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Communication 104: Web Search Tips & Web Links

Advanced Google Search Techniques

Phrase searching ""

Surround your terms in quotation marks to ensure Google keeps the words together. Phrase searches using quotation marks are useful when searching for famous sayings or specific names.

Example: searching for "art history" and "south carolina" will return only pages that have those exact phrases.


Restrict your returns to a specific domain. E.g. site:edu, org.

Example: childhood poverty and statistics site:gov


Limit your search to a particular file extension, such as .pdf, .jpg, .ppt,.

Example: Matisse filetype:ppt

Political Fact Checking Sites

Debate & Pro/Con Websites

    Coverage of "controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan primarily pro-con format." Areas covered include business, health and medicine, law, politics, religion, science and technology, sex and gender, and sports.
    Public Agenda Online provides eighteen issue guides that cover topics such as crime, education, environment, immigration, social security, and welfare. Each issue guide contains an overview of the issue, a news digest of recent stories, background data, various perspectives on the issue, resources for more information, and analyses of related public opinion drawn from major public opinion polls.

Undergraduate Research Engine

 The Undergradute Research Engine is a customized Google search engine that will limit your web search results to websites that are authoritative sources for college-level work. Simply type in your topic into the search box, click the magnifying glass or press enter, and your college-level results will populate.

Academic Subject Directories

These are collections of websites that are created and maintained by librarians to support the needs of researchers. These are helpful because they serve a quality control function by listing only credible websites.