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Preparing To Search The Internet

Helping Students Search

Mrs. Kotsch
Librarian St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School c2004

Surfing is not searching.

Computers download information

They do not teach you to think. Computer education imparts technical skills; It does not impart knowledge.
John Rosemond

Not all the information that exists in the world is on the Internet-Not all the information that is on the Internet is accurate.
Mrs. Kotsch

An hour on the Web may not answer a question that you could find within two minutes of picking up a reference book.

Getting Started Searching

URLs Searching techniques Search engines

Uniform Resource Locator The web address that connects you with a website Goes in the address bar at the top of the screen Gives you information about the website

Parts of a URL
http://--hypertext transfer protocol:

the language computers use to talk to one another

wwwworld wide web:

the body of information connected by the cables and computers of the Internet

.starwarsdomain name:
the structured, alphabetic-based, unique name for a computer on a network


level domain:

gives an idea of where the document is stored

a folder within a website

markup language:


the computer language used to format documents

Top Level Domains

.eduhigher education .k-12elementary and secondary schools .comcommercial .govgovernment agency .milmilitary .orggeneral noncommercial organization .netcomputer network

Who Pays For The Internet?

Advertisers pay for Internet websites. Popups and banners are trying to influence your spending habits. The information on commercial sites--.commay be presented in such a way as to encourage you to buy a particular product. Be wary of URLs with a ~ in the addressthis indicates a personal homepage and does not guarnantee accuracy.

How Do You Find What You Need?

Libraries and department stores are planned. No one is in charge of organizing the Internet. Well-prepared searches will eliminate useless hits and wasted time.

Before you search, you need to:

Prepare Organize Combine

What do you need to know about your topic? Make a list of all the terms connected with your topic. Include names, organizations, and phrases.

Make a list of the words that are critical to your search. Note terms that you dont want to see appear. Discard the rest.

For example
If you are looking for information about life on the planet Mars, you dont want sites popping up about the Roman god of war.
Put that in your list of words you dont want to see. What other words might be connected with your topic that will send you to useless sites?

Use Boolean operators to combine your most important terms.
Use Use Use Use Use AND to connect the terms you want to see. NOT to exclude terms you dont want. OR to include similar terms. quotation marks around names or phrases lower case for all proper nouns, except for acronyms

For example

mars AND planet AND life NOT god

But what if

you WERE looking for information about the Roman god of war? The Greeks referred to him as Ares, so now your search will look like this.

mars OR ares AND god of war

Notice the quotation marks around the phrase god of war

What Do You Use To Search?

Search engines Search directories Metasearchers

Search Engines
Are like the index in the back of a book Let you search for specific words and topics Use robots known as spiders to search for information.

Alta Vista Excite Hotbot Infoseek

Search Directories-Are like the table of contents in front of a book

Let you search for concepts or subject categories

Go from general to specific. Sites are added by people.

Internet Public Library

Instead of looking through the categories in a search directory, you can put in your terms in their search bar, but it will only look through the sites that have been included within that directorynot the entire web, unless indicated.

Metasearchers- Sends your search terms to several other search engines at once. Gives an overview of a topic across the Internet.

Profusion Dogpile Metacrawler

Hits are returned and ranked according to- How How How How many times terms appear on the page often terms appear close terms are to each other near the top of the page the terms are found

The best results will appear on the first page or two of hits No two search engines are alike. Try another search engine, or rephrase your terms if you dont get good results.

More Searching Help- 7 Steps to Better Searching

Evaluating Websites
Let the buyer beware
Book publishers weed out inaccurate information. No one checks the Internet for accuracy.

Before you start using the information--


Who is the author?

Is he an authority on the subject? Does she have an e-mail address?

Is the information accurate?

Can it be verified in an encyclopedia? Is it relevant to your topic? Does the author indicate where he found the information?

Is the information prejudiced?

Is it trying to persuade you to another point of view? Is it trying to persuade you to buy a product?

Is the information current?

When was the last time the website was updated? Are the links broken?

Evaluation Website
Quality Information Checklist
Benefits of Colloidal Silver Burger King Introduces

Copyright Issues
What can you copy? Give credit to what you have used.

Is the legal right of an author or artist to control the copying and use of their creative works. Taking something without permission is theft, including text and pictures from the Internet. Using someone elses words without giving credit is called plagiarism. Fair Use concept lets teachers and students use portions of copyrighted works without permission.

What is protected by copyright?

Literary works Computer software Musical works Dramatic works Motion pictures Sound recordings

Before you copy, check the Fair Use Guidelines:

Am I using this for a nonprofit, educational purpose? Am I only using a small portion? Will the creator be deprived of future profits?

What can students copy?

A single , hard copy for personal or educational use. Limited amounts of websites. Copies cannot be used for public or commercial use. Students must cite the source of their information. For multi-media projects:
Video clips10% or three minutes Music10% but no more than 30 seconds. Text10% or 1000 words

For copyright help, refer to:

The diocesan copyright policy COPYRIGHT FOR SCHOOLS, by Carol Simpson Copyright Bay Copyright Kids Cyberbee Copyright

Citing a website
Last name, first name of author.
If there is no author listed, begin with the title.

Title of article within the website.

Put quote marks around the title

Name of website.
Underline the name

Date article was written.

Put the date first, then abbreviate the month.

Date you accessed the article. URL.

If the URL wont fit on one line, break it at a slash. Include the entire URL, not just the one for the home page.

More Help For Works Cited:

MLA Style Citation Machine

Adams, Joyce. How Vatican II changed the face of the
Catholic Church. Catholic News Service. 2 Sept. 2003. 13 Oct. 2003 <

vatican.html> .

Staying Safe On-line

Dont give out personal information.
(phone number, address, pictures)

Use Christian courtesy in e-mails and chat rooms. Dont arrange to meet with someone from online without telling your parents. Do tell your parents about inappropriate websites that you run across. Be careful what you post in a public forum. *

You leave electronic footprints wherever you go on the web.

Works Cited
Jones, Debra. Exploring the Internet. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 1999. Simpson, Carol, and McElmeel, Sharron L. Internet for Schools: A Practical Guide, 3rd ed. Worthington, Ohio: Linworth Publishing,Inc., 2000.

Adams, Helen, and Beyers, Catherine. Lesson 2: Finding Information on the Internet. American Library Association. Dec. 15, 2003. < html>.

Dodge, Bernie. Seven Steps to Better Searching. San Diego State University College of Education. July 8, 1999. 15 Nov. 2001.< sevensteps.htm.>

Knowledge is power. Librarians Rule.