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Visual Media Design

Finding Web Information

WEBSITES

In general, we recommend searching CCSF Library resources first, because they contain material that is not freely available on the open web. However, there is lots of material on the open web that is not in the library! Therefore, combining these efforts (searching library resources, and then searching the open web) can be effective.

See below for tips on search strategies for the web to get better results when you use Google and other search engines.

Recommended Web Sources

Constructing a Web Search

Searching for information on the web efficiently requires developing a search strategy. Take your topic and think how you will turn it into search terms. While you can certainly search the web by entering a question, a stronger search strategy would be to choose the most impactful words of your question, and shape it in a way that the search engine understands.

If your research question is "What is the best solution to homelessness in the Bay Area?" the most essential elements to find are solution, homelessness, and the Bay Area. It can help to brainstorm alternatives to the words IN your research question, because different words will surface different results in your search.

Search Word Chart Brainstorm

Keyword
(derived from the question)

solution homelessness Bay Area
Synonyms

ideas

proposals

legislation

program

homeless

unhoused

housing precarity

unsheltered

San Francisco

Oakland

East Bay

California (broader to see statewide analysis)

 

Note: the quotation marks around some search terms help tell the search engine that you want results with the words stuck together exactly as you have them.

Combining three of my search concepts, a sample Google search is shown below.

A sample Google search string: Unhoused and Program and "San Francisco"


Library & Learning Resources, City College of San Francisco
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