Free Resources for Students and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks

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Paul Sparks, Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for Reading Lessons...



Reading: Using the Internet for Research


Lesson Objectives:
To identify effective searching methods to find information in English using the internet and to improve general English through reading websites.

Read the article entitled “Find your target online”. Read the article carefully missing out any words you do not understand (Source: “The Net” magazine, September 2001.)

Search Tips:
For best results, it's important to choose your keywords wisely. Keep these tips in mind:

  • If you're looking for information on Picasso, enter "Picasso" rather than "painters".

  • Use words likely to appear on a site with the information you want. "Luxury hotel China" gets better results than "really nice places to spend the night in China".

  • Make keywords as specific as possible. "Antique lead soldiers" gets more relevant results than "old metal toys".

Google (, ignores common words and characters such as "where" and "how", as well as certain single digits and single letters. Google will indicate if a common word has been excluded by displaying details on the results page below the search box.

If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can include it by putting a "+" sign in front of it. (Be sure to include a space before the "+" sign.)

Another method for doing this is conducting a phrase search, which simply means putting quotation marks around two or more words. Common words in a phrase search (e.g., "where are you") are included in the search.

Google searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for "george washington", "George Washington", and "gEoRgE wAsHiNgToN" will all return the same results.




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