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Search > Material Results >

Using Search Engines - A Tutorial > Search Engines


Using Search Engines - A Tutorial > Search Engines

Logo for Using Search Engines - A Tutorial > Search Engines
This site describes how to use Boolean operators and other advanced features with search engines that support them. It includes links following specific items that go to another page with instructions on the left side and the Altavista search engine on the right. Therefore the users can immediately practice and test their understanding of these items in an interactive mode.
Material Type: Simulation
Technical Format: HTML/Text
Date Added to MERLOT: July 17, 2000
Date Modified in MERLOT: September 02, 2007
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Submitter: Ralph Westfall



Primary Audience: College General Ed
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Technical Requirements: Computer wiith a web browser and Internet connection. The browser must support frames.
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: no
Accessiblity Information Available: no
Creative Commons: unsure


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Avatar for Ralph Westfall
14 years ago

Ralph Westfall (Faculty)

This page is part of a larger tutorial on Web Search Strategies. Although much
of the material in the rest of the tutorial may be well known already, the content of this particular page is useful because it covers advanced searching techniqes (especially Boolean logic) that many people do not know how to

Another useful aspect of this page is that it provides links to practice the advanced search techniques. Each of these links is placed just after the section of text explaining the technique, so the user can immediately practice what has been learned.

When the user clicks one of the practice links, a new page opens up with two frames. The left frame contains instructions on how to practice the technique, and the right frame consists of a live instance of the Altavista search engine. The user can enter practice queries into this search engine, and quickly see the actual effects of these techniques on the search results.

Technical Remarks:

The instruction and practice materials are targeted toward the Altavista search engine. However some of the concepts are used by many search engines, so the material is generalizable.