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What should I read first?

Tutors arrange resource lists in different ways. Each list is different and you should try to understand, or find out, how it is intended to be used. Some Tutors will just give you a short list of recommended reading others will give you a long list of items on a wide range of topics.

Many Tutors will arrange information week by week and some will give you recommendations about what you should read with items categorised as essential, recommended or background reading.  

Some lists will include a variety of formats but others might concentrate on one format e.g. websites or scholarly journal articles. 

You should, of course, give priority to any books your Tutors have categorised as essential or recommended, but even then, if there are several to choose from, you might have to decide for yourself which order to read them in.

The order in which you read will be influenced by the reasons why you are having to read the items, for example:

  • To get up to speed with a new topic
  • To fill in a gap in your knowledge or understanding
  • To find detailed evidence to back up your arguments in an essay

You will also be guided by the relative priorities across your modules and the deadlines when essays and presentations must be finished.

Wherever it is possible to do so, your resource list will link directly to scanned chapters, e-books and online journals but you need to be aware that not all resources are available online. You  should try to be flexible. Library Services tries to buy multiple copies of essential books but you might have to reserve books that are out on loan and read them when they become available.  Sometimes you might need to read some sources earlier than anticipated and conversely sometimes you might have to go back and catch up with reading you have missed.

We recommend that you use your resource lists as part of a wider reading strategy.

Tip: You do not have to read all the books from cover-to-cover.

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