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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

Dissertation resources - Education: Developing Search Terms

Research tools to help you through the dissertation journey

Maximizing results with the use of synonyms

When you need to maximize the results of a topical search, the identification and usage of synonyms is essential. See search example below.
Search example:  Research on the impact of trust in global online teams

Finding articles by searching for opposite words

Often you'll find that searching for terms opposite to your concept will richly inform your understanding of the research.
Search Example: 

The impact of leadership style on employee job satisfaction.

Try searching:

leadership style AND

employee AND

satisfaction OR dissatisfaction or motivation OR turnover OR retention OR loyalty OR disgruntled OR productivity OR thrive

Search Example:

 

Locating contrasting literature/theoretical criticicism

Bringing contrasting literature, in other words, articles where authors point out weaknesses and limitations of theories you're using in your manuscript, will significantly strengthen your scholarly voice.  You demonstrate that you have considered many perspectives about theories you're utilizing in your research, and are able to speak to their advantages as well as limitations.