Basic Search Strategy: The Ten Steps 
  1. Identify the important concepts of your search.
  2. Choose the keywords that describe these concepts.
  3. Determine whether there are synonyms, related terms, or other variations of the keywords that should be included.
  4. Determine which search features may apply, including truncation, proximity operators, Boolean operators, and so forth.
  5. Choose a search engine.
  6. Read the search instructions on the search engine’s home page. Look for sections entitled "help," "advanced search," "frequently asked questions," and so forth.
  7. Create a search expression, using syntax that is appropriate for the search engine.
  8. View the results. How many hits were returned? Were the results relevant to your query?
  9. Modify your search if needed. Go back to Steps 2 through 4 and revise your query accordingly.
  10. Try the same search in a different search engine, following Steps 6 through 9 above.

This material has been prepared to accompany the book "Searching and Researching on the Internet and the World Wide Web, Third Edition" (ISBN 1887902716) by Ernest Ackermann and Karen Hartman, and published by Franklin, Beedle and Associates, Incorporated, Wilsonville OR, ©2002. No part of this may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transcribed without permission of the publisher.