Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

There are numerous people who, even in this day and age, lack the ability to formulate search engine queries. Is there a known method for teaching people this skill? Is there a tutorial available on a website or in a book?

share|improve this question

migrated from superuser.com Dec 26 '10 at 13:47

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

Seems like this would be better for WebApps.SE. Feel free to prove me wrong, though. – Mark Szymanski Dec 26 '10 at 4:04
I originally avoided posting on WebApps because the WebApps FAQ says that it "is for expert and advanced users of web applications". Since this is essentially a novice question, I didn't know if it would be appropriate. In retrospect it doesn't seem any more appropriate on superuser.com, but it made sense at the time, for some reason. – intuited Dec 26 '10 at 22:31

The simplest lesson I teach is that words in a sentence have different informational weight. I'm telling people to write down a sentence and sort the words by priority. This always works wonders, my parents become confident in their search skills after one hour of such training.

share|improve this answer
Sounds promising. This may be just the ticket. – intuited Dec 26 '10 at 22:43

There's also http://www.teachparentstech.org/ under the "Finding Information" category. These videos are great but they are search task specific, not generic how to search.

share|improve this answer

Tutorials on search engines
A easy step by step with in site practice and selection of engines to work with.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.