Searching Google for primary sources can retrieve a wide number of results, but your instructor will expect those sources to be trustworthy. This page will show you how to use Google's Advanced Search feature to find credible primary sources.
To find credible primary sources using Google, you need to start at Google's Advanced Search page, which can be found in the "Settings" tab. First, go to google.com, and then look at the lower right hand side of the page. You'll see "Settings". When you click on "Settings", you'll see the "Advanced Search" link.
Here is the "Advanced Search" page.
Place your "main topic" keywords/phrases on the first line. You can add as many as you want.
If you have any exact phrases you want searched, make sure to put them on the second line.
Place primary source keywords on the third line. You can add as many as you want. There is no no need to add "OR" between the words. Google Advanced Search does that automatically. See below for more Google Search Tips.
You can narrow your results by language, region, and last update. Using site or domain names such as .edu (educational institution), .org (organization), and .gov (government) will limit your search to (mostly) credible sources. See below for more "Advanced Search" general tips.
1. Use the "All these words" field to include all of the terms in a search. (This is the same as Goolge's default single search field. Do not use “AND” to connect search terms. Google is not case sensitive – no need to capitalize letters. Add quotation marks around terms to be searched as a phrase)
2. Use the “Exact word or phrase” field to search multiple terms as one phrase. Example: give me liberty or give me death. (It is not necessary to include the quotation marks)
3. Use the “Any of these words” field to incorporate words with similar meaning. Example, movies films “motion pictures.” (This is the same as including "OR" between search terms)
4. Use the “None of these words” field to exclude terms that are not relevant to your topic. For example, if you are looking for information on the Harry Potter books and want to exclude information about the Harry Potter movies, add the terms movie, film, etc. (This is the same as including "NOT" between search terms. Note that Google uses the "-" symbol instead of NOT in its default search box. Example: -movie)
5. Use the “Site or domain” field to limit your search to a specific internet domain. Example: .edu for educational institutions, .gov for government sites, or enter an entire URL to search within an individual site.
6. Use the “Terms appearing” field to limit your search to terms that appear in a specific area of a Web site. Example: “In the title of the page,” “In the text of the page,” “In the URL of the page.”
Other useful search options include date, language, file type (PDF, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), and geographic region. Also see Google Search Help for further details.