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ENG101: College Writing (Forman)

Where to Start

Google is a good place to start your research, but here are a few tips for smart searching in google!

  • Wikipedia sources are most often better than the Wikipedia page itself
  • Use "site limiting" to limit your google search results to specific domains (ie., .gov's or .edu's)
  • Practice the SIFT method of searching to find the best result

Site Limiting

Site limiting is simply a command you can give to google which limits what domains it looks for your search terms in. In the screen shot below I am interested in the connections between factory farming practices and infectious diseases. The best place for sources for that is likely going to be .gov websites. So I will limit my Google search using the command site:.gov. 

This image shows a search in google for factory farm AND disease site:.gov, which limits the search to government sites only

The SIFT Method

The SIFT Method is by far the best method for researching in digital sources.  It was invented by Mike Caulfield of Washington State University, to help researchers quickly make decisions about wether or not a source is worth our time and attention. 

This image explains the SIFT Method. Stop. Investigate the source. Find better coverage. Trace claims, quotes, and media to the original context.

Online Verification Skills with Mike Caulfield