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Reading List Guide: Creating a great reading list

Introduction to the Library's Reading List Service

Criteria for a great reading list

These tips are adapted from the TQA Manual Reading Lists Policy as well as from our experience running this service.  

  • Have a clear structure, with resources presented weekly, or by topic. Here is an example of a clearly structured reading list.
  • Be relevant, supporting the learning outcomes of the module/topic.
  • Use annotations where needed, pointing out key sections or clarifying page numbers e.g. "Chapter 4 gives a good overview of X topic".
  • Set realistic expectations by indicating what is essential, recommended, or further reading.
  • Send your lists to the library in advance of the module start date so we can supply the resources on time.
  • Include a range of formats, for example books, journals, videos, and audio, to support different learning styles and to give students a varied experience and a rich list of references.
  • Be realistic with the amount of resources given, overly long lists can be overwhelming.
  • They should be diverse and represent different perspectives, for example by authors of different races, genders, cultures, etc. See the Decolonising your Reading List LibGuide.
  • The list should be reviewed annually. Books on your list will not automatically update when there is a new edition, so check you are up to date.
  • The University of Exeter Library has a Digital First policy so all materials should be available electronically wherever possible. This supports 24/7 international access and shared use across large student cohorts in a way that is not possible through the circulation of print material.

Oxford Brookes guidance

Reading list labels article

Worcester reading list project

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