Reference resources are organized in an order that aids searching (alphabetically, chronologically, etc). Most include an index which points users to the appropriate section. Tips for searching:
- Decide on your search terms
- Try searching with them
- If not satisfied with the results, try searching a synonym or related idea
Things to watch out for:
- Is the computer searching only the title/header of the entries or the full-text of the information? You will get more results, but more of them will be irrelabent if you are searching the full-text.
- Are you searching for a proper noun (name, place,...)? Make sure that the spelling is correct and try variations if it originated in a foreign language.
- Searching for something by date? This is trickier than it sounds. If possible, search for an event name or topic rather than a date, e.g. civil rights movement or hippies or flower children rather than 1960s.