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This Book Is Not Required

This Book Is Not Required
An Emotional and Intellectual Survival Manual for Students

Fifth Edition

November 2013 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This Fifth Edition of the underground classic This Book Is Not Required: An Emotional and Intellectual Survival Manual for Students breaks new ground in participatory education, offering insight and inspiration to help undergraduates make the most of their college years. This edition continues to teach about the college experience as a whole—looking at the personal, social, intellectual, technological, and spiritual demands and opportunities—while incorporating new material highly relevant to today’s students. The material is presented in a personable and straightforward manner, maintaining Dr. Inge Bell’s illuminating writing style throughout, and invites students to take responsibility for, and make the most of, their educational experiences.

Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Fifth Edition
Part I. Academics and Learning
1. Welcome to College
2. Grades: Can You Perform Without the Pressure?
3. Technology and Learning
4. Everybody Hates to Write
Part II. Navigating the Institution
5. Support Your Local Teacher: Or the Care and Feeding of Professors
6. An Academic Question
7. Questions of Academic Integrity
8. Wisdom and Knowledge
9. Pursuing Wisdom in the Academy
10. Adventures in Desocialization
11. Media Me
Part III. Survival Strategies
12. Survival Skills
13. Love
14. Trouble With Parents
15. The Painful Avenues of Upward Mobility
16. Graduation: What They Forgot to Mention
17. The Career: Friend or Foe?
18. Directing Your Own Development
About the Authors
About the Contributors: Team Bell

"This book SHOULD be required. [The authors] have created a lively, insightful, and tangible source that students can utilize in the classroom and in life. They want to read the book because it speaks to them, and it provides me with a classroom full of hungry, alert minds."

Melanie C. Klein
California State University, Northridge

This is a resource that I would recommend to students who are finding the transition difficult.

Ms Shirley Donegan
Department of Humanities, Dundalk Institute of Technology
June 25, 2015

Really useful book for teachers and tutors helping students prepare for higher education.

Mrs Alicia Hawkes
Education, Totton College
June 19, 2015

Unique, one of a kind text. However, it is way too expensive given its politics.

Dr Karen Kendrick
Sociology Dept, Albertus Magnus College
September 7, 2014

A helpful and accessible book which enables the reader to connect with themselves and become consciously aware of their own development.

Mrs Pam Lavender
Access, South Staffordshire College
August 18, 2014

This has been a useful book for students starting a university course. Helpful advice in a user friendly and accessible book.

Mrs Michelle Grainger
Sheffield Centre, LifeSkills
March 28, 2014
Key features


  • A new section explores how to navigate life after graduation.
  • Student vignettes have been revised to be even more contemporary and compelling.
  • A new section discusses the role/encroachment of technology in the classroom.
  • New material examines the need for environmental activism.


  • Real-life student vignettes address current issues facing college students.
  • The book encourages a participatory college education and personal reflection for students in many different disciplines.
  • “Questions of Academic Integrity” explore the increased prevalence of cheating on campus.
  • The book distinguishes between learning the institutional rules of higher education and internalizing those rules and demystifies professors and teaching assistants by discussing their institutional roles and incentives.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.