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How to Use Online Tools: Free Resources

How to Use Online Tools: Free Web Resources

The World Wide Web has been compared to a library with all of the books in random piles on the floor. Search engines and directories are tools that provide access to the Web's unorganized information.

The Web is a very interesting medium for research because:

  1. Anyone can publish any kind of "information" on the Web.

  2. A complete list of Web sites does not exist.

  3. It does not follow an organized pattern for presenting information.

  4. Sites constantly change; new sites are created and old sites disappear.

  5. Finally, there are no standards for Web search tools.

When you use the Web for research, don't assume that:

"You can find it faster."

"The information is more current."

"The information is just as reliable."

Searching is not evaluating. You need to know what kind of information you are using. Evaluating it is very important.

Given the nature of Web information, it's vital to evaluate the Web pages you dig up. See How to Evaluate Information NEW PAGE for things to think about when evaluating a Web page for the information it provides.

There are two main ways that information is organized on the free Web.

They are

  1. Search Engines and

  2. Subject Directories...

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Resources: Plan

Information Literacy eBooks listed by Research Step

Information Literacy eBooks alphabetical list

Research Videos alphabetical list

Online Research Planner (worksheet)

Research Process Rubric (guide)