Google also has some neat features and tips that can make searching easier.
- Putting quotes around a phrase searches for that exact phrase. It's especially useful when the phrase is made up of common words. Also, it forces Google to pay attention to punctuation: looking for Connect-Ed will only get you the word "connected," but if you put quotes around it, it will go to the Connect-Ed site.
- The minus sign has Google ignore a word. This can be useful if there are more than one versions of something. For instance, "Once a hero -moon" will focus on the TV show, not the Elizabeth Moon novel.
- Similarly, the plus sign forces a term to be in the results.
But Google isn't perfect. One issue is that you can never tell about how legitimate a site might be, and they sites you find may not have the right information for an academic paper. There are several options:
- Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com) searches through scholarly journals. In some cases, you will need a login to access them, but you'll find some good things using this earch.
- The Librarian's Internet Index (http://lii.org) is a comprehensive search engine/search directory of scholarly sites on subjects.
- Digital Librarian (http://www.digital-librarian.com/). List and search for reference sou by a librarian.
- Primary Souces on the Web (http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/instruct/guides/PrimarySourcesOnTheWeb.html). A list of websites for primary sources.