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Ohio University

Social Work

This is a Social Work research guide. It offers a variety of information to help you with your research needs

Getting Started

This guide follows the steps of the policy analysis paper as discussed in SW 3602 and 5602. Use this information to orientate yourself to the research process as it pertains to your assignment. Find the specific syllabus in your BlackBoard course. This is an additional reference.

You will be reviewing existing laws, federal and state planning and budget documents, and search the professional literature for studies and program evaluation materials. As well as using journal articles, books, government, agency studies/reports, and other related reputable reference material. And this guide will help!

Select a social welfare law that is relates to topics from your texts.

Writing Quality Papers: Resources

Not all resources are created equally. Depending on your topic and scope, the best resource may be a newspaper article or an academic, scholarly article or book. You need to evaluate your sources to not only make sure they are appropriate for your topic and scope, but if the content makes sense and is executed well. For evaluating resources, go here.

Writing like a social worker tips and strategies for a GREAT paper- Writing in Social Work

Legal Citation

A legal citation is a reference to a legal document such as a case, statute, law review article, etc.

First, you should check the documentation for the citation system you are required to use, e.g. APA, MLA, etc. Here's a page about citing legal sources in APA, for example. 

Sometimes these citation systems (or your professor) will direct you instead to the standard legal citation system from The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (available only in paper for Ohio University affiliates).

  • The general format for Blue Book citations include a name, a series abbreviation, and a year. The series abbreviation usually appears as a volume number followed by the abbreviated name of the series and then  another number, often a reference to the first page.
  • Arizona v. California et al., 547 U.S. 150 (2006), is a citation to a case involving Arizona and California, which can be found in volume 547 of the United States Reports (U.S.) beginning on page 150 and which was decided in 2006.

Probably the most comprehensive, free online resource for legal citation is Peter W. Martin's Basic Legal Citation, 2013.

For APA and MLA online assistance, use The OWL at Purdue University.