Social Work: Home

Starting Points to Try!

STARTING EXERCISE (5 minutes, tops, I promise!)
Watch the video below as a starting point, then complete the following research exercises:

1. Library Catalog  (quick video version)
Search for a keyword that captures something that you valued when you were in Jr. High or High School (options for me were: Pikachu, Depeche Mode, photography, Michael Jordan -you get the idea).  

In the search results -go to the facet (the organizing links down the right hand side of the screen) and look for "SUBJECT"  -these are some of the ways scholars use to describe your topic.  Everything under the sun has something scholarly written about it -but sometimes you have to look for the bigger subject that describes your topic.  You can now apply your own interests to research (neat!)

2. Article Database: Sociological Abstracts (quick video version)
Go to the U.S. Dept. of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook entry for Social Workers' What Social Workers Do: in the text of the page you'll see a lot of contexts that social research occurs in. Pick a place, community, or context that you're interested in working.

use that context as a keyword in the 'sociological abstracts' database.  I picked "public libraries". In the search results, sort by "most recent first" -and you'll see examples of people doing work right now in that context.

3. Extra Credit
Mix the results of the questions above and see who is doing research that interests you. (again -neat!)

Image from the librarian: near the wonderful Twin Rocks Cafe, Bluff, Utah, 2018.


Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. Clinical social workers also diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.  -the U.S. Department of Labor has a ton of great info about SW -take a look!

The following tabs in this guide are meant to give you some resources to work with as you study in the social sciences, but I'd love to meet with you for a tour of the library, help with your classes in research, help with your own research agendas, validating what you already know, preparing for future courses, and so on!  

Dale Larsen (Library Liaison to the College of Social Work)

two kids looking out towards the horizon in South DakotaRESILIENCE
Midway through a project, you have a particularly challenging day.  You head off to work or home and even small things can become overly discouraging and tiring -as a student/practitioner of social work, what can you turn to?  One of the tools we can take advantage of is research into resilience.  The library catalog is a great place to catch up on the literature -specifically, psychology/social work books are often published with the practitioner in mind.  Even at the scholarly level, a recently published book (print or electronic works equally well) can give you an up-to-date look on a specific topic (like resilience, mindfulness, etc.)

Image from the librarian: Checking out in the Black Hills of South Dakota, 2017.


See the video below on finding resilience resources -for the specific book example in the video click here

Database Highlighted: > USearch (the library catalog)


Creating a literature review can be overwhelming -never fear! There are several ways to help you through learning and understanding the how & why of a lit review in academia. 

Validation of Your Ideas

When you do the research that you do -imposter syndrome can creep up on you saying that you haven't covered everything, or worse, that you've omitted some major concept that surely everyone else knows about.  In the video (below) I highlight one technique for seeing what has been written on a topic, allowing you to gauge where you're at (whew!).

Image from: ‚ÄčReynolds, G. (2016, February 18). How meditation changes the brain and body [Blog post]. Retrieved from


Database Highlighted: > Research Databases (tab) > S > Sociological Abstracts  (good place to start!)

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Dale Larsen

I love to help with your research: from just seeing the assignment, to wrapping up with citation management -drop me a line or come by 1726C on the first floor of the Marriott Library

Send me an e-mail -I'd love to hear from you!

Catching Up With...

Very short annotated bibliographies for use by scholars with an emphasis on understanding the contexts of events in the world around us.  No bibliography can be unbiased -ask your librarian how you can continue the research on what you're interested in!

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library