MSW 520: Social Welfare Policy

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Pre-Library Session Homework

TL-MSW520-assignment

Before the library session, complete the following steps:

  1. Review this entire MSW 520 course guide, including the videos on finding state and federal legislation.

  2. Complete the Pre-Library Session worksheet (PDF version) based on a topic you're interested in. This could be what your group project will be on, or it could be something different.

  3. Bring the completed worksheet to the library session.

 

TL-MSW520-topicselection

Tips for Choosing a Topic.

There are a few ways for you to decide the topic of your Policy Project.

  • Think about your field practicum agency. What issues are impacting this agency or the population they serve?
  • Read the news! Have you heard about something of interest through social media or news lately? Is there something you're passionate about? Use it as your main topic, and we can find a piece of legislation to fit.
  • Browse CQ Researcher for current topics of interest.
  • Wikipedia can be a great source to learn more about a particular area of legislation. However, you should NEVER include a Wikipedia entry in your paper or references.

In-Class Activities

Source comparison

  1. Meeting California's Primary Care Workforce Needs
  2. Nurse Managed Health Centers and Patient-Centered Medical Homes Could Mitigate Expected Primary Care Physician Shortage

 

Want to discuss topics ideas with the librarian? Feel free to email Tricia Lantzy (Social Work) or Allie Carr (Policy) to set up an appointment!

Tricia Lantzy, plantzy@csusm.edu
Allie Carr, acarr@csusm.edu

State & Federal Legislation

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Finding Legislation

State Legislation & Ballot Propositions

California Legislative Information

Search by keywords or bill number to find state legislation about your topic. You can search the current or past sessions. Included in this database are the following:

  • Status and history
  • Votes
  • Analysis (this analysis is used by legislators to make voting decisions, so it would be considered a primary source)
  • Bill text

2016-08-31_California Legislation

 
Federal Legislation

Congress.gov. Congress.gov includes legislative information from the U.S. Congress. Search by keywords or bill number to find federal legislation about your topic. You can search the current or past sessions. When you find a bill, click on "Bill Summary & Status" for the following:

  • Text of Legislation
  • Major Congressional Actions - this is where you will find the voting records, and passage/failure
  • Related Bills
  • Cosponsors
 
Congress.gov Tutorial

Need help finding Federal legislation on the Congress.gov website? Watch this short video!

Congress.gov 2014-03-14_11-09-17

 

Westlaw - This is a comprehensive database for news, business, and law-related information has been designed for students. It brings together news databases arranged geographically and topically; newswires as well as business, trade, and professional journals and publications; and law-related resources, including both primary law and analysis.

Policy Resources

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Policy Resources on the Web

Public Policy Institute of California   The mission of PPIC is to inform and improve public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research.

California Research Bureau   The CRB provides nonpartisan research services to the Governor and his staff, to both houses of the Legislature, and to other elected State officials. 

Policy Archive   A freely available archive for public policy research including reports, charts, videos and white papers.

Congressional Reports via Congressional Research Service   The Congressional Research Service, a component of the Library of Congress, conducts research and analysis for Congress on a broad range of national policy issues.

ProCon.org    An independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit Web site that offers pros and cons of controversial issues. The site aims to "promote critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting research on controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, and primarily pro-con format."

Policy Almanac    A digest of major U.S. public policy news.

Evidence-Based Practice Resources from the Social Work Policy Institute

Top 50 Think Tanks    This is a library guide from Penn State with a list of the current top 50 think tanks in the United States.

Scholarly Articles

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To look for articles in journals, newspapers, or magazines, you will need to start with a research database. The following databases provide abstracts of articles from thousands of sources, often providing full-text.

Looking for scholarly articles?

 

MSW 520 Database List

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
Academic Search Premier

This scholarly collection offers information in nearly every area of academic study including: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.

Report Problems
Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1975 to current Most
Sociological Abstracts

Provides access to the latest international findings in theoretical and applied sociology, social science, and political science.

Report Problems
Links to full-text via Get-It 1963 to current All
PAIS

An important index to political, economic, and social issues in current debate.

Report Problems
Links to full-text via Get-It 1972 to current All
Google Scholar CSUSM

Link to citations and full-text from your CSUSM Library databases and beyond!

Report Problems
Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It current to current All
CINAHL Complete

CINAHL, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature, provides indexing for articles from 5,400 journals in the fields of nursing and allied health. This database provides full text access to more than 1,300 journals dating back to 1937.

Report Problems
Links to full-text via Get-It 1937 to current Most
PsycINFO

Available via EbscoHost: A comprehensive international database of psychology, covering the academic, research, and practice literature in psychology from over 45 countries in more than 30 languages.

Report Problems
Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1887 to current All

Policy in the News

MSW 520 Newspapers Database List

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
Academic Search Premier

This scholarly collection offers information in nearly every area of academic study including: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.

Report Problems
Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1975 to current Most
ProQuest Newsstand

Includes coverage of over 300 major U.S. and international newspapers, such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune.

Report Problems
Full-text 1970 to current None
Ethnic NewsWatch

Full-text ethnic newspapers, searchable in English or Spanish.

Report Problems
Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1992 to current None

Citing in APA

TL-ALL-APA

Citing sources is expected in scholarly communities and is almost always required in research papers. Scholars cite:

  • to give credit where credit is due;
  • so your reader (professor) can find the source that you mentioned in your assignment;
  • to add credibility to your research - shows you did the work;
  • and to avoid plagiarism!

Not sure where to start? Review this Flow Chart of the citation process before you continue!

APA Style

APA stands for the American Psychological Association. This is the preferred citation style of many of the social and behavioral sciences. Always remember to check your assignment guidelines or ask your professor which citation style they prefer for your work.

Official APA Style Manual Resources

  • APA Style Manual (BF76.7 P83 2010)  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: the most current APA style manual is available at the Kellogg library. Click on the above link to find a copy. 
  • The official APA website  Off campus or need APA guidelines right now? Access the official APA website for citation help by clicking the above link. This site has useful tutorials and up-to-date facts about citing in APA.  

 

Helpful Online Resources

 

Also Helpful: Citation Generators

  • Zotero  Zotero is a tool for storing citations and generating bibliographies using data collected from the library catalog or websites such as Amazon or Google. For more information on using Zotero, see our Zotero Guide. Always double check your results with citation generators, they are not always perfect!
  • KnightCite Citation Service   This citation generator formats your citations for you. This can be a convenient tool, especially if you have a lot of sources to cite, but it is NOT 100% accurate. ALWAYS check an additional resource like the APA Manual or Purdue OWL to make sure that the citation is formatted correctly!

 

Sample Papers in APA format

 

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