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Library Guides

Internet Searching Tips

Tips to help make your internet searches more effective.

When to Use the Internet Versus the Capella Library

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The Internet is easy to search, but the quality of information varies widely, so it's important to evaluate websites with a critical eye. For a checklist of things to watch out for, see this guide: Evaluating Internet Sources 

If you need to use scholarly or peer-reviewed articles, the best place to search is still Capella University Library.

Tips for Effective Internet Searching

Internet Search Engines  

 

Tips To Make Internet Searches More Effective

Searching the web has some similarities to searching library databases, so you can use some of the same research strategies. Here are a few helpful search techniques that are good for both Internet search engines and the library databases:
 
  • Choose only the most relevant words that describe your topic or information need and eliminate generic words.  See the library guide, Choose Keywords to find out more.
  • Use double quotation marks around words that you want to be searched as a phrase (e.g. "school choice”“family therapy”, etc.).
  • Look past the first page of results if necessary!  It's tempting to look at the first 10 results and pick one that looks "good enough", but you may be missing relevant results from other pages.
 
Here are some search tips specific to using Internet search engines--and not recommended for use in advanced library database searches:
  • Don't be afraid to use more than two or three words in a search box, as long as they are relevant to your topic.
   Example:  If you want statistics about juvenile arrest rates by state, try the words: statistics juvenile arrests state
 
Image of search in Google
  • Add a specific domain (.gov, .edu) or file type (.pdf, .ppt) to your search to move those results to the top.
             Example: statistics unemployment .gov 
 
   Image of search in Bing             

Citing the Internet

How can I cite an Internet source so that others can find it later?

Internet resources are quite dynamic, so sites may change addresses or disappear entirely. Be sure to take note of the title, author, date, complete URL (web address) and the date you viewed the material. That way, even if you can't find the web page again, you'll still have the information you need to include a complete citation in your reference list.  

Once you have your information, check out this APA Style Blog post about citing websites.