VCU Libraries

Research Guides

AHLP 890 Dissertation Seminar

This is a companion research guide for the ALHP 890 Dissertation Seminar. Students can find library materials listed here that correspond to the learning modules in Blackboard.

Librarians

Contact the following librarians for assistance:

Talicia Tarver

Talicia Tarver, Research and Education Librarian

Email

804-827-2095

Nina Exner

Nina Exner, Data Management Librarian

Email

804-628-2714

Overview

Working with theory is all about how you will apply a theory to structure your research. Whether you choose a model or theoretical framework from health theory or from the interdisciplinary work, you will have to understand the theory on its own before you can apply it to your research.

You can use many of the same resources to look at the literature on your theory that you use to look at your topic. The hard parts are:

  1. Deciding how much of the theory you need to know for your purposes
    • typically at least the basics and an overview of the history as the theory evolved over time
    • where in the evolution is most relevant to your question and why
  2. Understanding it on its own, outside of your specific question's needs
    • that includes the abstract pieces such as constructs and actions within the model/framework
    • beware the common mistake of restricting the theoretical literature to articles that apply the theory to a similar topic
  3. Choosing how to combine the elements of the theory with your specific questions and sub-questions, to create a research design

Theory Videos

Ungraded self assessment

Starting places

Here are a few online books on theory to get you started.

But remember to use the literature search tools you learned in module 2, along with the reading you have already done, to look for other material! Finding a theory that you've seen discussed "in action" through interesting articles may be better than looking through books of theory.