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GVMS Library: General Research Help

Welcome to Garnet Valley Middle School Library!

Tips for Online Searching

Start by asking a good research question. If you are too broad, you will get too many results. If you are too narrow, you may not get enough results. It takes lots of practice to become a good searcher!

DEFINE your topic as completely as possible.

Define what you are looking for, why you are looking for it, and what you are NOT looking for.


Keep combining your keywords to find the combination that gives you the best results.  For example, if you’re a recipe for peanut butter cookies, type peanut butter cookie recipe nto the search box. If you are looking for a gluten-free cookie recipe, type gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe. If you want an organic recipe, type gluten-free organic peanut butter cookie recipe.


If you want to find the exact words or phrase, use quotation marks. For example, "organic gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe" and the search will look for the EXACT words or phrase in the EXACT order you type them. Square brackets work like quotation marks, [organic gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe].

LIMIT your search.

Using a minus sign (  “peanut butter” recipe –cookie ) will exclude words or phrases. The minus sign has to be directly before the word or phrase with no spaces. Use advanced search limiters like site type and file type ( filetype:pdf "dear").

Use the Google Advanced Search page to help limit your search.

What is research?

Marzano's Instructional Strategies - Summarizing & Note Taking

Trash and Treasure Note Taking

Google Drive won't load

  1. Under the Chrome tab click on "clear browsing data"
  2. Change "Obliterate the following items from: the past hour" to "the beginning of time"
  3. Check off all the options on the list
  4. Click "clear browsing data"
  5. Close out the browser by selecting quit under the Chrome tab, not just clicking the red button in the top left corner of the browser window.
  6. Re-open Chrome and log back in - Drive should now work

Tools and Guides and resources

Finding Your Topic

Plagiarism in Plain English (Common Craft)