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Skills at Library Essentials

Guides to search skills and using library research resources

Reading lists

Reading lists are collections of reading materials that are either necessary or helpful to your modules.

You can find more details about finding and accessing your lists in our Reading List Help Guide.

This page will give you more information about how to make the most of your reading lists and to use them as a research tool. 

Making the most of your reading lists

You can use your reading lists as a helpful research tool

Your tutors and lecturers will put together reading lists for your modules. These will usually outline essential readings that need to be done for your classes and often also include additional further readings. 

Your lists will contain a range of resources, such as books, chapters, articles, websites and more. 

They are a great place to start when you are researching a topic. You can use them to your advantage to help with your research in a few ways

Key texts

Before you start searching for literature on a topic, go back to basics. Are there key texts, textbooks or authors included in your reading lists? These would be a great place to start your research. 

Further reading

Many reading lists will include further reading, beyond what you will need to do week by week for your classes. You may not have looked at them when you first studied the topic, but go back and see what recommended reading there is before you start your assignment. There may be some useful and relevant resources there already without you even having to search for them!

Related sources

These key texts and further reading can lead you to other related sources that you may be able to use in your assignments. Try using them as a starting point for a chain search. You can do this by looking at the reference list or bibliography at the end of the article, chapter or book. This will include the texts the author has read and used in their work. These may be related or relevant to your topic, so could be worth reading and potentially using as sources for your assignment. 


While looking at the titles on your list, and once your start reading, you may find alternatives or synonyms for your keywords, which you can use to help you build your search strategy.