Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Using Google for Research

Guide to advanced search features in Google, Google Scholar, and Google Books.

Improving Your Google Simple Search

Basic search tips 

  • Use quotation marks when searching for a phrase, for example: "common sense"
  • Quotation marks also let you search non-standard words or spellings, for example: "
  • Use OR to find pages with one or more of the words in your search, for example: moonflower OR "Ipomoea alba"

Search specific sites or domains 

Limit your search to specific sites or domains by using the command site:
Useful domain searches include: 

  • searches educational websites
  • searches nonprofit websites
  • searches U.S. government websites

Search for specific file types 

Search for specific document types, such as PDF, Power Point, etc, by using the command filetype: at the end of your search.
Some examples include:

  • filetype:.pdf
  • filetype:.ppt
  • filetype:.doc

Find a definition 

Use command define: to return a definition for a word, for example: define:bae, define:smh