Advanced searching

Where are the best places to search?

For most of your college assignments you will be expected to read around your subject. Often the most convenient place to look may seem to be on the internet, but badly planned searches can end up wasting you a lot of time.

The best place for you search for information will depend on what you are looking for. Often it might be worth starting your search in the Learning Centre, where there are books and journals that can point you onto other sources. For online searches, rather than heading straight to Google you are likely to get better quality results by searching these more specialized sites:

Sussex Downs

Searches the Colleges resources (books, DVDs) as well as a wide range of other free online resources such as journal articles and ebooks.

Sussex Downs Library Search Searches the Learning Centres resources
Sussex Downs Learning Centre website Provide access to the physical and electronic resources and study information, recommended by Learning Centre staff.
Specialist search engines Google Scholar
Ask Jeeves

Searching Strategies

Searching for information can be a time consuming process, before starting your search it is a good idea to come up with a plan, here are some things to consider:

  • Carefully choose your keywords or phrases and think of synonyms (alternative words or phrases) to help you expand your search.
  • For more complex searches keep a note of the search terms you have used, so that you don’t waste time repeating them.
  • Try different search engines as each will produce different results.
  • Give yourself a limit to the amount of time you will spend searching and stick to it!


Study Skills