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Social Work Research Guide

This guide will help you find books, articles, websites and other information sources you'll need for research assignments in your program. Use the menu on the left to explore some of the sources available to you.

This guide also provides some research tips, strategies and tools. If you need more help finding, using, or evaluating information sources, click on Research Help on the right to contact your Subject Librarian.

Article Databases

You can search our article databases (collections of journal, newspaper and magazine articles). If the full text of the article is not in the database, click on the "Look for a Copy" or "Find Full Text" link.

Creating Keywords for Database Searching

Try to break down your topic into the main concepts.

For example:    1. Client     2. Issue     3. Intervention

Brainstorm to think of synonyms, broader terms and narrower terms to describe each of these concepts.

Example: Your client is an adolescent male with anger management challenges and problematic alcohol and drug use. You are considering referring him to a group therapy program.

Client Issue Intervention
adolescent drug abuse group therapy
teen alcohol use cognitive behavioral therapy
youth substance misuse multi-family therapy
  anger management support groups

Your database search might look like this:

adolescen* AND "substance abuse" AND "group therapy"

^ Note: asterisks (*) search for different endings of words, and quotations marks (" ") search for phrases of two or more words. ^

If your first search doesn't get good results, try substituting one or more of the keywords with some of the synonyms you have found from brainstorming or the ones you've seen in used in articles.

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Sara Sharun