Organization is essential as you work from start to finish of your capstone project. Good organization will allow you to see where you have been and help you to see how to proceed.
To get an idea of how you may approach this section you can look at the following award-winning dissertations. Look at the introduction of the Literature Review, Review of the Professional Literature, or Review of the Professional and Academic Literature sections:
One method of organizing is to create an Excel spreadsheet to track your research, which will allow you to sort your information also. You can customize your spreadsheet to track the information you need. This is a list of some commonly used areas that you may want to track:
|ABI/INFORM||leadership AND personality AND managers; limited to peer reviewed, 2014-present||17||term leadership styles used in many articles; possible new search term?|
|PsycINFO||leadership styles AND managers; limited to peer reviewed, 2014-present||103||Lots of hits! Maybe narrow it down?|
|Emerald Management||leadership styles AND managers AND women; limited to peer reviewed, 2014-present||306||Wow, a lot also including cultural & international issues as well as gender. New direction for my search?|
The Writing Center offers a similar method in the form of a literature review matrix. You can see sample matrices and download templates on their page:
There is no right or wrong way to organize. The best way is the way that makes sense to you.
As you conduct your research you will read numerous sources on your topic. To keep track of all these resources, you will want to use some kind of organization system.
Citation management software will not only allow you to track all of your resources in one place, it will also provide a way of adding your reference list and in-text citations to your literature review. Most citation management software will allow you to add notes, create your own system for filing and organizing documents, and attach full text articles to citations for easy access.
There are many different citation management software programs available and they can range from free to rather expensive. You'll want to keep some things in mind when selecting the software that works best for you.
Wikipedia has a very handy list that compares the different citation management programs. You can quickly see the cost, what operating systems programs work with, and features of the programs.
EBSCO and ProQuest are often confused as databases. They are actually two popular publishing companies that provide the Library with numerous academic database packages. Walden contracts with them to provide you with access to a large assortment of resources, including journals, books and tests.
In any EBSCO database, from the Advanced Search page, you will find the name of the specific database listed right above the search boxes after Searching. For example, if you see Searching: Education Source, you are using the Education Source database.
You can change databases or add additional databases to your search.
In ProQuest, from the Advance Search page, you will see the name of the specific database you are using at the top of the page, under the ProQuest banner. For example, you might see Nursing & Allied Health Database listed if that is the database you were using.
To change databases, click on the Change databases link found under the name of the database at the top of the page.
This opens the Select Databases page, where you will see a list of options. Many of the options will already be checked. You may need to uncheck databases you do not want to include in a search, and possibly check others that you do.
Once you have made your choices, click the Use selected databases button toward the top of the page.