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ENG 350 Young Adult Literature Class Guide

Finding Web Sources

Sometimes when you're completing an assignment, you'll be required to find articles and information from a credible website.

When you're searching through Google, you're looking through a vast amount of the web, so it'll help you greatly to narrow down your searching by using some of Google's advanced search tools. Below are some helpful search methods for doing some powerful Google searching. 

This page will help you understand how to use:

Phrase Searching

Just as in a traditional library database, you can use quotation marks to search for a particular phrase in Google. So searching for [cats and dogs] searches for those words and will return any resource that mentions "cats" or "dogs" or "cats and dogs." Instead when you search for the phrase ["cats and dogs"], you will only return resources that include the exact phrase "cats and dogs." When executing this search, notice the difference in the number of results between the two searches: 




Neither search yields a manageable number of results, but notice that [cats and dogs] yields 2.5 billion results while ["cats and dogs"] yields 62 million. The difference is significant. 

An example where this would be particularly useful is in searching for a book title. Instead of searching for [long way day], put the title in quotes and search for ["long way down"].

site: Limiter

The site: limiter is incredibly helpful if you're looking for a particular type of source for your research. Sometimes, it might be helpful to get an understanding of the US government's coverage of a topic or you might like to see just what the New York Times is saying about something.

For example, if you'd like to look at the New York Times' coverage of the Black Live Matter movement, you can search ["Black Lives Matter"]:


Suggested sites for this class include:

  • For book/graphic novel reviews:
  • For audiobook reviews:
  • For movie reviews:
    • (add the word film to your search)

Citation Chasing

Backwards Citation Chasing

This is the more traditional form of citation chasing, and you've probably done it in the past. If you're looking at a source about your book, perhaps a Wikipedia article, scroll to the bottom and you'll find the sources that were used to create the Wikipedia page. This is especially good for an assignment like this, where you may be searching for book reviews. 

Here is an example of sources found on the Wikipedia page for Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds:


Forwards Citation Chasing

This is generally only available through Google Scholar, which you can search by going to Search for the title of your book (in quotation marks to preserve the phrase). Looking at the record in Google Scholar, there should be a button that reads "Cited by #":

You can click on that and then bring up all of the articles that have cited your book. Obviously, if your book is really new, you'll have a little bit of trouble finding something, but it's definitely worth trying. You'll often find good scholarly articles this way.

You can browse through, or you can select the checkbox "Search within citing articles" to limit your results if you have a lot.