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Doing a Literature Search for your dissertation or project: Succeed@Tees Workshops


Download the following document and complete the exercises in conjunction with the PowerPoint presentation above:


Before you start searching make a list of alternative keywords for you topic.

Search Record

You may find it useful to use a search record form to keep note of your searches and results. Click on the link below to download a blank form.


Doing a Literature Search for your dissertation or project 

Are you undertaking any research for a dissertation or project? If you are, you will need to do a literature search to identify relevant and appropriate material. This guide will give you simple steps and rules that will help you search more effectively.

This guide will help you to:

  • Consider your topic and identify keywords
  • Plan your search strategy using advanced search techniques

This guide is aimed at students preparing for their dissertation or final year project. Please note it is not subject specific. (School of Health and Social Care students will find the CINAHL and Critical Appraisal Succeed@Tees workshops more relevant to their needs)

To get the most out of this guide it would be helpful if you've given some thought to the subject of the topic you want to research.


                       student sat a PC      

Using One Good Result as a Launch Pad

If you find an article that is particularly relevant for your subject you can often follow links within that record to find other useful articles.

Using one result as a launchpad

What students said about this guide

"It was very informative. Easily broke topics down into steps.  Helpful to do the exercises."

"It helped me start to focus on my question. Helped with focus of searching."

"It focussed on key, time-saving search strategies.  Activities made me relate generic strategies to my specific area."

"It gave me an insight how to do a thorough literature search."

"It really helped me to think about how I will undertake my literature search in a structured way rather than a random search".

Further Reading