Search engines are an easy way to search the web. There are more than hundred of them. The most prominent are:
Each of the above search engines is easy to use. It takes an hour or two of study and practice to become moderately skilled in using any of these search engines. Some have instructions on how to maximize the use of the engine. (See http://www.google.com/help/basics.html.) You need to type a word or phrase (words in quotations) in the search box on the web site and click the search button. You can also specify the language of the items you are searching.
Sometimes you may not get any matches and often you will get too many hits.
If your search yields few or no hits:
If your search yields too many hits:
- Check the spelling of the terms that you typed in the search window.
- Use synonyms for some or all of the search words.
- Use a wildcard (for most search engines this is an asterisk) at the end of key words that can have multiple endings (such as using school* to represent school, schools, schooling, and schooled).
- Use broader terms.
- If your hits include a few useful web sites, check those for links to other web sites.
- Check the first 10 or 20 listed hits to see if they are useful; many search engines try to list hits in order of their apparent relevancy for the specified search.
- Capitalize the initial letters of proper names (names of persons, places, and titles).
- Use synonyms for some or all the words.
- Use more specific terms.
- Do a phrase search by enclosing multiple words within double quotations (e.g. "education reform"). 
Gregg B. Jackson. November/December 1999. "Searching the Web for Educational Research and Evaluation." TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowlogia.org