The PICO Framework can be used to structure and refine your research question as well as your search strategy. An additional component, M = methods, can be used as a filter if you would like to focus on studies that use a particular study methodology. You can also add a T = time to incorporate at timeline into your search.
This table is modified from Sarah Young's A research guide for the Cornell Dietetic Internship Program: Evidence-based Medicine.
Concept boxes are a way to break your research question into individual search concepts.
1. Write out the question you would like to answer in your literature search.
2. Underline the main terms/concepts in the statements you wrote for steps 1 and 2.
3. Create a concept box by listing each unique topic in a separate row and related terms/synonyms in the adjacent column.