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Literature Review Challenge for Undergrads

Google Hack Your Research Topic! 
Spend some time playing around with some of the Google hacks below to see what you can find on your research topic.

There are many ways to strategically search Google, in order to conduct more complex searches and focus your results. In the above example:

  • intitle: refers to any terms you want to ensure are in the title of the web page itself (in this case, that would be "climate change"). This often produces a more relevant set of results.
  • quotation marks around "climate change" hold those words together so that Google searches for that exact phrase (rather than a search that returns the word climate or the word change).
  • ~coast tells the search that you want terms related to the word right after the tilde (~); for coast, this might include terms like coastal, coastline, waterfront, shoreline, and seaside.
  • minus sign in front of Alaska tells the search to exclude Alaska-related terms from your results; if there are places, topics, or issues that aren't relevant to your particular topic, you can exclude them this way, so that you have a more focused set of search results.
  • site:.gov tells Google that you only want results from government websites. You can also use site:.edu, or other relevant domains (for instance, site:.org if you're interested in organizations that care about or work in your area of interest). and you can also search within specific sites for your topic, such as site:bangordailynews.com or site:ted.com/talks.
  • The date limiter can be found in the Tools section of your Google search (the Tools section is linked directly below and to the right of the search bar after you run a search).

Your Turn!

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