search for a phrase, use quotation marks. Many search engines will then search for the words within the quotation marks as a phrase, rather than as separate words.

          For example, "world health organization"

          Use Connectors

          Check the search engine's help feature to discover what connectors it supports and how to use them.