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. The Research Term Paper Assignment
What are the Objectives of the Assignment (Student Learning Outcomes)?
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.
Acquire knowledge and gain insight into a specific field of social work service
Gain an understanding of the values and ethics that impact social workers in this field
Demonstrate a beginning knowledge of how to consult and utilize research evidence to inform ongoing policy and practice
Demonstrate knowledge and application of APA format
Choose One Field of Social Work Service to Write About (pages 21-26 main text)
Child Welfare Family, Youth and Children Pregnancy & Parenting
School Social Work Mental Health Older Adults
Substance Abuse Military Social Work Medical Social Work
Grant Writing International Social Work Refugees and/or Immigrants
Disabilities Crisis and Trauma Administration
Violence, Victims and Criminal Justice
*** 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 ***
III. What Are The Research Requirements?
Begin your research for appropriate and relevant reference materials. Use the topic headings to help you identify the areas of focus.
What are the Literature Requirements?
You will need at least one book or e-book
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).
The course textbook from Social Work 110 cannot be used as reference.
The book should be written by a professional in the field of social work or a closely related field.
You will need three scholarly articles – What is a scholarly article?
A scholarly article is written by a professional and is usually contained in a professional journal.
Social work journals and articles written for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) are good examples of appropriate references.
“Social Work Today” is an online/hard copy magazine that often has scholarly research articles available; it is available in the Cuyamaca Library.
You can also use journal articles from other related professions such as psychology, psychiatry, nursing, pediatrics, and education.
Articles, research, and statistics from the Federal Government are acceptable.
You can also use e-scholarly articles.
Popular culture magazines, newspaper articles, and websites are not appropriate for scholarly research (Examples: Wikipedia and about.com).
*Please be sure that all resources include author/s and dates. Undated books, articles or websites will not be accepted.
Important Research Specifics
All resources must be from the United States of America
All resources must be no older than 2010. The date must be included!
Locating Your Research
The Cuyamaca Library (Library building, LRC/C)
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.
For assistance with research contact a librarian in person at the reference desk on the 2nd floor.
There is also an extensive online library which includes e-books and e-articles specifically for the subject of social work.
For on-line reference assistance: http://www.cuyamaca.edu/library (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
For Social Work Resources (e-books and e-articles):
http://cuyamaca.libguides.com/socialwork (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Accessing Resources from San Diego State University (SDSU) Library
The Cuyamaca College Librarians can reserve books from the SDSU Library at no cost to Cuyamaca students. Scholarly articles are also available from SDSU.
The Annotated Bibliography
What is an Annotated Bibliography?
A bibliography is a list of reference materials that you have used for researching a topic. In APA format it is called “References.” Your bibliography should include at least one book and three scholarly articles.
What is the purpose of an Annotated Bibliography?
Provides preparation for the research term paper by familiarizing the writer with the current research, trends, and themes related to the topic. Exposes the writer to different resources to assist in analysis and critical thinking.
Writing an Annotated Bibliography
Write an Annotated Bibliography for each of the 4 references; this will include one book and three scholarly articles.
Each annotated reference should include these three parts:
A Summary of the main arguments and points of the reference
An Assessment and Evaluation of the reference – Is this a reliable, objective resource? Be sure to explain your point of view.
A Reflection on how this resource will help you write your research paper (Example: How will it help you understand the field of service? Does the information help cover the topic headings on pages 4-5 of this document?)
An instructor sample of an Annotated Bibliography for this assignment is located in Canvas under “Assignment.”
Resources for Writing an Annotated Bibliography (Owl Purdue)
For definition and purpose of an Annotated Bibliography, click on the link below. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/614/01/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
For a general sample of an Annotated bibliography in APA format, click on this link: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/614/03/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Annotated Bibliographies will be graded based on the “Summary,” “Assessment and Evaluation,” and “Reflection:” outlined above.
Part I of the Research Term Paper
The Topic Headings – Content of the Scholarly Research Term Paper
Below are the topic headings as provided by San Diego State University for the “Literature Review” and “Field of Service.”
A literature review is a way of organizing, summarizing, and critiquing a topic to inform the reader about a problem or issue.
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.
Topic Headings for the Literature Review
Define the field of service
Drawing from the literature, describe in detail the following:
What is the target population? (Who are the clients in need of service? Include information regarding the age ranges, gender, and socioeconomic status)
What are the practice methods that social workers use in this field? Indicate micro and/or macro practice methods.
What is the role of the social worker in this field?
Part II of the Research Term Paper
Topic Headings for the Field of Service
What are the presenting problems in this field of service?
What are the barriers to service for the target population?
What are the individual and environmental/societal causes of problems?
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?
What is the anticipated income for social workers in this field of service?
What is your personal assessment of your continued interest in the field of service?
VII. Guidelines for the Research Term Paper Assignment (See “Example Research Paper” located on Canvas within “Files”).
The research term paper should be 5 to 6 pages in length and divided in two parts.
Part I – “Literature Review”
Part II -“Field of Service”
The bibliography and cover page are not included in the length of the paper.
The research paper should include an abstract.
Content must be accurate and conclusions must be adequately supported by scholarly research. This is not an opinion paper.
Grammar and syntax: Sentences should convey meaning clearly and should be grammatically correct with appropriate punctuation in place. Spelling should be correct.
Use APA Formatting (American Psychological Association)
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”)
A sample APA Format paper is available in Canvas under “Files.”
The Bibliography or “References” Section
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.”
Goals of the Research Paper
Provide various viewpoints by discussing what others have written or reported about the topic.
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.
You need to base your own perspective on your research findings and critical analysis of the literature review.
Final Paper is the finished product that includes a college-level discussion of the topic with accompanying research and supporting evidence.
All required topics in Parts I & II are covered accurately, with supporting research.
There is an analysis of the literature that you reviewed.
The paper is written in APA format, including citations and “References” page.
Grammar, organization, and writing are at collegiate level.
Please refer to the term paper guidelines in this document for all requirements.
The Writing Center offers tutoring to assist you with organization, grammar, syntax, punctuation, proofreading, editing, and APA format. The staff will have a copy of the research term paper guidelines. They are very familiar with this assignment, and are skilled in helping students with research papers.
Students who utilize the services of the Writing Center on a consistent basis tend to produce high quality research papers.
Be sure to make appointments with the Writing Center well in advance. This is especially true if you need multiple appointments. It is the job of the Writing Center to teach writing. As your instructor, I am available to help interpret the assignment.
VIV. Assuring Academic Honesty and Avoiding Plagiarism
Always cite your sources in APA format. Failing to cite sources is considered plagiarism, which is a form of academic dishonesty.
What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty and will be treated seriously.
According to the 2016-2017 Cuyamaca College Catalogue, plagiarism is defined as “the act of taking ideas, words or specific substantive material of another and offering them as one’s own without giving credit to the source” (page 30). Writers give credit to sources by using citations.
According to Richard Nordquist, a citation is a source quoted in an essay, report or book to clarify, illustrate, or substantiate a point (About.com).
A detailed description of plagiarism and accompanying consequences are located on page 30 in the 2016-2017 Cuyamaca College Catalogue under “Academic Honesty/Dishonesty.
Common Examples of Plagiarism
Submitting a paper with someone else’s ideas, opinions, or research without citing the appropriate source
Paraphrasing without citing the appropriate source
Submitting the same paper in more than one class
Submitting a paper as your own work that was written by another person
Submitting a paper that was purchased from the Internet or elsewhere