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PolyU Library

ELC1011 - Practical English for University Studies

Related Guide(s)

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What's Next?

To prepare the Digital Documentary, you will need to

  • refer to credible sources (e.g. government websites, reputable online newspapers, etc.)
  • provide source information from a minimum of THREE sources
  • find accurate and up-to-date information on the three places (e.g. cities, states, countries, etc.) on your topic

Library Tips for Effective Searching

To look for relevant resources, many students will start with Google. It is a good place to get started, but be aware that not everything found on Google is credible sources, and sometimes the materials found may not be free to read.

Here we hope to show you some tips to help you:

1. Searching Google effectively

Google provides short search commands for users to request specific search results. You can use the following commands to narrow your search results.


Tip 1  Search for an exact match

  • Put a word or phrase inside double quotation marks
    • "same-sex marriage"

Tip 2  Search for a certain word (or words) in the URL or in the Title

  • Add [inurl:] or [intitle:] on the search query
    • "same-sex marriage"  inurl:asia
    • "same-sex marriage"  intitle:asia

Tip 3  Search for a specific type of site (e.g. organization, government website, educational website)

  • Type Keywords and Put [site:] in front of a site or domain
    • site:org
    • site:gov
    • site:edu
  • A useful link to check government domains around the world:

If you include [site:] in your search command, Google will restrict the results to those websites in the given domain. For instance, ["same-sex marriage"] will find pages about "same-sex marriage" within Here is the example:

Use the [site:] command on Google:


2. Finding Full-Text Article through the Library (if they are not available via Google)

What can you do when the news article you found on Google asks you to subscribe or pay to read it in full ?

In this case, you can try searching the article again through library databases!


Key News & Newspapers Databases subscribed by the Library:

  1. Factiva
  2. South China Morning Post
  3. WiseNews 電子剪報 (mainly news in Chinese) 
1. You found this interesting news article on The New York Times. However, to read the article, it asked you to subscribe/pay.
2. Go to Library homepage and click "Browse Database by Type".
3. Select "News & Newspapers". As you are looking for full-text coverage of international news, Factiva would be a better choice.
4. Click "Search Builder", copy-paste the news article's title in the search box and run a search. Then you should be able to locate the full article.

Library Resources & Quick Guides

Library provides many types of resources that can support your assignment. Here are some quick guides for using the resources:


Newspapers & News Databases

Library provides both current popular newspapers and historical newspapers, covering local, national, and international news. Explore the sources below and find more! 

Newspapers & News Databases Quick Guides

You can find newspapers from the library homepage via the shortcut below for South China Morning Post, WiseNews, Factiva and more:

provides worldwide full-text coverage of local and regional newspapers, trade publications, business newswires, press release wires, media transcripts, news photos, business-rich Web sites, investment analyst reports, market research reports, etc.

You can make a search in WiseNews via the steps below:

  1. Visit Factiva
  2. Click on Online Access.
  3. Click on the Search tab to conduct a search. Refine your search with parameters provided if necessary.


From Aug 2018 to current...

You can access SCMP ePaper from Aug 2018 via the steps below:

  1. Visit SCMP.
  2. Click on the link for the ePaper edition.
  3. Click on SCMP ePaper from Aug 2018 to the latest.
  4. Click on the menu icon.
  5. Click on Archive to browse the newspapers by date.

  6. Click on the magnifier icon to search for news if necessary:

Before Aug 2018...

For News before Aug 2018, you can search with the steps below:

  1. Visit SCMP.
  2. Click on the Latest 20 years Online Access link
  3. Click on the magnifier icon to reach the search page.

*You may also search for news in SCMP since 31 March 1984 via Factiva.


WiseNews is a database which provides access to content from newspapers, magazines, journals and newswires published in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and some other parts of the world.

WiseNews launched its new interface in late 2020. Check out the Quick Start Guide to learn how it works. 


South China Morning Post is not available on WiseNews. To find articles from South China Morning Post, please try: FactivaSouth China Morning Post, or ProQuest Historical Newspapers: South China Morning Post.


Statistics & Market Data Databases

Library databases to help you find statistics and data from market reports in different industries, government reports, and more.

Statistics & Market data Databases Quick Guides


provides statistical data on many topics including media, business, politics, society, technology and education. Sources include market reports, trade publications, scientific journals, and government databases.

You can simply make use of the Google-like search box from the Statista's homepage to search statistics on any topic:

  1. Visit Statista and conduct a search in the search box
  2. You can filter the types of information from the sidebar and we selected Statistics as an example.
  3. Click on the statistics you are interested in.
  4. Charts can be downloaded in PNG, PowerPoint, Excel or PDF formats or embedded in web pages and can be great in papers or presentations.
  5. You can use the "Cite this statistic" button and copy the citation. Still, please check the accuracy of the citation before using it.

    download and cite


Passport is a database subscribed by the library which provides data and insight on various industries and worldwide economies.

We recommend stuents start their searching with the Search All Categories pull-down menu, which would be an easier way to explore the information available in Passport.

1. Pick up a topic from the pull-down menu under Search All Categories, e.g. industries, and then click on GO..


2.Search topics by keyword. Check the box(es) for the topics(s) you are interested in.


3. Click on Select Geographies, then search or browse the countries or regions you are interested in.  And then click on  SEARCH >  on the top right corner.

*To explore more functions and information available in Passport, simply refer to the official video tutorials.