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Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Research Guide: Dissertations

A guide to support students in the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program.


The culminating project for the Ed.D. program is either the Dissertation in Professional Practice (DiPP) or a traditional dissertation in educational leadership. In order to carry out a successful project, you will need to be very familiar with the existing research on your topic. An extensive literature review is required. The resources on this page will aid you in conducting your literature review and writing your dissertation.

Search for Dissertations:

It may be helpful to view example dissertations in your area prior to beginning your project. A dissertation search will also help you to avoid duplicating another's efforts.

You can find dissertations and theses in education using the following links.

Literature Reviews:

A literature review grounds your project within the context of existing research. It is both process and product. The product is a written synthesis of all relevant scholarly research on your topic. Learn more about the process by viewing the slides below.

The sources below may provide additional guidance and methods for organizing your literature review. 



Selected eBooks:

Find (Free) Tests & Measures

Some types of education research will require the adaptation and use of pre-existing survey instruments, tests, measures, scales, etc. Many articles include these either in the article itself or the appendix; but others do not. You may be able to find the full text of tests and measures used in research studies by searching for the name of the test in an academic database. PsycTests is the best resource we have for searching the instruments themselves.

You may also have success searching specific journals like Psychological Assessment or Educational and Psychological Measurement. You can access these--and many other journal titles--through Journal Finder.

Find (Fee-based) Tests & Measures

Many widely-used test instruments are owned by publishers and are available to use for a fee. There are two titles at Smith Library which index and/or review published, fee-based instruments. These include:

The following website has a comprehensive list of all tests reviewed in the Mental Measurements Yearbook series, along with the corresponding volume: