Dissertations and literature reviews

Writing a dissertation? Carrying out a literature review? We're here to help with sources, resources, training and support.

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Searching the literature

We have created a guide to literature searching, and a search strategy worksheet to help you find relevant journal articles to support your dissertation research or literature review.

Our guide to literature searching takes you through the ideal process when searching for literature:


Our search strategy worksheet helps you work out what terms you want to search for:


Our databases and reports page provides a list of sources for finding optometric literature.


We can provide training on how to devise a search strategy, and how to search relevant databases and websites for literature on your chosen topic. We can do this in person, over the phone or via the internet. Contact the library to book an appointment today.


Literature search service 

Members engaging in practice-based research, or anybody doing research that is not part of a degree course can ask the Library & Information Services Manager to carry out a literature search on their behalf. Contact library@college-optometrists.org or phone 020 7766 4352.


We have several books to help you with your dissertation or research project - from devising a topic, to undertaking a literature review, and even how to understand what you're reading.

Surviving Your Dissertation: A Comprehensive Guide to Content and Process 
This provides expert advice on the entire dissertation process: selecting a suitable topic; conducting a literature review; building an argument; presenting results; and working with faculty committees. 


How to Write your Undergraduate Dissertation
This step-by-step guide will steer you through the whole process of planning and researching your dissertation, showing you how to use the right quantitative and qualitative techniques for your project - and help you to make sure your achievements really shine through.


Doing a Literature Review in Health and Social Care : a Practical Guide
This practical guide includes commonly occurring scenarios and advice on question setting, following a clearly defined search strategy; and, details of a wide range of critical appraisal tools.


How to Write a Paper
This bestselling guide provides clear instructions on getting published in biomedical journals. It includes all aspects on writing each section of a structured paper incorporating the latest information on open access, electronic publication and submission.