A little bit of understanding can't hurt.

What are the basic skills involved in the search process? One of the central skills is being able to distinguish between the different types of search tools available, and then choosing the best one for the job at hand. After that, of course, it's important to know how to use these tools, and how to relate to the results that they produce. In other words, one should know how to enter a search term into a search engine, and where to click on the list of results that appears in order to get to the desired information, and to understand the structure of a hierarchical index in order to know how to navigate within one until one gets to the desired category and finds the results. That may read like a rather daunting list of skills (the sort that needs an expert teacher and a number of hours to study, but if the truth be told, they really aren't very complicated and can be acquired quite easily. Be that as it may, often but I have to devote a couple of hours simply trying to convince my students that the term "search engine" doesn't correctly categorize all the available search tools.

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