Power Searching: What delegates need to know

It is astonishing, but not surprising, that most delegates do not use refined search techniques when doing country or committee research. Most MUN Directors do not teach them, and I should know. I was one of them.  But the productivity factor of typing in random search terms and hoping for a good hit that will yield what you are looking for is a very ineffective method of doing research of any kind.   Using a couple of simple tools, your search can be refined, yielding higher quality sites and more accurate and relevant information.

Let’s try a simple search on child marriage.  Go ahead and type into your search engine, “Child Marriage”. On any given day, Google will return in the area of 53,000,000 hits. That’s MILLIONS of hits, with most of them complete rubbish. Why oh why do you want to waste your time sifting through this? Obviously, if you were representing India, you could search ‘Child Marriage India’. That would be a bit better, but not really. It would still yield 23,000,000 hits…that’s MILLIONS of hits.

Ask yourself this. If I am at a Model UNITED NATIONS conference, would  searching first on UN websites not be a good idea? The kind folks at the UN churn out HUGE quantities of data, press releases, statistical compilations, resolutions, …….. Might  narrowing your search to look at UN websites be prudent step in the right direction.

Try this: type child marriage India site:un.org.  I’ve bolded the operative term (excuse the pun). Now look at your results. It’s 12,000! THOUSANDS compared to millions. And when you scroll down to see what has been delivered we see lots of substantive and likely very relevant material: press releases, resolutions, UN TV stories, information on the first International Day of the girl child. Importantly, each site is now a UN website, making this the perfect starting point for your research.

Site:un.org is a higher level domain, and it is a great way to search. If I want to find information on child marriage in Jordan, I can search child marriage site:jo.  Jo is the domain for all websites published in Jordan, and if I were representing Jordan in GA2, I would want to check out press coverage from Jordan. Makes perfect sense! And if I wanted to help my friend, representing the United Arab Emirates, I could suggest child marriage site:ae.  AE is the domain for the UAE! further refining of you search terms will further refine the returns.

When you focus your research on substance, instead of reading the same ol’ same ol’ as you sift through 53 MILLION hits, your end product is bound to be better, more relevant, and frankly, it makes you LOOK smarter. Knowledge is power, and in MUN, if you can share facts, statistics and other relevant information from highly relevant and authoritative sources, you will impress your fellow delegates and in turn, bolster your own confidence.

Want to check out a great source on domain names? Look no further than Wikipedia! There, I said it. USE it wisely, but on a page like this, you will get most of your country domain information here.