How to Write a Literature Search Strategy

Literature Review

So, you have worked your tail off to dig deep into the literature to find what you hope will fill over 40 pages of your monstrous Chapter 2. Now what? Well, ideally, you will begin crafting a clear and concise synthesis of the literature. However, oftentimes dissertation candidates struggle with putting it all together. A good place to start (and an easy box to check off for your chapter) is with writing the Literature Search Strategy.

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This particular section in your Chapter 2 is really a plug-and-play piece. There are two main things that you focus on in this section. The first one is the databases that you used to locate the articles that you found, and the other is the search terms that you utilized. A secondary, minor, element to this section is the date range of articles searched. Most schools have a five year limitation for non-seminal pieces. Once you have these elements, you can craft something like this:

The search for current, 2013-2018, peer-reviewed articles was conducted via the online library. These databases included Academic OneFile, Academic Search Complete, ERIC, Gale, JSTOR, Sage Journals, and PsycNet . Google Scholar was also utilized to locate open access articles. The following search terms were used to locate articles specific to this study: drug abuse, drug treatment, and so on. . Variations of these terms were used to ensure exhaustive search results.

Using the template above, you should be able to quickly and easily knock out this section of your Chapter 2!