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Literature Review for Graduate Students in Education

Effective Searching

The published literature on even narrow topics is very large. In order to cover as much of it as possible in your review you need an efficient search method. Keyword searching is one such method. Break your research question(s) down into individual concepts to create search terms. 

Spend some time thinking about the ideas behind your research question. Develop a list of keywords which will generate published articles on your topic. If your topic question is "Is family therapy an effective treatment for anorexia nervosa?" then make a list of the concepts contained in it, eg.,

  • anorexia treatment
  • psychology of families
  • family therapy, etc.


Once you start to narrow your topic, finding the right keywords is important. Don't be afraid to let your topic change as you do more research. Note: when the narrator says "one search" what she really means is "Article Quick Search"

If you cannot access the above video, you can watch it here