Thursday, June 18, 2009

Using Google Alerts to Enhance Research

In my English 1102 class, I suggest that my students use Google Alerts to help them with research. After setting up a Google Alert, users are sent an automatic email weekly, daily, or as new information is generated on the web for any search term they create an alert for. Results can be from Google News, Web, Blog, Video, and Group searches. Users may also do a "Comprehensive" search to include Google News, Web, and Blogs.

Here’s how it works:

  • If you don’t already have a Google or Gmail account, you’ll need to set up a Google account. Go to

  • Click on ‘Sign In’ at the top right.

  • Where it says “Don’t have a Google Account? Create an account now,” click to create an account.

  • Once you’ve done this and signed in, go to “My Account” (top right)

  • Then click on “Alerts” or if you don’t see that, click on “More” under “Try something new.

From here, you can set up an alert for your research topic. Think of as many ways to search your topic as you can and create an alert for each topic.

For example, I have weekly alerts for all subjects I’m interested in possibly writing about. Here are some of my alerts:

  • Art and autism

  • Autism awareness

  • Elearning

  • Online teaching

  • Plagiarism

  • Twitter

I’ve set each alert to send me a comprehensive email once a week to my email address. Each week, I get an email for each alert that gives a list of websites, news sites, blogs, etc. that are covering my topics. Sometimes I find some really useful articles/websites through this system.

Check out Google's FAQ page for more information.

Related Links
5 Great Web Resources to Enhance Learning
Week 1 for English 1102 on Blackboard

My Journey with Gmail

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1 comment:

Beth L. Gainer said...

Hi Jeannie,

Thank you so much for this amazing tip!! Not only will I be using this for my students, but I will be using it for my Calling the Shots advocacy blog column.