Although you could certainly gain something by dipping into the book, you may well find it better to start by reading Parts 1-4 in sequence as they build steadily from learning about research resources to writing the final dissertation.

The Handbook is designed to provide guidance on basic techniques for anyone wishing to undertake literary research. In practice, the skills and knowledge required to complete an MA successfully are the same as those needed by students beginning a research degree (an MPhil or PhD) and, indeed, by anyone in or outside higher education wishing to pursue independent research in literature. There are, of course, significant differences in the scope of the projects