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How to use Google search to help your writing


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6 replies to this topic

#1 pcrman

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 09:58 AM

Google is a great tool for scientific writing not just for non-English speakers but also for native English speakers. It can help with your spelling, grammar and wording. Here I give some examples:

I am not sure whether the word "inhibition" is countable or not in the sentence "the treatment caused (a) significant inhibition of cell growth", so I search google using the quoted query "caused significant inhibition of cell", I get 447 hits. Then I search "caused a significant inhibition of cell", 565 hits are returned. it seems that more people regard "inhibition" as countable and put an "an" in front of it.

Now I want to vary my wording for the same sentence because I am using too many words like "significant" in my sentences. I search google using a wild card, the *, in my query ""caused a * inhibition of cell" (with the quote). I get different variation for the word before "inhibition", including:
caused a rapid inhibition of cell
caused a profound inhibition of cell
caused a marked inhibition of cell
caused a dose-dependent inhibition of cell
caused a slight inhibition of cell
caused a serious inhibition of cell
caused a strong inhibition of cell
caused a complete inhibition of cell
caused a modest inhibition of cell
caused a pronounced inhibition of cell
caused a substantial inhibition of cell
caused a potent inhibition of cell

Similarly if I don't know what word to use to express an idea, I can use wildcards in my search. For example, I want to say "study * a new avenue for something" and don't know which verb can be used here. Google shows me these possibilities:

study opens a new avenue for
study creates a new avenue for
study offers a new avenue for
study provides a new avenue
study reveals a new avenue for
study highlights a new avenue

I get many options and decide to use "open" in the sentence.

#2 cellcounter

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 11:53 AM

Google is a great tool for scientific writing not just for non-English speakers but also for native English speakers. It can help with your spelling, grammar and wording. Here I give some examples:

I am not sure whether the word "inhibition" is countable or not in the sentence "the treatment caused (a) significant inhibition of cell growth", so I search google using the quoted query "caused significant inhibition of cell", I get 447 hits. Then I search "caused a significant inhibition of cell", 565 hits are returned. it seems that more people regard "inhibition" as countable and put an "an" in front of it.

Now I want to vary my wording for the same sentence because I am using too many words like "significant" in my sentences. I search google using a wild card, the *, in my query ""caused a * inhibition of cell" (with the quote). I get different variation for the word before "inhibition", including:
caused a rapid inhibition of cell
caused a profound inhibition of cell
caused a marked inhibition of cell
caused a dose-dependent inhibition of cell
caused a slight inhibition of cell
caused a serious inhibition of cell
caused a strong inhibition of cell
caused a complete inhibition of cell
caused a modest inhibition of cell
caused a pronounced inhibition of cell
caused a substantial inhibition of cell
caused a potent inhibition of cell

Similarly if I don't know what word to use to express an idea, I can use wildcards in my search. For example, I want to say "study * a new avenue for something" and don't know which verb can be used here. Google shows me these possibilities:

study opens a new avenue for
study creates a new avenue for
study offers a new avenue for
study provides a new avenue
study reveals a new avenue for
study highlights a new avenue

I get many options and decide to use "open" in the sentence.


The first one I have done, but the wildcard not. It is such a good idea.

#3 Minnie Mouse

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 02:59 PM

Thank you pcrman.

I did't know Google is so useful in writing.

This thread is pinned.

#4 Doki

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 05:47 PM

Thx. This is useful
Simple living, highnot thinking

#5 LTSAL

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:42 PM

wow thts a useful piece of information.. how to use the wild card function though?

#6 pcrman

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 10:04 PM

You just insert an asterisk in your search phrase and it will act as a wild card matching any word in that place in the phrase. More than one asterisk in place of more than one word are allowed in your search phrase. The phrase must be quoted. For example, I want to know what adjective people have used to describe "inhibition", I will search google using the phrase (with the quotes)
"caused * inhibition"

Click here to see the results.

#7 penghill

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:45 AM

You just insert an asterisk in your search phrase and it will act as a wild card matching any word in that place in the phrase. More than one asterisk in place of more than one word are allowed in your search phrase. The phrase must be quoted. For example, I want to know what adjective people have used to describe "inhibition", I will search google using the phrase (with the quotes)
"caused * inhibition"

Click here to see the results.

its very usful, we can help for writing




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