Doing the research : Selecting sources

Exercise 1: Predicting the content from the book title.

You do not have time to read everything, so you need to decide whether a particular source may be useful.

The first thing to do is to try to find books that are exactly the same as your topic. Use your library on-line catalogue for this. Look carefully at the titles of the books.

Reading is an interactive process - it is two-way. This means you have to work at constructing the meaning from the marks on the paper. You need to be active all the time when you are reading. It is useful, therefore, before you start reading to try to actively remember what you know, and do not know, about the subject and then formulate questions based on the information you have. You can then read to answer these questions.

Title, sub-titles and section heading can help you formulate questions to keep you interacting.

The title is a summary of the text. Sometimes we have to make quick decisions based on only the title. Therefore it is useful to try to understand it well. This may mean looking up unfamiliar words in a dictionary.

It is a good idea to ask yourself the following questions, based on the title.

  1. Is this text relevant to your needs? Is it related to the subject you are studying?
  2. What do you expect to learn from the text? Ask yourself some questions that you expect the text to answer.


Look at the titles of the following books. Make sure you understand the titles and then ask 3 questions that you hope the text will answer. Read the publishers' descriptions of the books to see if you are correct.

1. Computer networks and Internets by Douglas E. Comer & Ralph E. Droms Read the description.
2. Marketing strategy and competitive positioning by Graham Hooley, John Saunders & Nigel F. Piercy Read the description
3. Handbook of counselling psychology by Ray Woolfe, Windy Dryden & Sheelagh Strawbridge (Editors) Read the description

4. Essential nursing skills by Maggie Nicol

Read the description

5. Modern operating systems by Andrew S. Tanenbaum

Read the description

6. Human resource management: A contemporary approach by Ian Beardwell, Len Holden & Tim Claydon

Read the description