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Discovering Dissertation and Thesis Examples: Searching for Theses

Searching for Theses

Some degree programs ask for a dissertation or thesis as part of the graduation requirement.  At some point you may want to look at examples of this type of academic work as you complete your own degree at Luther Seminary.  This brief tutorial will lay out a couple methods for searching out and accessing these works through the library.


SCENARIO ONE: "I just want to see what one looks like."

In this scenario you're not too particular about the subject matter, you simply want to see what the finished product looks like.  You have two options:

  • BOUND COPIES

Visit the Luther Library and go up to Level 8 in the book stacks.  At the far end of the main collection you'll find bound copies of every thesis or dissertation submitted at the seminary.  Theses are grouped into three sections: D.Min. (red binding), M.A.(black binding), and Ph.D. (blue binding).  Within each degree program, theses are shelved alphabetically by author's last name.

  • ELECTRONIC COPIES

Luther Seminary now requires an electronic copy to be stored in its open access digital collection; this collection can be accessed from the library's webpage using the Digital Scholarship@LutherSeminary link. 

Once you reach that website use the following series of links:

Theses are grouped by year of submission.  Download the work immediately using the PDF link next to the title. The hyperlinked title brings up detailed information about the work.

NOTE:  There may be an embargo placed on more recent titles, meaning the work is unavailable to download until a future date.  The embargo warning will include that date.


SCENARIO TWO:  "I'm looking for something a little more specific." Limiting by degree program and date.

This one will require a bit of work in the library online catalog we'll use the basic keyword search box using specific terms and word combinations to get us quickly to a list of results. 

In the search box, type the following:

  • To limit to dissertations and theses:  Type the word Thesis
  • To limit to works at Luther seminary:  Type the phrase "Luther Seminary" 
    • Note:  Do not forget the quotation marks!  We want to find Luther Seminary as a phrase, not as two separate words
  • To limit to a particular program:  Type the degree into the search box.
    • M.A.
    • D.Min.
    • Ph.D.

  • Press the _Search Library Catalog_ button.
  • To limit by date: refine the search by date on the results page (see Limiting Search Results).
  • When you find a title of interest:

SCENARIO THREE:   "Yeah, but has anyone else written on my subject?"

This one will require a similar search in the library online catalog but we'll use the Advance Search option to help us limit to a specific subject area.  

Set the first Search Index to Keyword, and in the Search Term box, type the following:

  • To limit to dissertations and theses:  Type the word Thesis
  • To limit to works at Luther seminary:  Type the phrase "Luther Seminary" 
    • Note:  Do not forget the quotation marks!  We want to find Luther Seminary as a phrase, not as two separate words
  • To limit to a particular program:  Type the degree into the search box.
    • M.A.
    • D.Min.
    • Ph.D.

Add specific subject information in the next row of boxes

  • Set Search Index to Subject
  • Enter your terms in the Search Term box (e.g Preaching)

  • Press the _Search_ button
  • To limit by date: refine the search by date on the results page (see Limiting Search Results).
  • When you find a title of interest: