Using Google Effectively
Did you know that you can find synonyms on Google by preceding the term with a ~ which is known as the tilde or synonym operator? The tilde ~ takes the word immediately following it and searches both for that specific word as well as the word’s synonyms. It also searches for the term with alternative endings. Of course it works best when applied to general terms and terms with many synonyms. As with the + and - operators, put the ~ (tilde) next to the word, with no spaces between the ~ and its associated word. Using the query [~kids television] will bring results that include kids, children and child. And in turn [~inexpensive travel] will return hits with cheap or discount also. Pretty cool. We are always trying to get students to think of synonyms for their search terms - Google can help!
This fall I spoke at the Arizona State Library Conference, Searching Google and Beyond: Tips, Strategies and Resources. The PowerPoint and website resources are under Workshops on this blog. It has more tips to help students use Google more effectively.