Some Suggested Answers

Sample queries

  1. How would you search for information about mountain lions (also known as cougars) in Oregon?
    "mountain lion" cougar +Oregon
    Explanation: Putting mountain lion in quotes makes sure that the search engine will not find things about mountains in Tibet and lions in Africa. Adding the word cougar means that the engine will also look for the word cougar. Having a + sign before Oregon means that you only want information that includes the word Oregon somewhere.

  2. Where can you find previews of recent movies?
    movies films preview -computer -photograph
    Explanation: The engine will look for anything that contains the words movies, films, or preview. Because you don't want computer movies, there's a - sign before computer. Because you don't want photographic film, there's a - sign before photograph.

  3. How would you look for a picture of Michael Jackson?
    [Michael Jackson photo] [Michael Jackson picture]
    Explanation: Using brackets around these words means that all three words need to be near each other, but they could come in any order. For example, the text could say "Here is a photo of Michael Jackson" or "Michael Jackson's picture." It also means that you shouldn't get pictures in general, just pictures of Michael Jackson.

  4. How would you find information about soccer but not American football?
    soccer football -American
    Explanation: Soccer is the most important word if you're looking for articles written by Americans about soccer, so it comes first. You also want information with the word football, since that's what most people outside the US call the sport. Since you don't want information about American football, you put a - sign in front of the word American.

  5. Where can you find out about the weather in Spain?
    Spain, Spanish +weather
    Explanation: The two capitalized words don't refer to a person, so they need to have a comma between them. The + sign before weather means that the word weather has to be included.

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If you have questions, comments, or for more information, contact Deborah Healey, dhealey AT uoregon DOT edu

Last updated 26 June 2009 by D. Healey