Not all the of the information you find on the Internet is accurate, up-to-date and reliable. It is important to evaluate your information before you decide to use it in your assignment.
Learn more by completing our interactive tutorial Evaluating your resources.
Always check the URL of a website to determine what type of site the information is coming from:
Sites with a ~ in the address usually indicate a personal website
Examples: "climate change" , "mass media"
Use quote marks to search for a phrase (a set of words in a specific order). This helps you find relevant information in the appropriate context.
Tip: very useful when searching for a line from literary works or song lyrics, e.g. "to be or not to be"
Example: seabed OR seafloor
To search for pages containing either word add OR (capitalised as otherwise it is ignored).
Tip: if you do not use OR, your results will generally show pages containing both terms.
Examples: population site:gov , research development site:edu
Include the word site to search for information within a specific top-level domain such as .org, .gov etc.
Top: you can also search for information within a single website, e.g. mining boom site:theaustralian.com.au .
Examples: nutrition -recipes , wildcats -basketball
To exclude a word from your results list, add a dash (-) in front of the word you wish to exclude.
Tip: this also works based on other search methods, e.g. to exclude a site from a particular search: skin cancer -site:wikipedia.org
Examples: if searching for an image, video, map, book etc.
Conduct targeted searches by using the categories provided, e.g. news, photos, images, maps, rather than the full web search function. You will find these options above the Google search box or in the drop-down menu under More.
Tip: you can also narrow down your results to these categories after you have done a search. The Search Tools function in the results list also allows you to narrow down by date.
Examples: dental hygiene filetype:ppt , architecture portfolio filetype:pdf
To search for a specific type of file, add the word filetype to your search followed by the three letter file abbreviation such as pdf, ppt or xls.
Tip: You can also search for animated files, e.g. tsunami filetype:swf