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Online Research and Keyword Search Techniques
Online Research and Keyword Search Techniques

Online Research and Keyword Search Techniques Activity: Research Basics: Where In the World (Wide Web) Is…?

Instructions for Your Students

What's Going on Today

Looking for info today is way different than it was in your dear old granny's day. She probably went to the library and flipped through paper card catalogs looking for books that might be useful. Talk about slow. And boring. Researching on the Internet is way more interesting, but there's also an unlimited amount of information to sift through. The good thing is that you can arm yourself with all the techniques you need to make searching online easy, quick, fun, and useful.


When your instructor asks you to go to the websites below, open them in your browser.


Researching Small Questions. After racing to find the answers about Taco Bell, Edgar Allan Poe, and Michael Jackson, discuss these questions:

  1. Was it easy or hard to find the information that you were looking for?
  2. What kinds of words or phrases did you put into the Google search box? Did you notice any kinds of search terms that worked best? (Full sentences? Single words?)
  3. What kinds of sites did you get information from?
  4. Why did you select the sites that you did? (Force of habit? Someone in the group knew them? Got tired and got overwhelmed? Just picked the first result?)
  5. Did you ever get stuck? What did you do when you got stuck?

Researching Bigger Questions. After sifting through websites to find information relevant to your big research question, discuss these questions:

  1. How did trying to research a big question compare to researching a small question?
  2. Did you have to look through more sites to find helpful information?
  3. Was it harder to know what to type into the Google search box? What kinds of words or phrases worked best for you?
  4. How did you decide which search results to click on and which ones to skip?
  5. How did you decide which sites to bookmark?
  6. When you started reading in depth the websites that you bookmarked, were they useful sites or not so good? If they weren't good, what about the sites tricked you the first time around, so that you were convinced to bookmark them?
  7. Did you ever get stuck? If so, what did you do to get unstuck?
  8. Was it helpful to search only by images or only by videos?