Los Angeles Valley College

How to Use the Internet for Research

Finding Web documents (pages or sites) can be easy or seem impossibly difficult. 

  • due to the sheer size of the WWW, currently estimated to contain 2 billion documents. 

  • because the WWW is not indexed in any standard vocabulary (unlike a library's catalogs which assign Library of Congress or some other widely accepted standardized subject descriptors to their documents, or a journal-article index which uses its standardized subject descriptors).

Define your topic and Identify keywords

  • write down your topic  and identify the keywords or phrases

  • identify specific keywords for the most important concepts. Think of synonyms, including singular/plural, spelling variations, different endings, etc.

  • identify broad subject areas the might include the  topic

  • identify organizations or government agencies that might be involved with  the topic

To summarize: