Now, you will begin by using the word lists you generated in the previous article to help you locate relevant articles in Google. We will go into more detail about this at the end of these series. But, for now, in the overall view, you want to be able to be able to decide whether the URL you open in the research results is going to aid you in writing an article or not later on.
For that, you need to keep in mind whether it matches your needs, as stated in the descriptive phrase at the top of your document. If the information is too general, not for your particular audience, or too detailed for your descriptive phrase than this can be a reason not to include it in your stored research. In that case, you will need to either drill down more into Google or put different words or phrases in the Google search engine. The exact strategy for this will be detailed at the end of these series.
However, if the information does match your needs, then you will want to store a few bits of Information for later use.
Include Matches in Your Research Document
You finally found something relevant! Well, now you have to include it in your research document by cutting and pasting the ENTIRE article into the document. That’s why you need something more than Notepad. You will want to include the URL at the top so that if you ever need to locate the document again online, you can. And, for the last step to organize this research article to make it most effective, you will want to highlight all the parts of the article that you found most helpful in your research. The reason for that is that later when you are writing, you don’t have to re-read the entire article. You can just skim the highlighted sections and find what you want much more quickly.
Get The Most from Google
Google has various features that make it ideal for researching. On the main screen, you can see three of these features: Advanced Search, Preferences, and Language Tools. The most important of these is the Advanced Search feature, but we’ll discuss all three.
The advanced search allows you to refine the criteria that the search engine uses to return a set of results. Instead of just putting in a key phrase or keywords from your word list, you have the option to see a visual guide that serves the same function as some of the operator we’ll discuss later. For instance, you can exclude certain words in your search. You can have one or another set of words be included in your search results. You can even tell Google which format file to include in your search results. You can also use Google to search for a particular domain or website on the Internet and ignore all others. This can be great if you want to only look for videos on YouTube or even just pull up articles from domains with a.edu extension.
One of the nicest things you can do with the Advanced Search feature is that you can tell Google to add more results per page. So, if the standard 10 results slow down your research, you can pull it up to 20 or even 50. It will take longer to load but you’ll spend less time hitting the next page option too. It will give you a quick view as to whether the keyword or phrase you are using is worth continuing with or to move on quickly to another.
There is also a place in preferences to set the number of results per page. And, there is also a way to have the results open in a different browser window. If you use Internet Explorer, this will load a whole new copy and then open the window, slowing things down. If you use Firefox, it will open the new page in a different tab, making your search that much more convenient, if it doesn’t apply. You don’t have multiple copies of the browser loaded and you can easily view the results and the articles from different tabbed pages.
In this area, you can tell Google that you are only interested in articles written in English, or any other language in the “search language” area. This is also the place where you will find out how to block results with explicit sexual content. Since many of those sites also contain viruses and tracking cookies that can bog up your research by infecting your computer with hidden programming that hogs your memory and slows your machine to a crawl. So, you can have it use Strict filtering if you know that’s not the topic you’re researching.
This area isn’t as important as the other two areas, but you should know something about it. It does offer you a language translator, in case you get back an article in a different language that you want to read. It’s typically easier to avoid non-native speaking articles to keep your research moving quickly though unless there’s some reason why a foreign article is appropriate to your topic.