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.
site header image

CPHS_IB Social Studies 12 - Historical Investigation: Using Search Engines

The purpose of this guide is to provide IB Social Studies students assistance with their research project. Standards Met:,,

Using Search Engines


1. The first step in using a SEARCH ENGINE like Google, is to parse out your research question to come up with effective SEARCH terms.Take your research question and:

1.1. Circle key words.

1.2. Cross out unnecessary words.

1.3. Come up with alternative phrasing.

2. Remember to use good search skills:

2.1. Every word matters.

2.2. Order only matters in "".

2.3. Capitalization does not matter.

2.4. Punctuation usually does not matter.

2.5 Use limiters.



com (commercial website - their purpose is generally to sell you something - generally not good for scholarly research)

org (generally a not for profit organization - BUT wikipedia is a .org and generally not a good place to do scholarly research)

gov ( a government website)

edu (an educational website)

Country Codes


3. Please note that through GOOGLE SCHOLAR you can access lots of scholarly resources on your topic as well. Here you will find entire books that are in the common domain, scholarly articles, etc. Click here to get to Google Scholar:


Google Power Searching Tips

Check out these "Power Searching Tips" from WebMaster, Matt Cutts: