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Harray English 1A: Searching & Evaluating Resources

Quick Search Tips

  • More Search Terms = Fewer Results: 

Start with a simple search, and add search terms to focus your results.


  • Search with just the important words (keywords), don’t use sentences:

Example: “social mobility” AND education; instead of ‘does education level affect social mobility?’ 


  • Quotation Marks - Use quotation marks to tell the computer to keep the words together: 

Example: “social mobility,” “trigger warnings” 


  • Too many search results? Combine keywords using the word AND to narrow your results to more specific aspects of your topic: 

Example: “income inequality” AND immigration; education AND income AND happiness


  • Still not enough search results? Combine similar keywords using the word OR to broaden your search results

Example: DACA OR Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals


Evaluating Resources (the CRAP Test)


  • When was the resource created?
  • Is it new enough for your topic?


  • Is this fact or opinion? 
  • Does the author provide references? Are the references good?


  • Who is the author? 
  • Are they an expert?


  • Is the resource biased? 
  • Are they trying to sell you something? 
  • Trying to convince you?