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Help: From the Web

Searching For Websites

There are many ways to search the internet to get good quality information that will be useful for your assignments. This page will give you some internet searching tips and show you a few different search engines. 

Most students head straight to Google when they need to research a topic. The videos below will help you make the most of your Google searches, and they show you how to use Wikipedia wisely.

What is a Search Engine?

A search engine is a web-based tool that enables users to locate information on the World Wide Web.  They use automated sofware (referred to as robots, bots or spiders) that travel along the Web, following links from page to page, site to site. The information gathered is used to create a searchable index of the Web (info from Designhammer).

Google is the most popular search engine but there are many others. You can search Google from the search box below:

Google Web Search

Have a look at Google's Tips & Tricks and Search Help pages to improve the quality of your searches. 

Other search engines include Bing, Yahoo!, and InfoSpaceLet's look at some of our faves below:

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha brings back the facts. Whether you are looking for demographic information on a country, drug interactions or the solution to a maths problem you will find it using Wolfram Alpha. You can put a search straight into the box above.

You can also find Wolfram Alpha apps for a wide range of subjects:

Specialist Search Sites:

Duck Duck Go

Duck Duck Go doesn't collect personal information or track your history. It aims to get you to good search results with fewer clicks. 

Try it out by entering a search in the box above.

How to Get Good Results From Google

Google can be a great starting point for any research project. But if you're looking for more refined, credible, and useful information you've gotta get familiar with Google's "search operators" -- basically ways to target your search. This video covers the four most essential search operators and provides examples for how they can help narrow down your results to sources that'll be most helpful.


['Essential Google Search Tricks for Research" by Common Sense Education]


What Alternatives are There to Google?

These are the Top 5 web browsers for your computer. This year there were quite a few changes. Instead of being based on popularity, we’ll count these down based on numerous factors including performance, the number of useful features, privacy and security, and cross platform support. All are free and available on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

['Top 5 Best Web Browsers (2023)" by Brett in Tech]

How to Use Wikipedia Wisely #1

You can get some good sources of information by using Wikipedia wisely. The video above will show you how. The narrator talks fast but he shares some good advice.


['Using Wikipedia For Academic Research' by CLIP]

More Info About How to Evaulate Websites

How to Find Good Quality Info Online


A short video on why just using Google isn't always a good idea when you're doing university assignments. For more information on finding reliable sources and researching effectively, visit the Learning Lab. Use Google and Wikipedia as a first step but then use library books, websites recommended by the library on their subject guides and our journal database called OneFile.  

['Why can't I just Google it? by RMIT University LIbrary Videos]

What Happens When You Do a Google Search?

The video above from Google explains in simple terms what happens when you do a Google search. It is quite interesting but remember that Google is not going to point out its own bad points!

['How search works' by Google]

How to Use Wikipedia Wisely #2

['Credible Websites?' by Hartness Library] 


Some people will tell you that Wikipedia is bad, bad, bad BUT it can help you become familiar with new topics. The video above shows you how to do that in a funny way.


['Using Wikipedia' by UVicLibraries]