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UG CamGuides: How do I find books and articles from a reading list?

Break down a reading list into different types of resource and know how to recognise them from their reference.

What was in this section?

This section introduced reading lists: what they are, how they are organised and the sorts of references you can expect to see on there, though it will vary from course to course. It then introduced ways of searching iDiscover and how to get access to resources. It'll soon be second nature but if you are unsure about what is on your list and how to start searching for it, ask your Tutor, Director of Studies or librarians in any of the Cambridge Libraries.

The key areas we covered in this section were:

  • Academic resources: the peer-review process involved in publishing a book or article
  • Non-academic resources: how to evaluate sources for reliability and usefulness
  • What a reading list is and how it is structured
  • References: why you need them to find resources and the different elements that comprise a book or article reference
  • Using and understanding the limitations of the quick search, and the benefits of advanced searching
  • Knowing the difference between author/title and keyword searches
  • Knowing how to locate a book on the shelves in your library
  • Knowing about electronic books (ebooks) and other electronic resources available to members of the University
  • Having an awareness of legal deposit ebooks, which can only be accessed at certain computers in particular libraries.

Click on the icon to the left to listen to this summary as an audio recording

checklist iconChecklist

We hope that you found the information in this section useful and will return here during the course of your studies to remind yourself about some of the skills you will develop as a student in Cambridge.

You can download a checklist to tick off the pages you have covered, make a note of areas you wish to revisit, or highlight topics you have yet to engage with.

Not sure what to do next?