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A Student Researcher's Guide to Google Searching: Getting Started

Essential Resources

Google Help: Cheat Sheet (download)

This PDF lists many common operators, such as OR and quotation marks, that can be used to create more effective Google searches.

Google Help Page

A page offering "How to" guides that give instructions for customizing your Google seraches. The page's "Tips for searching" section is particularly helpful.

Learn: Insider's Guide to the Library

Whether you're looking for articles in a specific subject area or are just trying to figure out how to use the UIUC catalog, this guide will help you with anything that relates to research in the library.

Other Search Tools

Yahoo Directory - Unlike Google, Yahoo Directory contains websites that are indexed by humans and placed into categories. This can be a much more productive way of searching for information depending on what you're looking for.

ipl2 - ipl2 has both a search function and a directory similar to Yahoo's directory. In addition, ipl2 offers a reference service that allows users to ask ipl2 librarians research questions.

DuckDuckGo - For users with privacy concerns, DuckDuckGo is a search engine that offers functionality similar to Google but has a no-tracking policy for users' searches. This search engine also avoids what is known as the filter bubble and, unlike Google, displays the same results for all users.

About This Guide

Welcome to the Communication Library's Google Searching Libguide!

This guide is meant to help students make the most of their Google searches. While this guide will be useful to students of any discipline, it is geared especially toward students in the Department of Communication and the College of Media.

Click on the tabs above to access tools that will show you how to conduct more efficient and effective Google searches. If you're not sure what the purpose of a certain tab is, read on in the description section below this box.

Description of Libguide Content

Google Advanced Search

For users wanting to learn how to conduct more sophisticated Google searches that will improve your ability to find useful information, this page is full of tips that will help you become more adept at using Google's "Advanced" search function. Topics covered include how to search by phrase, how to exclude terms from your search results, how to search Google for a specific file type, and much more.

Useful Googe Tools

This page lists and describes various tools offered by Google. Some of these tools, such as Google Scholar, are resources that students are likely to be at least somewhat familiar with, while other lesser-known tools, such as Google Fusion Tables and Public Data Explorer, can be extremely helpful in allowing you to organize and visualize your reserach. 

General Search Strategies

The search strategies on this page will help you in any field with any of your research. Here, some advanced searches are demonstrated using the operators discussed in the Google Advanced Search Libguide page, as well as information-seeking strategies that will guide you to using the most productive queries to find information.

Search Strategies for Comm. and Media

This section introduces Google research tools that can help students in Journalism, Advertising, Communication, and Film and Media Studies. (A bit of advice related to this page: Try doing a Google search for the kind of tool you want to use. If it has to do with statistics, data, or research, there is a chance that Google has already released a tool to do what you're looking for.)

References Page 

For those interested in further reading or who are looking for ways to improve their Google search skills. If you've found this Libguide helpful or have any comments, please take our survey on this page.

Subject Guide

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