MSW 6007 : Week 3 – Assignment: Evaluate Research in the Field of Social Work
This assignment has several warm-up activities and one main task. Please ensure you have completed each warm-up activity before completing the main task. The main task requires you to search for, and then analyze research from the library on a topic of interest in social work. This can be a topic you have investigated during your previous coursework.
Warm-up Activity 1: Getting Acquainted with the NCU Library
NCU Library is committed to supporting the academic research needs of students, faculty, and staff. The Library does this by providing timely access to quality, scholarly, and appropriate information resources and library services, such as reference, information literacy instruction, and inter-library loan services. Students also have access to highly qualified and experienced Library staff.
Library services include:
Research Databases – Access to A – Z databases list from the library’s home page containing thousands of journals, magazines, newspapers, e-Books, dissertations, financial data, and other information resources available in the Library.
Inter-library Loan Service (ILL) – Students needing articles, and book chapters not in the Library collection can submit an inter-library loan request. Students can register for the ILL service by clicking the “Request Inter-library Loan Items” link on the Library homepage. Students will need to utilize local libraries for print-only materials.
Ask a Librarian – Students can receive library assistance 24/7 via the “Ask a Librarian” service. Ask a Librarian allows patrons to search an ever-expanding knowledge bank of frequently asked Library questions and their responses, conveniently located at the bottom of the blue, left-side toolbar located on every Library Guide. NCU Students, faculty, and staff may also complete an Ask a Librarian Form. Questions are answered promptly during Library Staffed Hours.
Research Consultations – The Library offers a research consultation service for students, faculty, and staff. This is an in-depth, personalized, one-on-one meeting with a reference librarian to discuss possible information resources and search strategies for class assignments, papers, presentations, Masters theses, and doctoral dissertations.
Library Workshops – Library workshops provide in-depth information about using library resources and services. Recorded workshops are available from the Learn the Library page. Students are strongly encouraged to view a Library workshop before beginning coursework.
Warm-up Activity 2: Considering Information Literacy
Read the Northcentral University Library page called Research Process and review various links and tutorials to prepare for using the library.
As you go through the rest of this assignment, you will be asked to use the Northcentral University Library to locate books, articles, and other appropriate online resources about family therapy. For this purpose, it is necessary for you to identify a topic that you would like to learn more about relating to family therapy. You can choose a specific presenting problem (e.g., infidelity, ADHD, depression) or model of therapy (e.g., Bowen theory, narrative therapy), or even a life stage (e.g., parenting, premarital relationships). Before moving on with this activity, decide on a topic that you will look into as you search the Library. Then, as you search the Library and identify applicable resources, you will make a list of resources that you find. Be sure to capture the reference information for each resource in APA format. You will be required to submit a list of resources in correct APA format at the end of the activity.
Warm-up Activity 3: Learning about RefWorks:
To effectively capture and maintain all of the reference/resource information that is found in the Library and other online resources, students are strongly encouraged to use RefWorks an online research management, writing, and collaboration tool. It is designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store, and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies. Find out more information about RefWorks including how to access it by exploring the library’s RefWorks page. It is well worth the time to access and learn to use this tool as it can be used throughout your scholastic career at Northcentral University. However, you should know that electronic tools like this are no guarantee that your references and in-text citations are 100 percent correct. It is still your responsibility to know the format for APA references and double-check content produced by these tools (helpful resources in this regard are the Purdue Owl site and the APA style blog, links available in the Books and Resources area).
Warm-up Activity 4: Evaluating Internet Research Sources
The Internet is a valuable tool, but you need to exercise caution when using it for scholarly research. The following guides will help you to think critically about website information. These can be found in the Research Process area, under Evaluating Information:
Website evaluation workshop. Northcentral University Library
Research process: Website evaluation. Northcentral University Library
The Author is an Authority and Unbiased: Is the author considered to be an expert or reputable scholar on the topic? Does the author have any professional views that could affect objectivity? Is the author affiliated with any special-interest groups? Does the author present alternate views and are those views portrayed fairly? Does the author’s language show signs of bias?
Publisher Reputation and Authority: Is the publisher a respected source of academic scholarship? (Note: Academic databases generally have a high standard of accountability and accuracy.) Does the publisher have any professional affiliations that could affect objectivity?
Date of Publication: Is the source new or old? If the source is older (more than 5 years), are there any newer sources that validate or invalidate this source? If the source is from the Internet, can the date of publication be accurately certified?
Primary and Secondary Sources: Is this the original (primary) source, or is this a secondary interpretation or description of the primary source? Would the primary source add more validity to your work?
Cross-reference: Is the source cited in other primary or secondary sources? How is this source used by other authors? Is the source respected and valued in the field?
Audience: Who is the source’s audience? Proponents or opponents? Other scholars? The general public?
Now that you have considered the types of sources you are seeking, you are ready to begin exploring the Northcentral University Library.
For this assignment, perform a search for resources in your chosen topic area related to social work.
Be sure to start on the Roadrunner Search tab in the library for scholarly articles. Be sure to check Full Text and Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Journals to narrow down your results for articles, and just the Full-Text box for other resource types.
Locate five peer-reviewed journal articles, one book, and one professional resource (website or another resource). Be sure to include sources related to diverse and oppressed populations.
Begin by creating a table (a general example has been provided below) and list the resources you find. You can use a Word table and then include it with the write-up described below in order to submit one document to complete this assignment. Please ensure your table entries are in APA format.
Example: Aggressive Behavior
Article Citation/Book Chapter/Scholarly Resource (website)
Summary of how this Article Provides an Original Contribution to the Knowledge Base for your Area of Interest
Coyne, S. M. (2016). Effects of viewing relational aggression on television on aggressive behavior in adolescents: A three-year longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 52(2), 284-295. doi:10.1037/dev0000068
EBSCOhost – contains various source types, allows one to save searches in a folder, etc.
Date range 2000-2016
Coyne and colleagues utilized a longitudinal design to study the relationship between aggressive behavior and TV in adolescents. The findings from this study have been used to develop parent education programs regarding TV screen time for adolescents.
The columns of the chart are as follows:
Column 1 – Identify the resource fully AND the type of resource (article, book, other) you discovered in the library.
Column 2 – Provide the name of the database you used AND briefly describe the subject content, resource types, etc.
Column 3 – List the keywords you used in your search.
Column 4 – List any search limiters such as full text, date, peer-reviewed, etc., that you used.
Column 5 – Provide a brief summary of how this article contributes to the knowledge base for your area of interest.
Then, conclude your assignment by selecting one of the following and writing a brief paper explaining which one you chose and the outcome of your effort:
Identify a researcher conducting research in your area and determine questions you would ask him or her about this research based on what you’ve read of his or her work. The primary author’s contact information is often at the bottom of the first page of an article. Researchers love to talk about their research and answer questions. You are not required to actually contact the researcher, but prepare the questions as though you might.
Identify and set up a tool to manage the resources you collect from the NCU Library or other sources. This might be OneNote, RefWorks, or a database you develop for yourself in MS Access, MS Excel, or a similar tool (i.e., setting up folders on Dropbox). Justify your choice and briefly explain how you set it up and plan to use it in conjunction with your use of scholarly sources.
Reach out with a question to the NCU Librarians. Explain your question and the answer you received and how that facilitated your use of the NCU Library.
Total Length: 2-3 pages (the chart—an MS Word Table—on one page, and a 1 to 2-page summary of your experience with one of the three options), not including title page