Today’s student perhaps cannot imagine the process of writing academic papers without the Internet. Moreover, most of them cannot imagine their education and even the whole life without the World Wide Web. In fact, a new generation has never used a computer that is not connected to the Internet. It needs saying that the Internet has replaced libraries or made most libraries go online. Internet search is a must when writing an academic paper. Even if a student is required to write about how he/she spent last summer vacations, the Internet can help. Specialized web sites offer writing tips, useful info on format and reference style requirements etc.
It should be noted that in order to efficiently surf the Internet and find the exact required information a person should know how to perform the Internet search. It looks easy at first glance. However, “just google it” approach does not always work. In this article we will talk about secrets of the Internet search for academic writing purposes.
Tip 1. Yes, Google is the most successful commercial search engine in the world. It covers 2/3 of all Internet searches. However, if you want to make your search extremely efficient, it would be reasonable to use other search engines (believe it or not, but they do exist). Bing or Yahoo can also do a great job, and search results might be different from those of Google. What if you find what you need in Yahoo search? So, why not try various search engines? Also, there exist specialized academic search engines. Google Scholar is perhaps the most famous of them. Google Books is another reliable resource to be used. If you can afford spending some money, paid online encyclopedias can offer something Google will never find. Questia is a very good choice if you really want to write a persuasive paper.
Tip 2. Use the right search words. Google and other search engines can do a great job in case you use the right search words. To see what search words are the best try different combinations of them. If a certain word combination gets just 5,000 results, there should be something wrong with it (unless you are searching for something really unique). Try to avoid prepositions and unnecessary words that will broaden your search. If you are looking for the exact phrase, frame such a phrase with quotation marks.
Tip 3. Use information from quality web pages only. It sometimes happens that poor quality web sites may top the list of search results. Contents of such web sites may match your keywords, and so they appear on the first Google page. Be sure to use information obtained from well reputed web sites. Also, pay attention to domain suffixes. Keep in mind that .edu and .com will probably be the best in an academic search. Try to avoid websites using free hosting.
Tip 4. Use advanced search. You may be not aware of it, but it is possible to search websites in particular languages, with certain domain suffixes and from different countries. This will surely narrow search results, thus making it easier to find information you are looking for.