Declamation: The Internet Search Begins!

Declamation piece searches, like most non-scholarly research, often begin on the Internet.  The Internet can be a source of jubilation or anger.  Infinite information is at your disposal and from there stems the double-edged-sword.  Using a search engine can either lead you to a helpful website or a slew of ones which are useless for your needs.  It is not the Internet’s fault though; Google is not trying to sabotage your quest for finding pieces!  The truth is, a computer and its functions are only as good as the user.  Search engines function under a system.  To find a Declamation piece more efficiently you need to know how to operate within the system.

  • Keywords. Those words you type into the search engine’s search bar are called keywords.  They are the words you want the engine to find the most hits on for a website (words listed most frequently).  Try to be specific when you type in a keyword.  Typing in the word ‘Forensics’ will list the most visited sites that contain that word…but those sites might not be what you are looking for.  Forensics as you know it is NOT how the majority view the word–they think it refers solely to CSI.  Thus, try to keep your keywords specific.  For locating Declamation pieces, one might begin with ‘declamation pieces,’ ‘speeches,’ ‘famous speeches,’ speech transcripts,’ ‘speech archives,’ etc.  Think of synonyms for what you want, use precise language, and open multiple tabs to do numerous searches with various keywords.
  • Keyword Variations. One could just type in a keyword if one was doing a general search.  However, if one knows what subject they wish to speak on for their Declamation piece, one could aid the search engine further.  There are a multitude of ways to type in your keywords, and each method will garner different results:
  • A and B. If you were to search ‘declamation and JFK’ then the search engine will give you listings of pages that have BOTH the words ‘declamation’ and ‘JFK’ at high frequency.  If you had just typed in ‘JFK declamation’ you might get links to pages where one word is more relevant than another (‘declamation’ might just be mentioned, thus irrelevant to you).
  • A and not B…Better Use Google Advanced. This can be useful if you have an idea for a speech but your keyword has several meanings.  Buy using ‘and not’ you tell the search engine to not bring you results featuring the doppelganger.  Example: ‘forensics and not sciences’ should bring you results with pages that use the word ‘forensics’ but not ‘sciences,’ thus eliminating unwanted sites.  However, this tool is still tricky as synonyms exist.  It is suggested to go to Google and click ‘Google advanced’ and fill in the blanks for what exactly you want (use a few keywords) and what you do not desire (again, use a few to be thorough).  This ensures a Declamation search of true specificity.
  • Phrases. To look up words that appear together, i.e. a phrase, the use of quotation marks is needed.  For example “declamation speeches” will bring up all links to pages that feature that phrase.  This can be useful for finding names of people or titles within articles.
  • Keep Scrolling. Search engines list the most visited pages that contain your keywords at the top.  Does that mean these pages are the best?  Not necessarily.  Google or Bing does not substitute for human judgment.  Read through the titles and descriptions of pages, checking out pages that sound like what you want, and keep scrolling until the links become unrelated.
  • Venues. As Declamations tend to be historical or linked to specific places/events it might be worthwhile to expand your search to keywords that might be related.  I.G. deductive reasoning tells me that if I wanted to do a speech a political figure has delivered I could check the archives of their government (go to the government’s page and use their search engine).  I might bypass useless filler by going directly to the source.

These are a few basic ways to improve your search engine results, and utilizing these methods should enhance the on-line researching experience.  Finding a Declamation piece can be annoying when you have to be a detective with the search engine.  However, opting to be a Clouseau, when you could be a Sherlock Holmes, is ridiculous and waste of precious practice time!

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