There are many ways to find theories that are relevant to your coursework and research.
To look for a theory for a discussion post or assignment, these strategies are a good place to start.
Finding a theory for a capstone is a more involved process because the theory must align with your specific research problem. You may find it necessary to use most or all of the search strategies and tools in this guide.
Scholarly encyclopedias and handbooks are great places to find information on theories. The Library has two encyclopedia databases: Sage Knowledge and Gale eBooks.
Try the following search strategies when searching encyclopedias and handbooks. Review the book's table of contents or index for sections on theory.
The Library also has scholarly books that are available in full text and are another great resource. Search your topic as you would for scholarly articles (one idea/concept per search box). Use the "Advanced search" link and enter your topic in the first search box; in the second search box, experiment with adding theory OR theories.
Searching your topic in the scholarly literature will give you an idea of what theories have been used in the research related to your topic. Take notes on the theories being used so you can investigate them later in more depth.
Use the Library databases to research theories related to your topic. EXAMPLE: Search articles on mentoring new teachers.
Similar to searching scholarly articles, searching completed dissertations and doctoral studies related to your topic can help you locate theories that may align with your own research. You can also review their references to see what theories are being used in those articles. Search your topic as you would for scholarly articles (one idea/concept per search box).
Search dissertations or doctoral studies by degree:
Google Scholar is another option for exploring theories since it searches broadly across publisher's websites, repositories, and other libraries. Remember, you cannot limit to peer review or full text. By using the Walden Library's pre-configured Google Scholar search, you can quickly see which articles are available in the Walden Library.
For example, a theory search in Google Scholar for mentoring first year teachers might look like this: