Social Work Research Methods

Course Guide will assist online students in completing their projects

IMPORTANT

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https://libraries.uark.edu/   The FAQ and current news is meant to help users avoid frustration.

Take Aways

Here are some helpful hints to assist you in getting the most out of research.

1.  Buy a copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.  6th edition.  The first three chapters are a very important guide to writing for an academic audience.

2.  Set the foundation - build your skills, just as you would  in learning anything new.  The more you do it the better you become.

3.  Ask for help!  Get to know your subject librarian.  We can help you with search strategies and source selection to maximize your time management.

4.  Utilize the "Find It" feature on the Libraries website.

5.  Sign up for Interlibrary Loan which is also known as Illiad.

 

Assignments

Full Electronic Poster

 

Point Value

Points Earned

Feedback

TITLE – 6 points

 

 

 

Accurately described the study

3

 

 

Included author’s name and affiliation

3

 

 

INTRODUCTION – 25 points

 

 

 

Introduced the social need/condition on which project is focusing on.

5

 

 

Described the scope of the social need.

5

 

 

Described the causes of the social need.

5

 

 

Described the consequences of the social need.

5

 

 

Outlined current policies (organizational and/or public) attempting to address this need.

5

 

 

THEORY – 15 points

 

 

 

Discussed the theory(ies) drawn upon to explain/understand this social condition/need.

5

 

 

Discussed how well this theory reflects a strengths perspective.

5

 

 

Discussed how well this theory reflects social work values and ethics.

5

 

 

MSLC – 15 points

 

 

 

Incorporated MSLC into the framework of understanding and addressing this social condition.

5

 

 

Described how MSLC broadens our understanding of the social need.

5

 

 

Described how MSLC helps make social work practice (micro/mezzo/macro) more relevant and effective for working with client systems.

5

 

 

Purpose of Study – 15 points

 

 

 

Stated the purpose of the study.

5

 

 

Stated the research question and hypothesis.

5

 

 

Provided a rationale/justification for the study.

5

 

 

LITERATURE REVIEW – 55 points

 

 

 

Briefly described the outline of your review and explicitly what will and will not be covered (scope of review).

5

 

 

Synthesized the literature to report main findings/results related to given topic area.

10

 

 

Compared and contrasted literature, focusing on the similarities and differences of studies reviewed.

5

 

 

Used subheadings to trace discussions of the literature.

5

 

 

Critically assessed the literature (strengths and weaknesses).

10

 

 

Discussed how your study will address research questions left unanswered and provide new information.

5

 

 

Included citations (APA)

5

 

 

Included a minimum of 10 peer reviewed, empirical articles in literature review.

10

 

 

INTERVENTION – 25 points

 

 

 

Described major assumptions of the intervention you used or would use with this client population.

5

 

 

Outlined key concepts of the intervention you used or would use with this client population.

5

 

 

Described techniques you employed with this intervention or would employ with this intervention (minimum of 3).

5

 

 

Discussed how you implemented the intervention or would implement the intervention with your client population.

5

 

 

Described the empirical evidence regarding the intervention.

5

 

 

METHODOLOGY – 45 points

 

 

 

Participant Selection

 

 

 

Stated total number of participants.

5

 

 

Described the major demographic characteristics of the participants.

5

 

 

Described how research participants were selected including the sampling design.

5

 

 

Procedure

 

 

 

Identified the research design.

5

 

 

Described the setting and location in which the data were collected.

5

 

 

Discussed IRB approval, informed consent, confidentiality, anonymity, etc.

5

 

 

Measures

 

 

 

Identified study variables.

5

 

 

Described how variables were operationalized.

5

 

 

Identified the reliability and validity of study measures and cited original author.

5

 

 

DATA ANALYSIS PLAN – 15 points

 

 

 

Identified appropriate statistical test.

5

 

 

Provided a rationale for use of selected statistical test.

10

 

 

FINDINGS – 10 points

 

 

 

Included tables and figures to represent findings.

5

 

 

Reported descriptive, univariate, and/or bivariate findings.

5

 

 

DISCUSSION – 20 points

 

 

 

Discussed the meaning of findings

  1. Did the findings support the study hypothesis?
  2. Are there alternative explanations/understanding of the results?

10

 

 

Connected findings to the research literature

  1. Did the study results support and/or refute previous studies and/or theory used?

10

 

 

LIMITATIONS – 5 points

 

 

 

Described the strengths and weaknesses of the study.

5

 

 

IMPLICATIONS – 20 points

 

 

 

Described implications for theory building and connection to MSLC.

5

 

 

Described implications for direct practice.

5

 

 

Described implications for policy practice.

5

 

 

Described implications for future research.

5

 

 

CONCLUSION – 10 points

 

 

 

Described the key findings.

5

 

 

Discussed how/why this study and its findings are important.

5

 

 

REFERENCES – 5 points

 

 

 

Included an APA reference page including all sources used.

5

 

 

POSTER QUALITY – 4 points

 

 

 

1 – Poor    2 – Fair    3 – Good    4 – Outstanding

4

 

 

Total

290 points

 

 

Research and Literature Reviews: not as daunting as they seem

A literature review is the first step when writing a research paper.  It will allow you to locate books, journal articles and other materials to support or refute the research you are doing.  They can give you an overview or act as background to more recent information. A literature review allows you to  learn about the history of a field and current developments.  It allows you to find the most pertinent or relevant books and journal articles related to a subject.   

Search Strategies

I like to use the same techniques as developing a topic sentence, for developing a search strategy.

Start with your topic sentence.  I am researching The use of pet assisted therapy with dementia or alzheimers patients

Next break it down.  What are other words that can be used?

dementia  alzheimer's

pet assisted therapy  animal assisted therapy

research  interventions

Connect them using the following words

and : narrows your results.  All words must be in the results  pet assisted therapy and dementia

or : broadens your results.  Any of the words must be in your results. dementia or alzheimer's

not : excludes words.  evidence based research not qualitative

() : allows you to combine it all together.  (dementia or alzheimer's) and (pet assisted therapy or animal assisted therapy) and research