Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Search Before You Move On - Another Simple Search Tip for Students

In my previous post I shared that I like to have students create a list of things they know before they start to search. Once they move on to Googling things another common bad habit often rears its head. That is the habit of only glancing at the webpages they open from the search results page. Or worse yet, only reading the brief snippet that appears below the link in a search results page. The reason for this behavior that students often give is “it takes too long to read the whole page.” To remedy this teach your students to use “Control F” (Windows) or “Command F” (Mac) when they open a webpage from the search results page.

Control F or Command F allows you to search within any webpage for any letter, word, or phrase. Using this function can be quite helpful to students who want to determine whether or not a particular webpage contains information relevant to their research topics. Simply seeing the count of the number of times a word or term appears on a page can be an indicator of whether or not the page contains information relevant to a research topic.