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ENGL 1301 SE Library Instruction: 2: Where to search

Why can't you just use Google?

Google is the place to go for research, right? WRONG.

  • Google actually limits you when you're researching. 
  • Google is a search engine, and all it knows to do is pull together information that's freely available on the internet and put it on a search results page for you. The free resources Google can access are only a tiny part of the internet. 
  • There are no experts behind the scenes picking the best resources. That means you get a mixture of Wikipedia entries, ads, Twitter links, Amazon product pages, and more all thrown together. 

At the Judith J. Carrier Library, our favorite tip for getting the most out of Google is to use this formula:

keywords + site:edu/gov 

Basically, just type your search terms and add "site:edu" OR "site:gov." This tells Google that you ONLY want to see websites that end with .edu or .gov

Why Should I Use the Library When I Have Google?

If not Google, then what?

Google only gets you so far. Instead, look to the resources offered by the TCC Library. We give you access to:

  • Databases (About 200!)
  • Ebooks
  • Books
  • Streaming videos
  • Personalized help with a librarian

Layers of the Internet

The Internet is made up of multiple layers. Google can only see the surface layer of the internet, which is a tiny portion of what is available. The vast majority of online information is in a layer called the deep web. Much of the deep web is made up of services you have to subscribe to such as Netflix or library databases. The library subscribes to many scholarly databases that provide information you cannot get to with a Google search. Deep web information is important because it is often higher quality and more in-depth than the information Google can access.