Children Welfare Discussion


The Research Term Paper Assignment

Social Work 110 requires all students to write a scholarly research term paper on a field of service in the social work profession, in American Psychological Association (APA) format. This assignment is to teach students how to write the annotated bibliography portion of a research paper.

The Annotated Bibliography

  • What is an Annotated Bibliography?
    • A bibliography is a list of reference materials that you have used for researching a topic. In APA format it is called “References.” Your bibliography should include at least one book and three scholarly articles.
  • What is the purpose of an Annotated Bibliography?
    • Provides preparation for the research term paper by familiarizing the writer with the current research, trends, and themes related to the topic. Exposes the writer to different resources to assist in analysis and critical thinking.
  • Writing an Annotated Bibliography
    • Write an Annotated Bibliography for each of the 4 references; this will include one book and three scholarly articles.

Each annotated reference should include these three parts:

A Summary of the main arguments and points of the reference

An Assessment and Evaluation of the reference – Is this a reliable, objective resource? Be sure to explain your point of view.

A Reflection on how this resource will help you write your research paper (Example: How will it help you understand the field of service? Does the information help cover the topic headings on pages 4-5 of this document?)

An instructor sample of an Annotated Bibliography is located within the “Files” folder.

Annotated Bibliographies will be graded based on the “Summary,” “Assessment and Evaluation,” and “Reflection:” outlined above.

Resources for Writing an Annotated Bibliography (Owl Purdue)

For definition and purpose of an Annotated Bibliography, click on the link below. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

For a general sample of an Annotated bibliography in APA format, click on this link: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Choose One Field of Social Work Service to Write About (pages 21-26 main text)

Child Welfare

Family, Youth and Children

Pregnancy & Parenting

School Social Work

Mental Health

Older Adults

Substance Abuse

Military Social Work

Medical Social Work

Grant Writing

International Social Work

Refugees and/or Immigrants


Crisis and Trauma


Violence, Victims and Criminal Justice

Community Organizing

*** You can narrow your focus: For example: If your topic is Criminal Justice and Corrections, you could focus on the specific area of Juvenile Delinquency ***

What Are The Research Requirements?

Begin your research for appropriate and relevant reference materials. Use the topic headings to help you identify the areas of focus.

What are the Literature Requirements?

  • You will need at least one book or e-book
    • Choose a book that focuses mainly on the field of service that you have chosen (textbooks can be used a supplemental source, but not the main source).
    • The course textbook from Social Work 110 cannot be used as reference.
    • The book should be written by a professional in the field of social work or a closely related field.
  • You will need three scholarly articles – What is a scholarly article?
    • A scholarly article is written by a professional and is usually contained in a professional journal.
    • Social work journals and articles written for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) are good examples of appropriate references.
    • “Social Work Today” is an on-line/hard copy magazine that often has scholarly research articles available; it is available in the Cuyamaca Library.
    • You can also use journal articles from other related professions such as psychology, psychiatry, nursing, pediatrics, and education.
    • Articles, research, and statistics from the Federal Government are acceptable.
    • You can also use e-scholarly articles.
    • Popular culture magazines, newspaper articles, and websites are not appropriate for scholarly research (Examples: Wikipedia and

*Please be sure that all resources include author/s and dates. Undated books, articles or websites will not be accepted.

Important Research Specifics

  1. All resources must be from the United States of America
  2. All resources must be no older than 2010. The date must be included!
  3. Locating Your Research
    1. The Cuyamaca Library (Library building, LRC/C) (Temporary Library in L-103)
    2. The librarians have a copy of the Scholarly Research Term Paper Guidelines. They are all very skilled in helping students find appropriate resources and materials for this research assignment. The Cuyamaca Library has also purchased a large number of new books that will help social work students with this research term paper.
    3. For assistance with research contact a librarian in person at the reference desk on the 2nd floor. in E-121.
    4. There is also an extensive on-line library which includes e-books and e-articles specifically for the subject of social work
    5. For on-line reference assistance, use the Ask a Librarian chat box located on the library website: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
  4. For Social Work Resources (print books, e-books and e-articles):
    1. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
    2. Please Note: The library does not have access to most of its print book collection. However, there are print books for this assignment available for checkout in the temporary library in L-103. These books are identified in the Social Work 110 Research Guide (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. with this message “[Available in L-103]”. Titles listed in the Social Work 110 Guide that are not available in L-103 can be requested through Interlibrary Loan. The librarian at the reference desk in E-121 can assist with making this request.
  5. Accessing Resources from San Diego State University (SDSU) Library
    1. The Cuyamaca College Librarians can reserve request through interlibrary loan books from the SDSU Library at no cost to Cuyamaca students. Scholarly articles are also available from SDSU.

What are the Objectives of the Assignment (Student Learning Outcomes)?

  1. To assure that each student by the end of the semester will be able to demonstrate the ability to research, interpret, and report information related to a specific field of social work practice, in grammatically correct APA (American Psychological Association) format. These skills are essential in social work education.
  2. Acquire knowledge and gain insight into a specific field of social work service
  3. Gain an understanding of the values and ethics that impact social workers in this field
  4. Demonstrate a beginning knowledge of how to consult and utilize research evidence to inform ongoing policy and practice
  5. Demonstrate knowledge and application of APA format