The internet is a huge world of information and can help you with your research project in lots of ways. You can find lots of articles from online newspapers, magazines and journals. You can also access library catalogues, school, college and government websites that may have articles you can reference in your research.
The internet is more than about finding information. It can also be used to make contact with other students from different schools and talk about your research, share ideas and views. There are many blogs and chat rooms aimed especially at young people.
Using search engines
Sometimes, the internet can be very frustrating, but knowing which search engine to use will also help to get more accurate results. There are two types of search engines: subject guides/directories and search engines. Yahoo, for example, is a subject guide/directory and categorises lists of websites according to the search. Google, on the other hand, is a search engine whereby you can search for words or phrases on individual pages.
Filtering your search
The following are some tips for how to refine your results on the internet. However, some search engines work differently and use different symbols to those below, so make sure to read the guide for each search engine you use to get the most out of your search.
Exact Phrase: If you want a phrase or group of words to appear together on a page, put them into quotation marks in the search box.
e.g. “history of Ireland”
Including Words: You can refine your search by adding a + (plus) sign.
e.g. “history of Ireland”+Dublin
The search engine will find results that have both terms.
Excluding Words: Equally, if your search keeps bringing up results that are of no use to you, you can narrow the results by adding a – (minus) sign.
e.g. “history of Ireland”-Vikings
In this instance, the search engine will find results on the history of Ireland but without reference to Vikings
Multiple Words: You can search for webpages that include either word you put in your search by adding ‘or’.
e.g. Vikings Ireland OR England
This search will give you results with the word ‘Viking’ and either ‘Ireland’ or ‘England’
Timeframes: Searching within a specific timeframe is also possible, by adding three dots (...) between the dates.
e.g. Castles 1500-1700
Useful search engines for young people
Important notes to remember
Never give out personal details on the internet.
Make sure that the websites you use for your research are an authoritative source.
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