Safe Search

Turn on Safe Search to keep adult content from appearing in your search results.

Go to Search settings.

  • Select the gear in the top right-hand corner of the search window
  • Choose Search Settings
  • Under Safe Search Filters, CHECK the Filter Explicit Results option
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Web Searching in Plain English

Web Search Strategies in Plain English

Image Search

Teach students to be responsible. If we require academic integrity when writing papers in English class, we can't ignore copyright when using images found online.

Filter images by license.

  1. Google
  2. Choose Images
  3. Type butterfly in the search window > Enter
  4. Choose Search Tools >Usage Rights>Labeled for Reuse

Filter your search to a specific color.

  1. Google
  2. Choose Images
  3. Type Crimea
  4. Choose More Tools >Color>Black and White

TRY IT: Find a black and white map of the Indian Ocean that is licensed for reuse.

Search with an image

To find information about an image found on the web, save the image to your computer. After the image is saved to your computer, drag the image into the Google image search window.
Search by Image
TRY IT: Using a Google's Search by Image, what information can you find about is odd tool?
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Words Matter

  1. Order matters
  2. Simplify your search terms
  3. Capitalization does NOT matter
  4. Advanced Search options
    • Quotation marks, plus and minus signs

"battle of the boot"
    • Remove unwanted results with minus sign

“battle of the boot" -football

(spacing matters: there should not be a space after the minus)

TRY IT: Search for information on the Apollo moon landing. What search terms can you use to get the smallest number of results? Use all the Advanced Search tools.

Advanced Search

1. Limit search to a certain domain
  • .edu
  • .gov
  • .org

2. Limit search to a certain domain

  • british imperialism site:
  • british imperialism site:edu

3. Limit search to a specific file type

  • PDF
  • PPT
  • KMZ

TRY IT: Find a PowerPoint presentation on cyber bullying.


According to Google, only 10% of users know about the CTRL-F strategy. The CTRL-F strategy is a timesaver. Who doesn't want to save time?

Here's how to use CTRL-F. Rather than scanning an entire web page looking for a key word, select CTRL-F. A small window will open in the top right-hand corner. Type your key word into the window. The window will tell you how many times that word appears in the article or website, and will highlight the word.

TRY IT: Go to Texas Beyond History. Use the CTRL+F strategy and search for Tigua. How many times does the word Tigua appear on the web page?

Google Books

Google began it's massive task of scanning books almost ten years ago. One of the benefits of this project was the creation of Google Books. If the book is out of copyright or if the publisher has given Google permission, you can preview the entire book online. Otherwise, you are able to view only a portion of the text.

One of my favorite lines from the movie Shawshank Redemption is, "Get busy living, or get busy dying." Use Google books to find out if the line also appears in the original short story, "Shawshank Redemption."

  1. Go to
  2. Search for Shawshank Redemption
  3. Search for the following line, "Get busy living or get busy dying."
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Establish Authority -- GLEANWHOIS.ORG

Finding a reliable source is a foundational skill in research. Establishing the authority of a source is often a challenging task when dealing with online sources.

TRY IT: Here are two web sites that deal with Holocaust death statistics. Using gleanwhois, determine which site is reliable and which one is not.

  1. Open
  2. Enter a web address into the search window.
  3. Choose option 3 to learn about a web site's ownership.
Glean WhoIs--Part 1: Who Owns This Website?

Use Other Search Engines

Here's some earth shaking news. Google isn't the only search engine on the planet. Ponder that for a moment.

Always encourage your students to use more than one search engine. The one I recommend most often to students is SweetSearch.

SweetSearch doesn't search the entire internet, instead, it searches through approximately 35,000 websites that have been vetted by teachers, librarians, and other research experts.

SweetSearch also has a tool that allows you to seamlessly send web resources to your Google doc without ever leaving the site.


Previous Jontracations

Jontracation - November 4, 2013 - Click here

Jontracation - October 3, 2013 - Click here

Jontracation - September 23, 2013 - Click here

Christina Jontra

Director of Digital Learning

Grace Community School