You'll use a variety of books at university many of which will be available in electronic format. Some key textbooks will be identified as essential reading for your subject and it is possible that you will use the whole of the book throughout your course. Other resources will also be recommended that expand on topics and themes found in your essential reading and allow you to further develop your critical thinking around a subject.
The following section provides an overview of the different types of resources that you'll encounter at university:
Monographs are books that are written on a specialist subject or aspect of a subject, usually by a single author.
Chapters in edited books are part of a collection of essays/chapters by various authors on a particular subject area, There is usually a specific author or authors for each individual chapter and also an editor or editors who have put the collection together.
Journals contain research which is often 'peer-reviewed' which means that other experts in the discipline have approved the content as a form of quality control. Journals are specialised and are published on a regular basis. Each journal contains articles by individual researchers or groups of researchers, who themselves have researched their topic and cited other experts in their work.
Journal articles are easily recognised as they usually have details that, in addition to the author(s), include a volume and issue number, the title of the article and the title of the journal itself. For example:
Bhatia, M. (2021) Racial surveillance and the mental health impacts of electronic monitoring on migrants. Race & Class, 62(3) 18-36.
Newspaper archives can be valuable sources of information for current awareness of topics and also for historical content. Reference to a newspaper article usually includes the specific date of publication. For example:
Pakey, J. (2015) Sir Bradley Wiggins team tweets line-up for National Championships Time Trial at Cadwell Park. Lincolnshire Echo, 22 June.