Writer's Help 2.0 > As an instructor, how do I use search?

Document created by Digital Support on Jan 25, 2017Last modified by Digital Support on Apr 25, 2018
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The search bar is located at the top of the Table of Contents, on the left side of the page.

Enter a word, phrase, or question into the search bar

Type a search term and click the magnifying glass to start a search.

Alternatively, you may click on one of the terms that drops down when you start to type.

View your search results

Search results are grouped into clusters (topic categories) that can be expanded or collapsed. The number in parentheses following a bold cluster heading indicates how many results are in the cluster. If a cluster contains only one or a few results, all the results for that cluster are displayed.


Click on the cluster to expand. After expanding the heading, there will be more selections to choose from.


Click on a result to view related content

Clicking on any result within a cluster opens new content in the center panel. Notice that your search results persist on the left; thus, if the page you opened wasn't what you were looking for, simply click on another result to view a different content page.

Smart search

Most search engines function as exact word searches, which means the search engine will search pages for whatever word or phrase you enter. This works great for most purposes, but what if you don't know the exact word or phrase you're looking for?

Here's how Writer's Help 2.0 is different: our search was built to accommodate expert and non-expert terminology. So if your student is blanking on the phrase "thesis statement," but they know it's the main idea or main point of a paper, then they can search for "main idea" or "main point." Similarly, if your student is a multilingual writer and having trouble with articles, but can't remember the term "article," then they can search for the words they remember, such as the articles themselves: "a," "an," or "the."

That's why we call our search smart. It should generate helpful results for most queries, even when your students are not sure exactly what they're looking for.

Find words you aren't sure how to spell

"Smart search" allows students to search for a term, even if they aren't sure how to spell it.

Search for "coma" returns results for "comma."

Search for related words or descriptions of the word

"Smart search" allows students to search, even if they don't know the exact term.

Search for "three dots" returns results for "ellipsis mark (. . .)"

Search for abbreviations

"Smart search" allows you to search by abbreviations, such as those used to mark-up a student's work.

Search for "awk" returns results for Quick Help topics "exact language," "concise language," and "appropriate language." It also returns results for "awkward (awk): defined."