The Search Process

How does an expert search? What process can I follow?

It turns out there is a regular pattern that experts follow as they think their way through the process of searching for difficult information on the Internet. First they decide exactly what they want, where they are most likely to find it, how they are mostly likely to find it, and then what they will do next after each step they take. They constantly fluctuate between looking at the big picture of what they want and the little picture of analyzing what they have found. It looks something like this.

flowchart of problem solving process

Analyze the diagram. Begin with Define. A true problem solving process will not only move from the blue arrows, through the red arrows, to the black arrow; it may make many revolutions through the cycle before locating exactly what is sought. Surfing the net is random exploration; problem solving involves definite questions and answers.


Authored by Lora K. Kaisler 2003