Using Google – Tips for Students Online Research

I came across the amazing infographic below from Hackcollege. It’s a really handy guide to using Google, but specifically geared towards tips for students using Google to conduct online research. Of course, there are other search engines out there, but let’s be honest most students probably use Google.

All of the information in the infographic below is pretty spot on with great examples of how students should use the various search operators when searching Google as part of their online research. Each search operator is used alongside a real world example of a likely student search topic which really helps your understanding of how a student should use these invaluable operators when using Google. There are also some handy tips on carrying out further research in general, like how to mine bibliographies for great sources.

Having said that, this is a US based website and the infographic leans heavily towards the US, this is no bad thing for the tips on the Google search operators, but they do seem to think everyone is using a Mac and not a PC. Most students I know use a PC as Macs are a stinger so I’ve translated the keyboard shortcut section of the infographic into a PC version for you:

PC keyboard shortcuts for web browsing and Google:

These shortcuts can change depending on the browser you are using, but as a rule they should work with the main browsers.

Find on page:

Ctrl and F key – This is a must use shortcut. Once you’ve found something in your Google search, you then follow the link Google gives you to the source. Use this shortcut to search the webpage itself for the terms you are after, jump straight to the bit you are after!

Zoom in/out:

Ctrl and + key or – key – This zooms your view of the webpage in + or out –

Select the address bar:

Ctrl and L key – This highlights the browser’s address bar (the bit where the website address lives). You can then start typing a new address or a new search. This shortcut just saves you clicking there with your mouse basically.

Cycle windows & apps:

Ctrl and tab key – This cycles through the open tabs in your browser.

Alt and tab key – This cycles through your open Windows applications.


Shift and Print Scr – This takes a screen shot of what you are currently viewing on your screen. Press this combination of keys and then use the paste function in your favourite image processing software e.g. good old Paint in Windows. However, if you are taking a lot of screenshots I recommend that you install PicPick. This is a free piece of software which is great for capturing screen shots.

Using Google – Tips for Students – Online Research Infographic

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Created by: HackCollege

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