Learn: Web Research
The Power of Search EnginesIf you're on the Web and don't know how to find what you're looking for, you need a good search engine. There are dozens out there, and each one is useful in its own way, helping you find what you're looking for. They're easy to use, and many of them give you intelligent results. If you can't find information on an issue you're researching, we recommend the following engines:
When you visit a search engine, you will see something like this on your screen:
To search for information on a topic, you can simply type it into the box, and click the Search button. (The ones on this page don't actually do anything, they're just for show.) If you were searching for information on the Three Gorges Dam issue, you could visit any search engine and simply type...
...and then click the Search button. This would search the Web and give you addresses of pages that talk about the Three Gorges Dam. If you ever have trouble finding something you're searching for, changing your search terms will almost always help. If you're getting lots of results that aren't what you want, be more specific. Instead of the above, you could enter:
...which would be more likely to match a specific area. On the other hand, if you got no results or few results you could enter less-specific terms, such as:
...which would bring more results, but less specific ones.
Many search engines, like Altavista and HotBot, have very powerful advanced search tools that let you search more specifically and (sometimes) more accurately. We won't get into these in detail here, but they can be very intuitive or very overwhelming. HotBot's has lots of options, and is easy to understand.
And those are the basics of searching the Web!