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Research 101

In this guide, you’ll learn about the steps in the research process including how to develop a research question, identify keywords, find, evaluate, and cite information sources and more.

Try out your new skills

Open two different search engines in your browser such as Google and Bing. Type in a query and compare the results. Do all search engines work exactly the same?

Think of something you’re curious about, (e.g. What endangered animals live in the Amazon Rainforest?). Open Google in two tabs. In one search, type in one or two keywords (e.g. Amazon Rainforest). In the other search type in multiple relevant keywords (e.g. endangered animals Amazon rainforest). Compare the results. Discuss the importance of being specific.

Similar to above, try two different searches where one phrase is in quotation marks and the other is not. For example, Origin of “raining cats and dogs” and Origin of raining cats and dogs. Discuss the difference that using quotation marks makes (It tells Google to search for the precise keywords in order.)

Try writing a question in Google with a few minor spelling mistakes. What happens? What happens if you add or leave out punctuation?