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ENG 101/ENG107: General Research Papers, Persuasive Writing & Annotated Bibliographies

This guide will direct you to the best library resources for developing a topic, researching a topic, locating argumentative sources and understanding the difference between scholarly and popular sources.

Web Searching Tips and Tricks

With billions of websites floating out on the open web, search results can be overwhelming! Here are a few tips and tricks to help you focus your search results:

Keep your searching simple

  • Use only the important keywords and phrases
  • For the search: Can a dog have a carbon footprint? Try: dog carbon footprint instead

​​Don't worry about case or punctuation

Spelling is optional (sort of)

  • Search engines will provide results for the appropriate spelling - but be mindful of how the search engine interprets your spelling errors

Give phrase searching a try

  • Use quotes around titles, song lyrics, popular quotes or sayings
    • "to be or not to be"
    • "Game of Thrones"

To narrow your search results - try advanced searching


What's a Domain?

A website's address or URL (Uniform Resource Locator) can tell you a lot about the website and its content. The following table explains the difference between the most popular domains on the web. 

Domain Ownership and Purpose

For federal, state, local, and tribal government organizations within the U.S.

Registration for .gov domains is managed by the General Services Administration. 


For U.S. post-secondary institutions that are accredited by an agency on the Department of Education's list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies.

Educause is the sole registrar for names in the .edu domain


For organizations,  non-profits, companies, and clubs.

Registration for .org domains is operated by the Public Interest Registry.

Provided by virtually any domain registrar or web hosting company.

.org is an unrestricted, open domain


For U.S. Department of Defense (military) and its subsidiary or affiliated organizations. 

Managed by Defense Information Systems Agency. 


Originally intended for commercial business organizations but is now used for virtually any commercial or non-commercial website.

Provided by any domain registrar or web hosting company.

.com is an unrestricted, open domain


Originally intended for 'network' organizations (involved in network technologies) but is now considered a general purpose domain similar to .com.

Provided by any domain registrar or web hosting company.

.net is an unrestricted, open domain