( Latest revision: August 2006 )

Web Search Project Assignment

Prior to the due date, there will be available time in lecture, lab and office hours for you to get help with all parts of this assignment.
  1. Use Search Engines to Find Information

    Choose a research topic - a topic for study - anything in which you have a serious interest. Search for information about your topic on the World Wide Web, using one or more search engines. There are a great many search engines! For example, you can click here to see a nice list that Yahoo maintains.

    You must report on at least three different web sites (pages) that provide good information on your topic.

    As part of your report, you will need to include the URL's of the sites. Therefore you should keep track of promising URL's as you do your searching. Most browsers allow the user to save URL's as "bookmarks" or "favorites." You can also just paste URL's into a word-processor document and save them as a file.

    If you begin to search with a search engine, but get too few or too many results, you can broaden or narrow your search by dropping or adding keywords or conditions.

  2. Find Out How To E-mail The President

    Use a search engine and keywords having to do with e-mail and the President to generate a list of matching web sites. Look through some of those sites and/or sites they link to.

    Note: It is quite possible that much (or even most) of the sites the search engine will find for you will be bogus (fake). There may be vulgar (or worse) content in some of the web pages listed by search engines. My advice: for this search, click only on links that are in the .gov domain, and don't actually send e-mail to an address until after you have verified that it is authentic.

    Use good judgement. The goal is to keep searching until you discover the proper way to address e-mail for the President. Keep a record of which sites you visited during your search.

  3. Find Out How To E-mail A U.S. Senator

    Working much as you did to find the President's e-mail address, use a search engine and keywords having to do with e-mail and the United States Senate to find out how to send e-mail to one of California's two United States Senators.

  4. Make A Report

    Use Microsoft Word or another word processor to put together a nicely-formatted report that includes the following information:

    1. The research topic you chose,
    2. A brief description of the information you found on your topic, including the URL's for three or more web pages that have good information.

      (Query URL's will not be acceptable. In other words, it is not enough to just enter some key words into a search engine and report the URL of the search. I'll demonstrate what I mean by this in class.)

    3. A brief description of how you found the information (State which search engine(s) and keywords you used. Were the interesting results near the top of the list returned by the search engine(s)? How many links did you have to examine before you were sure you had something acceptable?),

    4. The address one should use to send e-mail to the President of the United States,

    5. The proper e-mail address or the URL of the proper "e-mail form" for one of California's United States Senators, and

    6. A brief description of how you found the information, including which search engine(s) or web indices you used, and which web pages you looked through.

    Use formatting options such as boldface, indenting, and so forth to create an attractive and readable report. Your report must include headers and footers on all the pages. The header must contain your name, class identifier (CS 4000), the words "Web Search Project", and the due date. The footer must contain the page numbers. Space the header and footer according to the specifications given in the directions for magazine article reviews.


Check the class schedule for the due date.


Turn in the assignment in class on the due date or on any class day before the due date. Put your paper on the podium before class starts.