Rather than putting a full sentence into an online search box, it can be more productive to focus your topic down into a few search words. To combine them, follow these search tips:
icon from Google
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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 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.
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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.
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.