A research topic can come from many different sources. For some social workers, it starts with a nagging question or obsession that just won’t leave them. For others, it is a noticeable gap in the social work knowledge base, which they discover through immersing themselves in the literature. For still others, it is a practice problem they have encountered that doesn’t seem to have a clear answer. What issues do you see in the social work field—on the job, or through articles you have read? What is one problem you would like to address as a social worker? That problem could be related to gaps in services, diverse populations in need, or an ongoing human challenge such as addiction or trauma.
In this Assignment, you begin thinking about your own “nagging question” while also gaining experience searching in the Walden Library databases. Additionally, you have the opportunity to practice APA Style by referencing the research articles you find in the Library
- Review the Learning Resources on searching for and reading research articles.
- Complete the APA Style interactive media.
- Reflect on topics you are curious or excited to learn about related to your social work interests. Consider what brought you to social work and what you want to know. Review the current issues and trends you have read about and studied in other courses. Select one of the topics you generate as a potential research focus.
- Conduct a search in the Walden Library databases for peer-reviewed research articles related to your research focus that have been published within the past 5 years. Use the resources for help determining what makes a good search topic and keywords.
- Download the Search Worksheet in the Learning Resources for additional support in your library searching. Note that you do not need to submit this worksheet.
Submit a document in which you record:
- Your potential research topic
- Search terms you used to search for peer-reviewed research articles in the Walden Library
- APA references for three peer-reviewed research articles from your search and a brief explanation of how each article relates to your topic