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Truxal Library - Use the Internet Effectively

If your professor permits the use of Internet resources for your assignments you need to be careful!  Many websites contain reliable information, but since anyone can publish a website you need to keep a few things in mind to be sure the one you choose is appropriate! Use this page to help you properly use the internet for a college assignment.

Advantages of Using the Internet for Scholarly Research:

  • There is accurate and reliable information on the Internet
  • Some information on the Internet is appropriate for academic research

Disadvantages of Using the Internet for Scholarly Research:

  • Not all information is available on the Internet
  • Much of the information is not scholarly and should not be used for an academic assignment
  • Some information on the Internet is not accurate and reliable
  • There are sometimes so many results that it is hard to choose which source to use

Tips for Using Web Resources and Search Engines Effectively:

  • It is crucial that you critically evaluate any Web resource before using it for an assignment.  See Checklist for Evaluating Internet Sites PDF for some things to consider
  • Take advantage of the Advanced Search options of search engines to construct your search
  • Learn techniques to help you search in the Help, Tips, or About sections of search engines
  • Modify your search criteria to obtain better and fewer results
  • Use more than one search engine - different search engines return different results
  • Contact a librarian for assistance

As an Alternative -- Take Advantage of Reliable Electronic Resources Chosen by the Library:

These resources are mostly not available on the free, open web, but have been paid for by the College.

  • Electronic books – available by searching the library Catalog or Databases pages
    • To find ebooks in the AACC catalog, include the words "electronic resource" without the quotes in your search  (For instance, search for ibsen electronic resource) to find ebooks by or about Ibsen
    • To find ebooks in the databases, select one of the collections found on the databases page in the Electronic Books section on the right side of that page
  • Articles available through the databases include
    • Scholarly journals
    • Magazines
    • Newspapers
    • Other sources
  • You need to have an AACC Library Card or Student ID to access the databases. If you are taking distance education courses (online, telecourse, or courses not held on the Arnold campus) you may apply for a Library Card online.

Learn More by Trying One of these Tutorials:

Cite the Internet Correctly:

If you have questions or need assistance, call the reference desk at 410-777-2456 or send e-mail to You may also contact the Distance Learning Librarian at 410-777-2216 or e-mail

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