Skip to main content

Ramping Up Your Research: Tips and Resources for Historical Fiction Writers: Google Searching Tips

Become an Expert Google Searcher

How do you find the good stuff on the web?  Follow these simple guidelines and you will eliminate most of the garbage and find the best sites on your historical topic.

Use Google Advanced Search Mode:

Do a search on Google.  When you see your list of results, click on "Settings" at the top and select "Advanced Search".  It will open a new screen where you can limit your search in different ways.  Limit your search by entering ".edu" in the "domain" box.  It will limit your results to web sites from universities (higher reliability).  Use the domain ".gov" and it will give you information from government sites only.  

Add keywords to tell Google what you want:

Let's say you want to learn more about the French Revolution.  To get to the most important and comprehensive web sites on the topic, try adding the following words:  portal, archive, links, digital collection.

Ex:  French Revolution and archive
        French Revolution and digital collection

If you are really looking to find documents related to the French Revolution, for example letters, diaries, newspaper articles, pamphlets, images, etc., add the words "primary sources" to your search, or add the type of sources you are looking for.

Ex:  French Revolution and primary sources
       French Revolution and letters



Example: Searching for information on the Suffragettes

1. Do a regular Google search on "suffragettes".  Click on "Settings", then select "Advanced Search"


2. Google Advanced Search:  Add some keywords to your search (digital collections) and search for site or domain ".edu".


3. Check out your results: