05 More Search Techniques And Strategies

We go through the exercises related to search techniques; we also discuss evaluating sources from the Web.

Class held on 09/17/2008. Student notes are available on this page. Possible questions are available on this page.

Class structure

  1. Go through “At beginning of class” information
  2. Lecture (but no slides today) going through “My notes”
  3. Work on exercises
    1. Finish the exercises from last class
    2. Then work through the exercises for this class

At beginning of class

  1. So, my wife has liver cancer. Either benign (hemangioma) or malignant. We don't know yet. We've voted for benign. She'll be having an MRI in the next couple of days (we hope). Just wanted you to know.
  2. You should know that I send email when I have something to say to a specific student between classes. For example, if I have a something to tell you about your assignment specifically or an upcoming industry update or whatever, I will send you an email. The email will have BIT330 at the beginning of the subject line. For this reason, you might want to check your email no less than every couple of days to see if you have an email from me. More than likely, you won't — but you might.
  3. If any of you wrote a blog entry, please turn it in now. Generally, if you have written a blog entry, just bring it up to the podium for me before class starts.
  4. Check who is doing class notes for today.
  5. Check who is doing the Industry updates for next class.
  6. Students should go over announcements made since the previous class.
  7. Content update:
    • We now have some information on the notes page and questions page. Even if people are not signed up for specific days on the class notes page, I would still recommend that you post notes and questions. The more good information that is on these pages, the more that I will be able to use this information on the tests, and the better that you will do on the test — as opposed to me coming up with some random, poorly-worded question that you have to guess on.
  8. Collect the assignment due today.
  9. I have significantly updated the write-up of the next assignment. It is due on September 29. Do not start working on this yet. The data still needs to be cleaned up a little bit. I will make an announcement on the wiki when the data is ready. Further, I will post an Excel spreadsheet containing the data.
  10. You should be thinking about the topic for your term project.
    • Be sure to read the description of the assignment.
    • Also look at the list of industry sectors that you might select.
    • On day 8, which is September 29, you are turning in the first status report for your term project. On that date, you need to have decided on the topic, you need to have discussed your topic with me, described the topic on the start page of your wiki, and updated your information (that is, indicated the title of your wiki) on the class wiki's list of student wikis.
  11. Another note for your term project. Your term project reports will include a section on information sources (as we will discuss today). Part of this will be an evaluation of the quality of the information sources that you identified. You will want to describe how you evaluate the sources, and indicate on the report your evaluation of each one of them. This will not be a separate deliverable but should be integrated into the final report.
  12. There are so many blog opportunities from these two classes (i.e., today and Monday). If you want to blog on both classes, you don't have to choose something from “last class” and then something from “this class”. These are both the same topic; you can use any two things you want to blog on from both classes. It doesn't matter if they were the same or different days. (Again, you don't have to blog today, or last class. But you'll have to blog sometime, and you might as well start sooner rather than later.)
  13. Questions about any or all of this?
  14. Industry updates
  15. Demonstrate proper formatting of a wiki document
    • Also point out proper naming of a document

My notes


  1. Long term research projects, or more difficult queries, require another level of effort and analysis.
    • Gather and save as much information as you can.
      • Use information from the search results, page characteristics, and contents of the results pages.
        • Look for names, contents, concepts, URLs, page titles, unique words, dates, places, facts, etc.
      • Create a wiki site to keep information and links.
    • Sometimes finding a set of related nouns and unique names can help you find what you need.
      • Use Google Sets
      • Use the queries ["type of X"], ["there are * types of X"], ["compared to X"], ["X vs." OR "X versus"]
  2. Evaluate the potential validity of the Web page from which you get information.
    • Facets to evaluation
      • Location of the page
      • Speaker's identity
      • Speaker's motivation
      • Credibility of sources
      • Speaker's history
      • Speaker's reputation

In-class examples

Candy bars

Types of things


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