Reading lists

Reading Lists

Each unit of your course is likely to have its own reading list. A reading lists has done some of the hard work for you - in that it identifies good quality, relevant information for the unit. Reading lists are often divided into two sections:

  • Core texts (sometimes known as key texts or essential texts) - These are the materials that your lecturer considers most important for the understanding of the module. They will usually give you an overview of the topic being studied.
  • Further reading (sometimes known as background reading or indicative reading) - These are additional materials which enable you to look in more depth at specific aspects of the topic.

What will my reading list contain?

A reading list might contain any of the following materials:

  • Books
  • Book chapters
  • Journals
  • Journal articles
  • Newspapers
  • Newspaper articles
  • Audio-visual material (e.g. DVDs, videos, CD-ROMs)
  • Websites

Finding material on reading lists

You can find all of the materials on your reading lists (apart from websites!) by searching the library catalogue. Use the author and title options to locate the item within the library. Be sure to make a note of the classmark (this is the number where you will find the item on the library shelves) and whether the item is available or on loan.

Hard to find items

Students sometimes have difficulties locating the following items but once you know what to do you shouldn't have any problems!

Book chapters

A reference to a book chapter looks like this:

Franklin, A.W. (2002) 'Management of the problem', in Smith, S.M. (ed.)The maltreatment of children.
Lancaster: MTP. pp.83-95.


To find this book chapter you must search the library catalogue for the book containing the chapter e.g. The maltreatment of children by S.M. Smith and then search within this book for the relevant chapter on p.83 NOT 'Management of the problem' by A. W. Franklin.

Journal articles

A reference to a journal article looks like this:

Walmsley, J. and Rolph, S. (2001) 'The development of community care for people with learning difficulties 1913-1946', Critical Social Policy, 21(1) pp. 59-80.

To find this journal article: select the journal title option in the library catalogue and type in the title of the journal e.g. Critical Social Policy NOT 'The development of community care for people with learning disabilities 1913-1946'.

Journals may be available electronically, in print or both.

  • If the journal is available electronically - the words [electronic resource] will appear beside its record in the library catalogue. Follow the onscreen links to access the electronic full text. You must then find the relevant year, volume and part to locate the journal article you need. To find the article above you would look for: 2001, Volume 21, part 1.
  • If the journal is available in print - the words [electronic resource] will not appear beside its record in the library catalogue. Following the onscreen links will bring up its full record. This will tell you which campus libraries take the journal and which years they have. You must then go to the journals section in the library (Level 1 at Polhill, Level 0 at Park Square) and find the journal you need and the relevant year, volume and part.
Newspaper articles

A reference to a newspaper article looks like this:

Boseley, S. (2009) 'Children worst affected by hospital drug errors warns report', The Guardian, 18 June, p.14.

To find this newspaper article: select the journal title option in the library catalogue and type in the title of the newspaper e.g. The Guardian NOT 'Children worst affected by hospital drug errors warns report'.

All the national newspaers are available electronically. Follow the onscreen links to enter the NewsBank database, type a few words from the title of the article in the box e.g. 'Children worst affected' and click the Search button.

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