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Dissertation Research in Education: ERIC Thesaurus

This guide was created to teach doctoral students to select, search, evaluate and organize their dissertation research project.

Thesaurus Defined

Instead of trying to figure out all the different ways authors could refer to the same concept, use a thesaurus.  A thesaurus is a list of words and phrases used to index articles. These specialized terms categorize information by standardizing the words or phrases used to represent concepts.  The thesaurus is arranged in a hierarchy that permits searching various levels of detail from the most general to more narrow levels to find the most precise concept. 

ERIC Thesaurus

 The thesaurus index of subject terms are used in ERIC. Subject terms are assigned to each record, and using them can increase your success in getting records that contain related concepts.

1. Click on the Thesaurus button that is in the top part of the screen.


2. Look for descriptors by entering your search term into the box and then clicking on the Browse button. The default setting is to see descriptors Term Begins With. You can also select Term Contains or Relevancy Ranked.


3. Click on the terms to find the scope note and broader, related, or narrower terms.