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Social Work

This guide will help you find information relevant to Social Work topics.

Citation Resources

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources. Commonly used citation styles include APAMLA, and Chicago.

For help with creating citations, take a look at our citation guides and resources:

Plagiarism occurs when you take another person’s words or ideas and claim them as your own.

The most common forms of plagiarism are:

  • copying or paraphrasing another author’s work without proper acknowledgement
  • using the ideas or lines of reasoning of another author’s work without proper acknowledgement
  • submitting work that someone else has written or substantially edited
  • submitting the same work for multiple courses without approval

List from RDP Student Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct Policy

Plagiarism has severe consequences, including failure, suspension, and expulsion. In college courses, you are expected to document your sources properly and consistently.

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources. Commonly used citation styles include APA, MLA, and Chicago.

To learn more, see the RDP Library’s Academic Integrity guide.

Annotated Bibliography Resources

An annotated bibliography is the same as a “regular” bibliography (also known as a Works Cited or References list), with the addition of annotations (short paragraphs about each source). Two types of annotated bibliographies are the most common:

  • Descriptive: annotations describe the content of a source
  • Evaluative: annotations describe AND critically evaluate the source

What is an annotation? 

A short paragraph (50-200 words) that describes and/or evaluates each citation (source of information listed in your bibliography). An evaluative annotation judges, in your opinion, the relevance, quality, and accuracy of each citation, in addition to describing the work.

Annotations usually consist of the answers to the following questions:

  Questions to Answer:   Examples:
  What is the material?   Book, chapter, scholarly article, web page
  What is the work about?   Topics and subjects covered
  What is the purpose of the work?   Introduction, update, research report
  Who is the intended audience?   Scholars, general public
  Who is/are the author(s)? What are their qualifications?   Academic qualifications, research background
  Authority of the source?   Peer-reviewed journal, reputable publisher
  Are there any clear biases?   Personal/corporate agenda, unbalanced discussion
  What are the deficiencies or limitations of the work?   Dubious research methods; information that is clearly missing
  What are the strengths of the work?   Thorough discussion, extensive research, major work in field

Do I have to read the entire book/article?

Not necessarily! Look for information in:

  • introductions/conclusions
  • abstracts
  • book reviews
  • websites
  • table of contents
  • first and last paragraphs

Unless otherwise advised, make sure your Annotated Bibliography is in alphabetical order. Start each annotation with a correct citation in the required citation style (e.g., APAMLAChicago).

Additional resources:

Literature Review Resources

What is a literature review?

A literature review is a review of the existing literature on your topic. A literature review summarizes and synthesizes the existing research about a particular topic. A literature review also analyzes and critiques the existing research.

The purpose of a literature review is to organize and evaluate the major concepts, arguments, and themes of the existing research on a topic.

When writing a literature review, you may notice a gap in the existing research, such as an aspect of your topic that no one has researched yet. You can note these gaps in your literature review as well.

How do I write a literature review?

There are 4 steps to completing a literature review:

  1. Choose your topic
    • Your literature review should be guided by a central research question. Before you start searching, consider the key ideas you are searching for, as well as any possible synonyms.
    • Remember, it's okay if your topic changes! As you review the existing research, you may need to revise your initial ideas. This is a normal part of the process!
  2. Search for appropriate sources
    • You will probably use library resources for your literature review. You can find library resources for your subject area using the Subject Guides.
    • Remember to check your assignment requirements! Your assignment may require specific types of sources (e.g. peer-reviewed or scholarly sources), a minimum number of sources, or sources published within a particular time frame (e.g. current sources from the past 5-10 years).
    • For help finding sources for your literature review, please contact an RDP Librarian.
  3. Review the sources
    • Consider the following questions:
      1. What was the research question of each study? What were the authors trying to discover?
      2. What are the shared themes?
      3. Are there similarities in the findings? Differences?
    • Remember, you usually don't need to read the whole article! See RDP Library's Parts of a Scholarly Article tutorial for tips on reading efficiently.
  4. Write the literature review
    • Consider how you want to organize your literature review. Literature reviews are usually organized chronologically (by order of publication) or thematically (by topic or issue).
    • Your literature review should synthesize and analyze the existing research on your topic.
    • Remember, the literature review is more than just a description of each article! Your literature review should make connections between the articles.
    • For writing help, please contact the Writing Skills Centre.

Further Resources

Writing Help

The Writing Skills Centre is available for free for all RDP students!

  • Want someone to check over your work?
  • Need some advice on how to use quotations from your sources?
  • Have questions about your thesis statement?

Book an appointment or come by for a drop-in session in the library!

Citation Tools

Citation tools can help quickly generate and manage your citations. Remember to double-check citations for accuracy. Some tools to try: