Social Work 400

  • Fall Semester Hours: Mon-Thurs: 8:30am-11pm; Fri: 8:30am-6pm; Sat: 11am-5pm; Sun: 1pm-11pm
  •   SSHEL North (Room 100) and SSHEL South (Room 101), Main Library
  • (217) 244-1864

Generalist Social Work Practice Methods

A Guide to Library Resources for Social Work 400


Library Session Goals | Scholarly ResearchBackground Information | Article Databases | Books, Journals & Media | Cite Your Sources | Research Assistance



Course Overview

Social Work 400: Foundation methods course that is a prerequisite for all advanced methods courses. Overview of generalist social work practice and intervention with individuals, groups, organizations and communities; introduction to core concepts, value base and ethical principles of the profession. Emphasis is given to the bio-ecological framework, person-in-environment and systems theory. Skills in developing beginning professional relationships are addressed via a skills lab component. Students begin the process of professional self-awareness to begin to identify how the personal values and beliefs they hold impact upon their interactions.



Library Session Goals

1. Learn about the resources and services the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library provides.

2. Identify sources of social work research and evidence including reference sources with background information.

3. Understand how to structure an article database search, including search tips (truncation and thesaurus) and how to find full-text.

4. Use Social Services Abstracts to find an article relevant to your research.

5. Learn about citation management tools (RefWorks).



Scholarly Research

What is scholarly / peer-reviewed / refereed research?

Refereed materials are publications reviewed by "expert readers" or referees prior to the publication of the material. After reading and evaluating the material, the referee informs the publisher if the document should be published or if any changes should be made prior to publication. Refereed materials are also referred to as Peer Reviewed. Refereed materials are significant to the research and the literature of most academic fields because they assure readers that the information conveyed is reliable and timely.

Many article databases now allow you to limit your search to display only peer-reviewed (refereed) results. Use this option to eliminate guesswork and rest assured that your results are all from peer-reviewed sources.

Note: beware the "scholarly" we've seen, a source can be "scholarly" but not necessarily peer-reviewed. Look for "peer-reviewed" or "refereed" to be sure.



Background Information: Reference Sources

Reference sources, online or in print, include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and directories. These are great starting points for background information about a specific topic. All books are located in Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library reference collection.

309.12 So15 and Online
Encyclopedia of Social Work
Comprehensive overview of social work from a United States perspective. Contains a topical outline of entries, directory of contributors, and comprehensive index.

361.32 So1344 2009
Social Worker’s Desk Reference
Resource for those engaged in the social work profession or for students looking to familiarize themselves with the techniques and strategies of intervention in the clinical setting.

808.066301 Sz71w 2011
Writing with Style: APA Style for Social Work
Information about how to write different sections of a paper, including writing a literature review. 

361.3072 Sa184 and Online
The SAGE Handbook of Social Work Research 
Divided into sections on the purposes, contexts, practices, and domains of social work research. 



Article Databases

Scholarly journal articles are one of the primary means of communicating research ideas. They are an important component of academic research and give you some insight into ongoing debates and scholarly conversations about your topic. You can find articles through database searches.

Finding articles is a two-step process:


Suggested Social Work Article Databases

Additional Databases and Guides



Books, Journals, & Media

Library catalogs are used for two purposes. First, if you know exactly what you are looking for, for example you know the exact title or an author's name. This works for book titles and journal titles. Second, you can use library catalogs to discover material that might be helpful



Writing a Literature Review

In Print

808.066301 Sz71w 2011
Writing with Style: APA Style for Social Work
Information about how to write different sections of a paper, including writing a literature review.


University of California Santa Cruz
Brief overview of a literature review, includes a list of stages for writing a lit review. From the University Library.

Language Center, Asian Institute of Technology
Detailed explanation about what a literature review is and how to write one.

University of North Carolina
Detailed information about writing a literature review. From the College of Arts & Sciences Writing Center.

Writing Assistance

Center for Writing Studies
The Center facilitates research and promotes graduate study in the areas of written composition, language, literacy, and rhetoric; however, it also hosts the Writers Workshop during the fall and spring semesters. Provides free writing assistance for University of Illinois faculty, staff, and students. 



Cite Your Sources

Guidelines for citing electronic and print resources are available from the Reference Library's Cite a Source page and the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library's Style and Writing Guide.


A great tool for writing papers, RefWorks helps you export bibliographic records from databases, change the citation styles as needed, and import the citation directly into a Word document so you can create bibliographies on the fly. 



Research Assistance

Ask-A-Librarian for Help with Your Research

Use the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library's Ask-A-Librarian service to contact a librarian via Instant Messenger/chat, email, phone, or in person.

Contact a librarian to request an appointment for an in-depth Research Consultation.

More Help Using the Library