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Search Tips
Simply Put
Use only one or two keywords.  For example, search for "the Declaration of Independence" with the keywords "declaration independence."

Search for General Topics, Not Specifics.  The Awesome Library search engine (above) works best at finding sources of information.  For example, if you are trying to find song lyrics, first search for "lyrics," then select a source to find the actual lyrics.

If you are trying to find the biography of someone famous, type "biographies" in the search box.  This will give you sources of biographies.  If you are trying to find the biography of someone who is very famous, such as "Abraham Lincoln," you may be able to find him or her by typing his or her last name.  If you do not find the biography by using the last name, then type "biographies" and find a source.

Simply put, simple works.  Try these suggestions on other search engines too.

That Having Been Said...
Ask a question.  We realize that the easiest way for some to search is to ask a question.  We therefore added natural language so that you can ask a simple question (in the search box), such as:  "Who is James Earl Carter?"  or  "Where do penguins live?"  Please keep the questions short and simple.

Finding a Specific Article
If you must have a specific article, and you know its name or the name of the author, then go to "Finding a Specific Document."

More on the Awesome Library
You can also make more focused searches using the Awesome Library's Advanced Searches instructions.   The Awesome Library's Index provides an alphabetical list of major topics.   If you want the criteria by which sites are included in the Awesome Library, please see the Ratings page.   If you are interested in our star Star ratings, please visit our Star Ratings page.   If you are interested in the history of the development of the Awesome Library, see About the Awesome Library.   If you are interested in how the Awesome Library has been recognized, see Awards and Recognitions.

Exploring a Topic
One of the best ways to find information about a topic is to start with the Awesome Library.  The Awesome Library is a gateway for the rest of the World Wide Web, designed especially for teachers, students, parents, and librarians.

You can use several methods to search the contents of the Awesome Library:

1.)   Word Search.   Go to the search box at the top of most pages inside the Awesome Library.   Enter up to three keywords in the blank provided.   For example, you can search for The Declaration of Independence with the keywords "declaration independence. " Try it.

No Matches   If you get no matches, try using one less word.   Also, use the shortest form of the word.   For example, if you are looking for something related to "teens," use "teen" instead of teens, teenage, or teenagers. If that does not work, try another word.

If you still do not find what you need, select "Web" next to the search box. This takes you to additional search engines.

Too Many Matches   If you get too many "Specific Results" on your "Search Results" page, simply add an additional keyword in the search blank to narrow the search. Since the contents of the Awesome Library are already the result of a search for K-12 education resources, no more than two or three keywords are generally necessary.

Too Many Matches, Too Few, Then Too Many Again   Searching the Internet is a skill that takes time to develop.   It can be frustrating at times, even for experienced researchers.   If you feel stumped, try "Who Can Help Me?" at the end of this page.

Search by Grade Level within a Subject.   Authors of Web pages often provide grade level information within a range, such as "Grades 4 - 6."   The most effective way to conduct a Word Search by grade level within the Awesome Library, therefore, is to search for the word "grade" plus a subject.   For example, "grade geometry" will provide the materials that are classified by grade level in geometry.

Search within a Page.   Once you have the resource you want, you can find specific information on the page by going to "Edit" at the top of your screen in Netscape or Internet Explorer and selecting "Find."

Search for the Stars.   Less than 2% of sites receive a "star" rating, indicating that the site is either one of the most comprehensive sources for the topic or has essential information for the topic.   Go to a search box in the Awesome Library and type in the subject you are pursuing plus the word star.   For example, social studies star will provide you with the sites in Social Studies that have a star. Arrow

What if you want the stars for just one type of resource, such as Lesson Plans?   No problem: lesson plans star will provide you with lesson plans that have a star. Arrow

2.)   Subject Search.   Another way to search is to select a subject, such as "Social Studies."   To find The Declaration of Independence, go to the page designed for you, such as "Teacher," select "Social Studies," then "History," then "Colonial America."   Try it.   You can also search for "Titles" or "Authors" from our main or Home page.

3.)   Index Search.   A third way to search the Awesome Library is to use the alphabetic list of topics, the "Index."   This provides the major topics and sub-topics, not detailed sub-headings within sub-topics.   For example, you can expect to find a major topic within "Biology," such as "Insects," but not a detailed topic, such as a specific type of insect.

4.)   Type of Resource within a Topic.   If you need just one type of resource within a topic, such as lesson plans, you can find it by typing one or two keywords within the search blank at the bottom of most pages in the Awesome Library.   For example, the keywords history lesson will provide the lesson plans within the "history" section and history discussion will provide the areas in "history" that have contacts. "History projects" will result in a list of history projects; and "history standards" will provide curriculum standards for history classes.

Some types of resources were assembled for you below.   "Curriculum Standards" were assembled for you and lesson plans were also organized for your convenience.   "Lessons" are also available on the main page of Awesome Library for Teachers.   A few "Projects" were assembled for you below as examples.  "Projects" are also provided as a category of Awesome Library for Students.   You can ask questions of experts under "Ask a Question."   If you are a teacher you can find kindred spirits under "Discussions" assembled below and if you are a student you can find friends in "Making Friends" below or in the Awesome Library for Students.   If you are looking for information about the Internet, such as how to design a Web page, try the selection of resources available below under "Guides," under the subject of "Technology."   For example, if you need help with downloading a program from the World Wide Web, try the resources assembled under "Internet for Beginners" in "Guides."   You could also start out with the article "Downloading Files." Keeping children safe on the World Wide Web is also discussed in a separate paper with links under Parental Controls.

- Curriculum Standards
- Lesson Plans
- Projects
- Ask a Question
- Discussions (for Teachers)
- Making Friends (for Kids)
- Guides
- Web Page Design
- Internet for Beginners
- Downloading Files
- Parental Controls

5.)   Geographical Search   If you are looking for information related to a particular place, such as a city, state or country, look in "Your Town" on the Home Page.   If you are trying to find a phone number or an address, you will find the information inside of "Reference" on the Home Page.   If you already have an address and need a map surrounding the address, try "Maps."

City, State or Country
Phone Number or Address

6.)   Measurement and Conversion.   If you need to convert between metric and standard measurement systems, just type each of the two units of measurement.   For example, to convert between inches and millimeters, type "inches millimeters" in the Awesome Library search box at the top of the page.

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