Depending on what stage you are in your research, a variety of different types of searches may be appropriate. Consider the search methodology below as a way to ensure effective and efficient searches:
Once you have formulated your research question, you are ready to start searching. A well-organised search involves the following steps:
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Consider the search process in terms of four sets of questions that need to be answered:
A literature review is an evaluative report of information found in the literature related to your selected area of study. The review should describe, summarise, evaluate, and clarify this literature. It should give a theoretical base for the research and help you (the author) determine the nature of your research.
A good literature review should:
The first step in the process of searching is to identify the key concepts from your research question or search objectives. These concepts describe the kinds of information you need to investigate in order to answer your research question. Consider the concepts in the context of key readings you are already aware of or search around the topic generally before commencing serious research.
A concept or mind map can help explore your topic and clarify the logic of these concepts and illustrate their relationships. You should also consider the different search objectives you might have relevant to the different sections of your thesis or stages of your research.
Example of a concept map: A concept map puts the main topic in the centre of the map and graphically represents the major concepts that relate to the main topic.