Making the Most Out of Search Engines

Reading Chapter 10 of Research Strategies┬áhas been quite refreshing, especially since the research paper has been far from my mind with the brief vacation that we’ve had. I feel like I need to revise my outline in order to properly structure my paper better.

On the other hand, the classes we’ve had on using advanced internet searching and article databases have been quite helpful in finding evidence to use for my research topic. Instead of having to swim in the sea of the standard “type-my-topic-into-the-Google-box-and-pray-I-get-good-results” method, I can modify the search engine of my choice to leave out unnecessary or unwanted results, though in doing so I could be leaving out some really good ones out there.

What I really liked the most was discovering that I could opt to use only certain databases instead of relying on just EBSCO for my article database needs. While using a general database isn’t bad, I found that more often than not I need to sift through hundreds of unrelated articles that EBSCO picked up from databases that have nothing to do with my topic.

The big problem I have is figuring out what counts under “natural language.” It’s so easy to just refer to the terminology that’s already in use for my topic but then what would a normal person who’s either unaware of my topic or knows little about it would say? Would they use the terminology provided or come up with their own?

The fun part of the classes on advanced internet searching was discovering a new approach to finding information on topics in the future. I’ve actually taken advantage of being able to select only a particular database to search for a topic of interest and it’s proven to be quite useful.

I can say with utmost certainty that the classes have been a huge help, both in and out of classroom.

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2 Responses to Making the Most Out of Search Engines

  1. Ian Pei says:

    Finding other beneficial databases are always a bonus especially when you can find the ones relevant to your topic category. As you said, EBSCO is nice and all but can be very general and can also be seen as another google in a way. Just, slightly more refined. A way you can help the reader’s understanding of the language you use, you can state what you want then briefly describe it within commas or a sentence or two. Not only does this educate the reader of the specific terms, but it was also benefit the length of your paper as well.

  2. ibn4course says:

    I agree that people who know little about your topic would almost never have chosen the same words that make your search. And the opposite if any, would sure have invented their own use of language for the topic that other people will soon make the “standard” for your topic.

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