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Getting Started in Research for a Thesis: Planning

This guide will help law PhD and MPhil students to begin their legal research using the University Library's resources

Planning your search

  • Read and understand the research questions
  • Identify key concepts, themes, and keywords
  • Think about scope, coverage and currency

Brainstorm synonyms or related term. For example, for restraint of trade, we can also use restrictive trade practices

Selecting and Developing a Legal Research Topic

Search Strategies

       Develop a search strategy using these techniques:

Phrase searching Proximity searching Truncation and Wildcards


Note, proximity operators, truncation and wildcard symbols vary between different databases. Always check the section for Help or Search Tips to make sure you are using the the right operator and symbol.