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NURS 6320 - Theoretical Foundations: Search for Evidence

Research Questions

In order to search the literature effectively, you must ​construct a searchable question.​ This will not necessarily be the same as your research question. You may need to formulate multiple searchable questions in order to provide the necessary background for clinical research or a structured literature review. A clinical research question tests a hypothesis. A literature search question:

  • Frames your question in specific terms
  • Helps to identify the minimum searchable concepts in order to answer the question
  • Allows searchers to isolate relevant literature

Literature search questions can be structured in many ways depending upon the type of question and what the searcher hopes to identify in the existing literature.

Primary vs. Secondary

In a nutshell, primary sources are original works, secondary sources synthesize or utilize primary sources.

Humanities vs. Sciences


Above reused with permission from BMCC Library.

Learn More about Sources

Planning your search

Searching the Literature