The Search Function Is Your Best Friend: Part 2

Academic News & Updates

In a previous blog, we talked about the importance of learning how to use the search function of your word processing program. The search function can save time and frustration by allowing you to search for specific terms rather than scrolling through the chapters of your dissertation. This blog will focus on a specific use of the search function to help you in writing your Chapter 5. This is not a how-to guide for using the search function generally. For that, there are numerous tutorials to be found on the Internet.

A big part of what you need to do in Chapter 5 is discuss your findings in relation to the findings of previous literature that you analyzed and synthesized in Chapter 2. The search function can help you here. Obviously, it is never a bad idea to read back over your Chapter 2 to refamiliarize yourself with the previous literature. However, when you are drafting Chapter 5, you can use the search function to search your Chapter 2, which is usually around 30 pages, if not longer. You might want to pull out your Chapter 2 and put it in a separate document, so you are only searching Chapter 2 and not the other chapters of your dissertation. You can simply dispose of this working draft of Chapter 2 later.

The idea is to search Chapter 2 for the key terms related to your findings. This will help you zero in on the key ideas and terms of your findings in your Chapter 2. From there, you can see if the material is suitable to use for your Chapter 5. This strategy not only saves time but also helps ensure accuracy and thoroughness. It also helps you to get a handle on your Chapter 2 because it is challenging to hold all the material from Chapter 2 in your mind. With the search function, you can target those specific ideas and terms that apply directly to your findings in Chapter 5.

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