Monday, 13 October 2014

How do I know what to read??

First off, I'd like to start with a big welcome; welcome to those of you who have just joined the University, and welcome back to our returning students. I hope you all had a fab summer (it seems a distant memory now I know!) and are settling into the new term well. I've just finished the round of inductions where it was lovely to meet the new students in the department; please do get in touch if I can help.

Those of you who've been to sessions I've delivered will have heard me talking about how much information there is out there; how many journal articles there are in DISCOVER and how important it is to be able to wade through it all effectively. You've been told that at university you're expected to read, read, read...but with so much to choose from, and so many different types of material, it can be hard to work out what you should be reading, whether you're new to university study, or a student progressing through your course with new expectations being placed on you as you reach the next level.

Your starting point is the reading lists for your units; each unit has a list of expected and suggested reading set out by your tutor, where they clearly explain what it is that you have to read for the unit, and what you could read to expand your knowledge (and potentially get better marks!). This year the lists can all be found online - go into the BREO unit and click on the "Reading Lists" tab on the left-hand side - and you can click directly through to ebooks, online journal articles, and other online material, or find out quickly where in the library you can locate print material.

But as I've hinted already, studying at university is about reading around your subject; going beyond what you have to read to develop your knowledge, and to provide alternative arguments and viewpoints. This is going to reflect well in your work, but you'll be wanting to do this anyway - you chose to study your subject because you enjoy it and you're interested in it, right? As I said above, your reading list may contain suggestions for independent reading, but you can explore further and go ahead and find your own material through the Library Catalogue (for books and ebooks) and DISCOVER (for journal articles, magazine and news articles, and other things). And there are more options beyond those; come and ask at the desk for help, send me an email, or keep an eye out on the What's On? calendar for workshops we'll be running later on in the year.

Happy reading!

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