On the internet

To get a broad overview of a subject on the internet, browse the subject-classified "Web directories" such as Yahoo, BUBL and Magellan (see Links for Research - Web directories, p. 51, for links to these and others).

Note how the subject is broken down into subcategories, to see how information in that subject is organized and what some of the issues are. Be sure to spend some time following the links to examine the pages and sites which have been listed.

Often, it is difficult to determine just how comprehensively a subject is covered by looking at the number of sites. Many thousands of Web pages have little actual content and are mainly links to other pages, which may be links to other pages, and so on ad infinitum. Following the links through to actual pages is like browsing the library shelves and pulling books off the shelf to skim the contents.

Run a quick search using one of the search engines. Once you feel you're familiar enough with the subject that you've identified some key words or concepts, use them to do a test search to see what kind of result you get. Look at both the quantity and the quality of the first few pages of hits to get some idea of how easy or difficult it may be to research that subject in more depth on the internet if you choose it as your topic. (See Links for Research - Search Engines, p. 51, for links to a number of search engines.)

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