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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

Social Work 378 - Human Behavior & the Social Environment I

This course-specific guide is designed to help you locate sources for the literature review of your chosen topic and format your paper in the APA style.

Basic steps of searching library materials

1. Focus on your research topics
  • Think about your research questions or hypotheses
  • Identify individual variables or key concepts from your research question
  • Brainstorm key terms for search (broader or narrower terms)
2. Identify appropriate subject-specific databases in Databases A-Z
  • Understand the scope and size of various databases
  • Explore the database's structure to get relevant search results
3. Follow other leads
  • Identify one relevant article to look for other key terms/descriptors within the article record
  • Use bibliography/references at the end of the article to identify related sources
4. Obtain full-text articles in search results
  • Save the PDF or copy the permalinks or stable URLs
  • Use Interlibrary Loan service for items that EWU Library doesn't own

Look for ideas about a topic

Use an encyclopedia for an overview of a topic

Find scholarly articles in social work databases

Additional resources

What is a literature review?

APA style writing - sample papers

Library research workshop assignment on Feb 24, 2020

Library research skill exercise #1

Individual exercise - pondering and providing answers. [Courtesy of Carolyn Caffrey Gardner]

  1. What is your research topic?
  2. List 3-5 possible search terms you might use to find relevant sources on your chosen topic.
  3. Select an appropriate databases in the Databases A-Z by reading the database description for the research topic.
  4. Find one peer-reviewed journal article you could consider using in your research paper. Copy and paste the APA citation.
  5. What idea, source, or author do you want to find more about based on the source you just found?
  6. Based on the results you found, list 2-3 other search terms you might use to find more sources.

Library research skill exercise #2

Individual exercise - creating citations using APA Style

  1. Create an APA citation for a book chapter
  2. Create an APA citation for a journal article

Library research skill exercise #3 (optional)

Group exercise - performing an autopsy of a scholarly article. For this activity, you will:

  1. Break into groups and assign in-group tasks.
  2. Complete a worksheet that answers specific questions about a scholarly article.
  3. Look at a non-scholarly article and compare the two types.
  4. Present your findings to the class.
  5. Turn in your worksheet before leaving the library classroom.

Adopted from Scholarly Article Autopsy created by Krista Bowers Sharpe.

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