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ENGL 102 - English Composition II - Wilt

Google Search Tips

Word Choice Matters

How you talk about something might be different than how an expert talks about it. Information from experts tends to use more formal language and targets a specific aspect of something, but in everyday language, we typically use more general terms. The results about life expectancy are more general than those for the actuarial life table.  

All Words are Used

Most of the time, words like "the" "a" and "an" are ignored, since they aren't seen as contributing meaning. However, when you search in google, every word is searched on. In some cases, those words have less impact on the search, but there is a big difference between searching for the who and a who.

Punctuation (but not capitalization) Can MakeĀ a Big Difference

Capitalization doesn't make a difference in your search, but some punctuation can make a really big difference! You can use the # to search hashtags, quotation marks to search for an exact phrase, or the minus sign to remove a word from your search. You can learn more on how to refine web searches from Google. 

Google's Advanced Search

Getting There

The easiest way is to simply search for [ google advanced search ], but it can be accessed from the google home page by clicking on the Settings icon  and choosing 'Advanced Search' from the menu.

Search Types

You can use the advanced search to help Google understand what you are looking for by telling it how it should combine your search words. Google automatically searches for words individually, but you may find it helpful to make it use an exact phrase or exclude certain words.

Narrow your Results

You can further limit your results to file types, date ranges, website types, regions, and more. This can help to get information in a certain way or from a certain place.