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Research Refinement

posted Sep 4, 2013, 4:05 PM by Josh Viles   [ updated Sep 7, 2013, 10:10 PM ]
Google, some say a gift from heaven. Others, like me is consider a mega-web crawler. Google, is a giant search engine, it crawls the web for whatever search query you ask of it,  I believe Google is a great way to do research if you use it correctly and learn to refine your search so that you may get the most correct, verified, and up to date information. Below are several research tricks that you can use in Google.

Research Refinement Tricks

If you want a keyword to be eliminated from your search Query use the minus sign (-). Say we are doing a report on Substance abuse, but alcohol keeps coming up to eliminate it from you search try this:

substance abuse -alcohol

You can add as many elimination query actions as you want.

If you want to broaden your search query you can use OR. OR must be capitalized to work, both the O and the R. Say again you are doing Substance abuse and you have Alcohol but want to broaden you can add OR to and broaden your search like so:

alcohol OR cocaine

Searching for Phases or Concepts
Say you are searching for a a concept or phrase if you encase it in quote ("") Google will search for the Phrase or Concepts. This is a great tool for Lyric Search as well. Say you have this phrase, "'Cause, baby, you're a firework Come on, show 'em what you're worth," If you put this phase in quotes in Google you will find out that is from the song Fireworks by Katy Perry.

"'Cause, baby, you're a firework Come on, show 'em what you're worth"

File-type Search
If you are looking for a certain file type on the web you can actually specified the file type in Google so you can get the information you want. Say I am doing research on Parliamentary Procedures. I have enough paper material, but I want to find a PowerPoint so I can a way to Tech it. I would search for this:
parliamentary procedure filetype:pptx

Common file Formats: Documents (.pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt, .rtf), Presentations(.pptx, .pdf), Spreadsheets(.xlsx), Photos (.jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, .tiff, .psd), there are several more if you are looking for a specific you can more than likely find it on the internet. 

If you can use the tools wisely, you can get lots of information, these tricks can also be used with Google Scholar as well which is an academic Google Search Engine, that only crawl academe approved sites.  Below in attachments is a cheat sheet of these tips with more on them. Feel free to experiments with these tricks and see what you can find. You can also get more search operators at the link below as well for more and in-depth guide to the operators.

Good Luck and Happy Researching.

with Best Regards,

Josh Viles,
Sep 4, 2013, 4:16 PM