As you do research you do, you may discover that there is a range in quality of information available. Some sites are fascinating; some are full of nonsense; some just repeat other sites' information and waste your time.

Remember: the better the information you find, the more interesting your work will be--and the more interesting you will be.

This site gives some excellent guidelines for how to know the site you are using is good.
Evaluating Internet Sites for Research
What that guide says in part is:
  • Is it a personal site? Some of these are excellent and some are not.
  • Is the information credible?
  • Is it a commercial site? Some commercial sites have points of view that may not serve you well.
  • Is it a government site? Sometimes government information also has a point of view that you may not wish to repeat.
  • Who wrote the page?
  • Is the information updated?

Keep track of what sites you use for the paper.


Some searching tricks:
If you find that you are not getting the right kind of search results, rethink the words you used. Are you using words that are too common? Can you use different words, or fewer words?

If you look up a phrase or a person's name,
  • enclose the phrase in " " (Example: "Social class" or "Inca fabric")
To exclude a word
  • put a - (negative sign) before the word. ("social class" -middle) for searches about social classes without the word middle
To give a term priority
  • put a + (plus) before the word. It means must include. ("Social class" +inca)