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Savvy Searching: Savvy Searching 3

Developing info-savvy students - with a senior focus.

Savvy Searching Techniques

Developing Info-Savvy Students

with a Senior Focus: Part 3



Savvy Searching Part 2



"The problem with Google is that it does some things so well it is easy to see it as the primary tool of research. 
The point of senior research is not in getting an answer.. it's not even about getting the right answer.

Students need to learn how to learn - how to access, analyse and interpret the information - and how to distinguish authoritative from non-authoritative sources."

Boolean search terms VS.
punctuation methods

Boolean searching is generally replaced in a Google/ search engine search with punctuation.

Read here for a clear explanation of how the "AND" and "OR" are replaced with punctuation in a search engine search.

Google no longer recognises the "NOT" Boolean term.

Advanced Google  

Keyword vs subject searching:

What's the difference?

Subject headings describe the content of each item in a database. Use these headings to find relevant items on the same topic.  Searching by subject headings (descriptors) is the most precise way to search article databases.

It is not easy to guess which subject headings are used in a given database. For example, the phone book's Yellow Pages use subject headings. If you look for "Movie Theatres" you will find nothing, as they are listed under the subject heading "Theatres - Movies."

Keyword searching is how you typically search web search engines.  Think of important words or phrases and type them in to get results.

Here are some key points about each type of search and their differences.


A Google tutorial: 17 minutes

Full link here to video and text


For teachers

Alan November has endorsed the need to work closely with students on Google searching. His comments are here, as he "tackles a pervasive problem — students who graduate high school and enter college or their careers without adequate search skills."