Question Description

The Research Term Paper Assignment

Social Work 110 requires all students to write a 5-6 page scholarly research term paper on a field of service in the social work profession, in American Psychological Association (APA) format.

  1. What are the Objectives of the Assignment (Student Learning Outcomes)?
  2. To assure that each student by the end of the semester will be able to demonstrate the ability to research, interpret, and report information related to a specific field of social work practice, in grammatically correct APA (American Psychological Association) format. These skills are essential in social work education.
  1. Acquire knowledge and gain insight into a specific field of social work service
  2. Gain an understanding of the values and ethics that impact social workers in this field
  3. Demonstrate a beginning knowledge of how to consult and utilize research evidence to inform ongoing policy and practice
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and application of APA format
  5. Choose One Field of Social Work Service to Write About (pages 21-26 main text)
Child WelfareFamily, Youth and ChildrenPregnancy & Parenting
School Social WorkMental HealthOlder Adults
Substance AbuseMilitary Social WorkMedical Social Work
Grant WritingInternational Social WorkRefugees and/or Immigrants
DisabilitiesCrisis and TraumaAdministration
Violence, Victims and Criminal JusticeCommunity Organizing

*** You can narrow your focus: For example: If your topic is Criminal Justice and Corrections, you could focus on the specific area of Juvenile Delinquency ***

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III. What Are The Research Requirements?

  1. Begin your research for appropriate and relevant reference materials. Use the topic headings to help you identify the areas of focus.
  2. What are the Literature Requirements?
  3. You will need at least one book or e-book
  4. Choose a book that focuses mainly on the field of service that you have chosen (textbooks can be used a supplemental source, but not the main source).
  5. The course textbook from Social Work 110 cannot be used as reference.
  6. The book should be written by a professional in the field of social work or a closely related field.
  7. You will need three scholarly articles – What is a scholarly article?
  8. A scholarly article is written by a professional and is usually contained in a professional journal.
  1. Social work journals and articles written for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) are good examples of appropriate references.
  2. “Social Work Today” is an online/hard copy magazine that often has scholarly research articles available; it is available in the Cuyamaca Library.
  3. You can also use journal articles from other related professions such as psychology, psychiatry, nursing, pediatrics, and education.
  4. Articles, research, and statistics from the Federal Government are acceptable.
  5. You can also use e-scholarly articles.
  6. Popular culture magazines, newspaper articles, and websites are not appropriate for scholarly research (Examples: Wikipedia and

*Please be sure that all resources include author/s and dates. Undated books, articles or websites will not be accepted.

  1. Important Research Specifics
  2. All resources must be from the United States of America
  3. All resources must be no older than 2010. The date must be included!
  4. Locating Your Research
  5. The Cuyamaca Library (Library building, LRC/C)
  1. The librarians have a copy of the Scholarly Research Term Paper Guidelines. They are all very skilled in helping students find appropriate resources and materials for this research assignment. The Cuyamaca Library has also purchased a large number of new books that will help social work students with this research term paper.
  2. For assistance with research contact a librarian in person at the reference desk on the 2nd floor.
  3. There is also an extensive online library which includes e-books and e-articles specifically for the subject of social work.
  4. For on-line reference assistance: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
  5. For Social Work Resources (e-books and e-articles): (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  1. Accessing Resources from San Diego State University (SDSU) Library
  2. The Cuyamaca College Librarians can reserve books from the SDSU Library at no cost to Cuyamaca students. Scholarly articles are also available from SDSU.
  3. Part I of the Research Term Paper
  4. Below are the topic headings as provided by San Diego State University for the “Literature Review” and “Field of Service.”
  5. A literature review is a way of organizing, summarizing, and critiquing a topic to inform the reader about a problem or issue.
  6. It allows you to examine the research question, topic, problem, or issue in greater detail by considering what other people’s’ writings and studies have shown.
  7. Define the field of service
  8. Drawing from the literature, describe in detail the following:
  9. What is the target population? (Who are the clients in need of service? Include information regarding the age ranges, gender, and socioeconomic status)
  10. What are the practice methods that social workers use in this fieldIndicate micro and/or macro practice methods.
  11. What is the role of the social worker in this field?
  12. What are the presenting problems in this field of service?
  13. What are the barriers to service for the target population?
  14. What are the individual and environmental/societal causes of problems?
  15. What are the values and ethical issues for social workers? What ethical and/or value dilemmas do social workers face in this field of service?
  16. What is the anticipated income for social workers in this field of service?
  17. What is your personal assessment of your continued interest in the field of service?
  18. General Information
  19. The research term paper should be 5 to 6 pages in length and divided in two parts.
  20. Part I – “Literature Review”
  21. Part II -“Field of Service”
  22. The bibliography and cover page are not included in the length of the paper.
  23. The research paper should include an abstract.
  24. Content must be accurate and conclusions must be adequately supported by scholarly research. This is not an opinion paper.
  25. Grammar and syntax: Sentences should convey meaning clearly and should be grammatically correct with appropriate punctuation in place. Spelling should be correct.
  26. Use APA Formatting (American Psychological Association)
  27. Please consult the APA Style Essentials for general document guidelines such as the title page, abstract, body of the paper, text citations and quotations, and references (located in Canvas under “Files”)
  28. A sample APA Format paper is available in Canvas under “Files.”
  29. The Bibliography or “References” Section
  30. There will be one “References” section for both parts of the paper, located at the end of the paper, in APA format. A sample APA format “References” page is available with a sample APA format paper located in Canvas under “Files.”
  31. Goals of the Research Paper
  32. Provide various viewpoints by discussing what others have written or reported about the topic.
  33. Assess the strengths and limitations of the literature, identify and comment on the major themes found in the literature, and offer a critique of the works.
  34. You need to base your own perspective on your research findings and critical analysis of the literature review.
  35. Final Paper is the finished product that includes a college-level discussion of the topic with accompanying research and supporting evidence.
  36. All required topics in Parts I & II are covered accurately, with supporting research.
  37. There is an analysis of the literature that you reviewed.
  38. The paper is written in APA format, including citations and “References” page.
  39. Grammar, organization, and writing are at collegiate level.
  40. Please refer to the term paper guidelines in this document for all requirements.

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