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Trissler: DigLit - 2020 Research Unit: Google Advanced Search

Google Shortcuts

2 Methods to Google Advanced Searching:


"Phrases of Two+ words"     site:gov (or other top level domain suffix/domain)       -term (eliminating term within search results)          truncation: rootofword*


a. Begin a search from the Google homepage search box; b. click on "Settings" and drop down/select "Advanced Search" , c. use box prompts

TIP #1: Keyword Search=Brainstorm

  1. Choose words you think will appear on the webpage.
  2. Focus on key ideas/concepts - no extra words (use nouns!)
  3. Consult subject database to collect more terms/"specific phrases"
  4. Do NOT include your entire research question - use only keywords
  • Do:  chocolate health benefits
  • Do NOT:  What are the health benefits of chocolate?

TIP #2: Use "Quotes" to Search for an "Exact Phrase"

Put quotes around two or more words to search for that exact phrase:

"dark chocolate"

"to be or not to be"


** ALWAYS use "      "

around exact names!

TIP #3: To Remove Unwanted Results : Use minus -

To remove unwanted results from search: Use minus - [Meaning: not/don't include]

To search salsa, but not salsa dancing

salsa -dancing

To search chocolate, but not white chocolate

          chocolate -white


NO SPACE between minus sign and unwanted word




TIP #4: Specify a Top Level Domain Suffix or Website

To search only .edu websites

site:edu   chocolate

To search only .gov websites

site:gov  chocolate

To search only a particular website - ex. National Institutes of Health  chocolate


  • NO SPACE between colon and domain/website
  • Works for any top level domain (.com, .org, .gov, .edu, .mil) or website


Google Search Tips Video

Number of Indexed Webarticles on the WWW

Alternate Search Terms & Phrases

Research Report Topic Options:

a.  Cyberbullying   

b. Digital Privacy

c. Digital Addiction(s)

d. Autonomous Cars



Alternate Search Terms & Phrases

Google Search Box

Mrs. T's Search term/"Search Phrase EXAMPLE: hack* -> digital -> privacy -> site:gov

Possible Research Report Topics:  Search Terms & Phrases.  Select population affected, too

TOPIC #1:  cyberbull*   OR   "cyber bullying"   ->   "social media" -> teen*

TOPIC #2: "digital privacy" -> "smart phone*"" -> "middle school"

TOPIC #4:  "digital addiction*"  ->   device* -> "social media" -> teen*

TOPIC #4: "autonomous cars" OR "autonomous vehicle*"  OR  "self-driving car*"



Choose: 1) your topic, 2) subtopic and 3) population to focus ishort report research

Use these search terms and "search phrase" to do a Google Power Search for a site:gov article

Print article, staple it to the handout

Record: Article title, website title, author, date, sponsoring organization

TIP #5: OR: Means MORE

Use OR to search synonyms of the same idea - Increasing Results: BOTH will appear!

"global warming" OR "climate change"

(all webpages with either "global warming" or "climate change" or both will appear!)


chocolate AND health OR benefits OR flavonoids

(both of the terms chocolate and health must be on the webpage and either benefits or flavonoids)


  • OR must be ALL CAPS

TIP #6: Truncation: Word Variations

Many words have multiple variations and how to do you pick the correct one?  To solve this problem, you can have Google search all variations from the root word by using a wildcard that most e-search interfaces recognize   an asterisk *.  For example, if you were searching for information on France's economy, you could search France econom

The econom*  search will find results with all forms of this root word:






DEMO: Three Google Short Code Searches

1) A New England based educational research center that specializes in deep ocean research using underwater vehicles operating at depths of 6,500 meters under the surface.


2) A government sponsored therapy dog training program in Rhode Island for veterans.

60 Second Warning

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