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Social services research

Brengle Library services

Use this Webform to let us know what you need and we will find it and either e-mail it to you, or check it out to you and put it in your mailbox. Each research request needs to be on its own Webform. Two requests? Two Webforms!

The librarians are here to do what you cannot do for yourselves. There is a tutorial on Using the library catalog if you need a refresher :)  If you have followed the research steps and are stuck the librarians are always available for a telephone consultation.

In all requests, include what you have already done. For resources you need, provide the TITLE and CALL NUMBER, e.g., A certain sound: a primer on open-air preaching BV4235.O7 D46 2019


KWL stands for What I Know -- What I Want to Know -- What I've Learned

The KWL chart may be new to you, but the process isn't. In fact the KWL chart is a way of structuring the flamingo research path into the assignment! 

In the example that follows, we will be using family problems as our research topic.

Where do I start?

Step 1. Already done! You have an approved topic (like the big theme in other research papers). 

Step 2. What do you already KNOW about the topic? Enter this in the K column. This will be related somehow to why you are interested in it. 

For example, "Probably any social problem I will encounter in my corps will have an impact on the family."

This can be a very useful step any time you feel stuck. Write freely about what you already know about the subject, any experience you've had with it, why you chose it, and so on. This also helps you uncover hidden assumptions and biases.

Step back and get the big picture

Step 3. Get the big picture, the overview of the subject. This is extremely important to keep your research in CONTEXT. 

Start with what you already have, especially from class notes and the course textbook. Dictionaries and encyclopedias, and sometimes databases such as the Online resources linked above, are particularly useful at this step.

For example, the Encyclopedia of Social Problems has an article on Family and also a list of many related articles.

By the time you can explain the big picture in one paragraph, you will have come up with a focused research question.

For example, "How can family systems therapy be incorporated into all our corps ministries so that families have greater resilience in dealing with traumatic events?" This is your W:

Step 4. What do you WANT to know?  It is critical that you not attempt to do step 4 until you have done step 3, in order to avoid 'research' that is simply confirming your assumptions.

Dig in

Step 5. Research and write the 3 page paper. Remember this is a cycle of learning, and asking better and better questions.

REMEMBER:  The librarians are here to help you at every phase of the cycle! The more you TALK WITH US, the better we can understand what you want.

Step 6. What have you LEARNED from your research? You should find that some of what you wrote in Step 2 has changed. Summarize the findings from your conclusion in the L column. (This is like an informative abstract.) It is critical that you not attempt to do step 6 until you've finished step 5!