Dr. Mark Jordan ~ ENGL 2311: Technical Writing
In no particular order at present.
I invite all my students to suggest additions to this page which would be helpful or interesting to the class. Particularly welcome are any personal websites created by students themselves. If a receive a handful of suggestions, I will probably add them all; if I get inundated with ideas, I'll have to pick and choose, so please don't be offended.
I will check these links periodically to make sure they are functional, but occasionally sites do cease to exist, and links to sites sometimes break down inexplicably. So please let me know if a link is dysfunctional.
You will be required to do at least some Web surfing for this course. You can save lots of time and probably earn a better grade if you know how to search the Internet effectively.
There are hundreds of Internet "search engines." Some are specialized, some generalized. They employ different search techniques and they offer a variety of search options. By familiarizing yourself with these techniques and options you will be more successful with your Web seeking and surfing.
Be wary of using the search functions offered by your browser or Internet Service Provider, such as America Online or Prodigy. Even though your browser may use one of the major search engines, they usually cannot employ their full capabilities. You will do better if you go directly to the Web site of a search engine.
There are two basic ways to search the Web:
Search engines gather information and put it into a large database. When you use a search engine you usually type in a keyword and search this database. Some examples of search engines are Alta Vista, Lycos, InfoSeek, HotBot, and Excite. Even better are metasearch engines, which use many independent engines simultaneously. The advantages of this should be obvious. Here are two good metasearch engines:
Category directories also gather information, which they then put into categories of descending levels, like a gigantic outline. You donít use a keyword search with a category directory; you simply click through descending layers of the outline until you reach the information youíre looking for. Yahoo is the best example of a category directory.
Although many search sites on the Web now offer both of these methods, those that do probably are not doing either one well. Your searches will be more accurate if you use a search engine instead of a category directory.
Obviously, the search engines which have the largest databases will offer the most material to search. These are the best ones: Alta Vista, HotBot, Excite, Infoseek. Alta Vista references more Web pages than any other search engine. It also has some useful refinements for literary searches. For example, it will find quotes from literature; none of the other engines will do that.
Tips on using a search engine:
Web sites which deal with Web search techniques:
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