Books are a great place to start any piece of research.

Some modules are based around key textbooks, whilst others require a wide range of reading. If you're new to a subject area, books are a good starting point for general content before moving your search onto more detailed content such as journal articles.

Before (and during) reading anything:

  • be clear about what is being asked of you for your assessment
  • be clear about your existing knowledge, and identify any gaps
  • identify any questions you need to answer, and identify any new questions that arise during your research

Reading a book

Some subject areas require more reading than others, so always think about prioritising your reading, especially larger pieces of text such as books. Be smart about what you choose to read, and how you read it. See reading for more information, but some quick tips to get you started with books:

  • Check out the book introduction and conclusion - if it's out of date, or not relevant, find something else.
  • Check out the table of contents - you might only need one or two chapters.
  • After choosing a chapter, scan through the structure and headings to get a feel for the content.
  • Even at this point, you might not need to read the whole chapter - read the introduction and conclusion of the chapter, then decide which bits you need to read in more detail.
  • If it's available as an ebook, do the above and conduct a keyword search - this will quickly search the whole book taking you to the most relevant bits.

These things might sound obvious, but they will all help you decide quickly if an item is relevant, and which bits moreso. Remember, note-taking will help you retain information and organise your thoughts.

The search

Your reading list will direct you to key readings, but to search for additional books, use LibrarySearch. You can search by title and/or keywords and/or author depending on what information you have. Always remember to Login to ensure you see full availability.

For example, to search for this book, simply search for study skills handbook:

Cottrell, S. (2019) The study skills handbook. 5th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

 Primo search

Depending on what your search terms are, and your results, you may need to amend your search first before proceeding.  See the search tips for further advice.

Searching: top tips

The search results

Take a little time to review your results before selecting the items you want to read. Based on your search results:

  • do you need to review your keywords?
  • do you need to review the filters you're using/not using?

Also bear in mind the edition, and its availability in print and/or online.

Which edition?
The shelfmark
Is it available as an ebook?

Ebook FAQs

Why is the book I'm after not available as an ebook?
I've tried to open an ebook, but it won't open. What should I do?
How much can I print/download from an ebook? Can I download the whole book?
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