Final Paper Due: Week 15-16
The final assignment is a paper written in the “technical” style that proposes a research design that examines some aspect of social work practice, or provides information that can be used to enhance social work practice. All papers must be typed with numbered pages and a cover sheet. An outline of the paper’s format is shown below.
Table of Contents
• Scope, Prevalence Significance of Problem
II. Literature Review
• Problem Background
• Research Significance/Rationale
III. Problem Statement
• Research Questions, Hypotheses, etc.
• Definitions of variables
• Sampling Procedures/Participants
• Operational Definitions of Study variables
• How & when data will be collected
• Level of Measurement of Study Variables
V. Strengths and Weaknesses of Proposed Research
• Anticipated Problems & Scientific Limitations of the Proposed Study
• Risks & Benefits of Research for Human Participants
• Study Implications for Social Work Practice
• Consent Forms (if applicable)
• Instruments to be used for the recording and collection of data
Overview of Content & steps in Drafting the Final Paper –A Research Proposal
A research proposal is a paper that that proposes a design to gather empirical evidence using scientific methods to answer questions. A research proposal is not a research report. Propose a research design that would collect data that could be used to provide evidence about the effectiveness of an intervention that would bring about the targeted change in a client(s). This paper should focus on social work practice in your field agency. Your classroom instructor must approve your research problem. Papers based on problems that have not been approved by your instructor will NOT be accepted. Be sure to use the scientific language you learned throughout the semester in completing this paper. The paragraphs below describe the steps required to draft the proposal. If you do not have a client assigned to you by Midterm, your instructor will provide you with a case history to use to complete this final assignment
Step 1 State the Research Problem
Your research problem must be stated in the form of a research question(s) and a research hypothesis (es). Your research question and hypothesis must answer social work practice needs. Your question is appropriate if you develop the question by targeting for change a behavior or attitude of a client or clients to whom your field agency provides services. . The problem statement also defines the study variables. DO NOT USE MERRIAM WEBSTER dictionaries for definitions. Use refereed journals and professional publications like the DSM as sources of definitions. The problem statement also clearly identifies the independent and dependent variables. .
Step II. The Literature Review
The literature review section of your research proposal should summarize the results of your search for evidence about interventions likely to be effective in bringing about the targeted change for the client. At the end of this section of the paper, be sure to draw conclusions about which intervention is most likely to be effective for the client and why this intervention is most likely to be effective with the characteristic(s) of your client(s). Based on what you learned from the literature review, develop a problem statement for your research proposal. A list of web sites that review inrventions is attached to this assignment
Step III the Methods Section
In the Methods section of your proposal, describe how you would select participants from your field agency, how the variables will be measured (i.e. instruments), and how and when the data will be collected. Be sure to explain why you decided to use these procedures. If you decide to use a nonprobability sample, explain what type of nonprobability sample you are using. Be sure to cite the source(s) of information, including your textbook if it serves as a source. You may need to review the literature to see how other researchers have measured your targeted behavior or attitude. Or, you may need to develop your own instruments for systematically collecting data that represents the behavior or attitude.
Step IV. Impact on Human Participants
Critically review all the methods of your study and discuss the benefits and risks for human participants. Develop a consent form for your proposed study.
Engel, R. J., & Schutt, R. K. The Practice of research in social work (Third ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
You must also use the online resources associated with the textbook in order to complete the required assignments and review for exams/quizzes. The student study site is www.sagepub.com/engelprsw3e.
The School of Social Work requires that the writing style for all papers follow the style of the American Psychological Association Manual as referenced below:
American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American
Psychological Association (6th edition). Washington, D. C.: Author.
Expert Consensus Guideline series: http://www.psychguides.com
National Guidelines Clearinghouse: http://guidelines.gov
National Institute on Drug Abuse : http://nida.nih.gov/
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: http://www.samhsa.gov/index.aspx
Search engine like Google Scholar
From Rubin, A., & Babbie, E. (2010). Essential research methods for social work. Belmont,CA: Brooks/Cole.