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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?

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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

3 Answers 3

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.

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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.

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Tutorials on search engines
A easy step by step with in site practice and selection of engines to work with.
http://www.learnwebskills.com/search/engines.html

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