Teaching how to search online!


Preparation before taking the exam

There are some important areas where you can improve your work before you start writing. One is how to search using different search engines and another one is knowing what to look for. Before you start take a look at these two tutorials. Take time to discuss this with your class:

  1. UC BerkeleyEvaluating web pages
  2. Johns Hopkins; Evaluating Information Found on the Internet

Grammar and content

Spend some time looking at these pages before the exam, you will know what to look for and where to look.

  1. The English language, grammar, text types, analyze poetry, how to analyze a novel,
  2. Verb Tense Tutorial
  3. Global issues and media
  4. Work or study abroad , why study abroad
  5. Culture, social media
  6. Literature, film and music, how to analyze a film

You will be asked to write an essay.

How to search for reliable sources

When searching for information online most students use Google and settle for the first result they get. It is usually Wikipedia! Try all the search engines below using the same search words, phrases. Try to narrow your search using (and, or, not,site)! Based on your results make your own list of favorite search engines. Remember to triangulate. (What does that mean, discuss in class)

Boolify.org
Boolify.org (Photo credit: MrSchuReads)
  1. About.com
  2. Carrot search engine
  3. Quintura
  4. Boolify
  5. Mel Zoo
  6. Kngine
  7. Qwiki
  8. http://www.2lingual.com/
  9. Jawoco
  10. Reference.com
  11. Clusty
  12. Sweet search
  13. Refseek
  14. Wolfram|alpha
  15. Google scholar
  16. National Geographic

Planning your exam

  1. Read the whole exam paper carefully making sure you understand what to do and then choose the topic you want to write about
  2. Answer the short questions first. If you need, search for additional info online. Look at points above for text types and grammar. Remember to write in a formal tone and explain all your points thoroughly
  3. Before starting with your essay write a short outline.
    • What is the topic do you know what they are asking you to write about?
    • Think of a thesis, is it given or are you asked to make your own? Highlight it! Try Thesis builder. Or try this ProCon.org page for ideas
    • Research your topic, if you want to, start with wikipedia but find at least 2 others sources using your favourite search engines from the list above
    • Start writing and remember; introduction, body of essay, conclusion
    • Did they ask you to mention something specific like comment on added material? Be sure you answer all the questions and follow the instructions!
    • Research some more if your essay lacks good points, numbers, statistics
  4. Look over your essay and be sure to use the spell checker and synonyms functions in Word.. Right click on the word to get suggestions!
  5. Write all your references at the end of the essay. Use Word’s APA style, see video on how here. You can find info here as well.
  6. When you are done use PaperRater to see if you need improvements
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3 comments

  1. You list some really great resources here. It’s nice to be able to refer students to sites like these after a mini-lesson. Those who are not natural verbal learners can get quick and easy guidelines without waiting for the teacher to come around again.

    I suspect my 5th graders could use many of these sites well. The thesis builder totally rocks :).

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