When searching a general topic, you are most likely going to find too much material. For this reason, I suggest you start with one of the directories listed to the right.

Directory services are created by humans, who read the web pages and figure out what they are about. Other searching tools are created by computers which can only look at the individual words on the page and not their meaning.

One nice feature about Excite is that if you find a page you like, you can go back to the Excite listing for that page and choose "Search for more documents like this one" and Excite will do exactly that.

If you don't have much luck, it could be that your subject is better found through your local library. Despite popular belief, the Internet is not the best place to do research on many topics. Go to your local library and talk to a librarian.


Copyright 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002 by Scott Nicholson.

Searching on a general topic:
Are you searching for Academic or Popular works?


Start by exploring the Academic Info directories for your topic.

Another directory is at Infomine, but you can also search Infomine by entering a brief topic using the box below:


Yahoo is the best place to start your search for popular information

You can search Yahoo either through the directory or can enter a brief topic in the box below:

If neither of the above directory-based search tools help you, you can turn to a general search tool such as Google


Hints for searching Google:

* Come up with as many synonyms as possible for your search terms.
* If your term has multiple applications, use - (a minus sign) immediately before a word to remove all pages with that word (i.e. polish -sausages).
* Use as specific search terms as possible (i.e. Pinto instead of Car).
* If you are searching on the name of something, capitalize it.
* If you find a site you like, select "Similar pages" below the listing for the page.
* Plan to look through at least 50 listings before giving up.

Other search tools that are similar to Google:

Alta Vista - All the Web - Teoma

By the way, each search tool will produce different results, so try several of them.

What about the meta search tools?

If this doesn't help, you can either go back to the main AskScott page or ask a human.