Homework Doesn’t Have To Suck: Dating Tips for the Google User Part 1

When it comes to finding information on the web for homework assignments, librarians have a lot of good advice to offer. But what you might not realize is that librarians are also experts in the field of online dating. This is because using Google is a lot like looking for someone to date.

Think about it: Imagine each website is a person who wants to go out with you. That’s a lot of potential dates! You don’t really want to go out with all of them, do you? (And some of them you really don’t want to go out with.) The same is true for websites.

So what do you do? You get smart about how you search, whether you’re using Google or an online dating site. That way you don’t end up with a loser.

Tip #1: Before you ever start searching, figure out what you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for someone to date, you might think about things like whether you prefer a cat person or a dog person. Are tattoos a deal-breaker? How important is it that they have their own car?

Similarly, before you Google, think about what type of website you need: A newspaper article or the website of an official organization? How recent does the information have to be? Are you looking for an unbiased opinion?

You might even make a list of words that are likely to appear in the type of website you’re looking for, including synonyms. For instance, one website might use the term “genetically engineered food” and another might use “genetically modified organisms.”

The more you think about what you’re looking for, the easier it will be to recognize it when you find it, whether it’s an article about goats that produce spider silk in their milk on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration website or a bike-riding taco-truck enthusiast who enjoys long walks on the beach and Skyrim.

Next time on Dating Tips for the Google User: Be prepared to change your search as you go.

More help with homework from The Seattle Public Library.

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