- Encyclopedia of Social Work, published by Oxford, from the National Association of Social Workers -- a great starting place!
- International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. This online encyclopedia provides substantive current information about key subjects in social welfare, psychology, education and the social sciences.
- Comprehensive Handbook of Social Work and Social Welfare
- Handbook of Psychology and Corsini Enclyclopedia of Psychology
- Sage Handbooks of Qualitative and Quantitative Research in Psychology
- DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)
- Annual Reviews in Psychology and Annual Reviews in Clinical Psychology are good starting places -- they provide literature reviews of important and emerging areas of research.
- Handbook of Social Psychology and Handbook of Adolescent Psychology
Find a Topic
Find a Topic or Get an Overview
Use an encyclopedia, dictionary, browse popular magazines, view a new book shelf in the library or bookstore, brainstorm with your classmates. These are a few ways to think of a topic for research. Then explore the library's digital and print resources to learn more.
How to Narrow Your Topic
"I'm writing a paper on World War II."
Often students start their research with a very general topic, even though they may realize the topic is too large to deal with in a 10-15 page paper. Faculty and librarians tell them, "You have to narrow this down." But how do you narrow a topic?
Thought experiments to try:
- Think about your topic from the disciplinary perspective. In a social welfare class you might ask a question like "How did WWII affect women?" or "What social welfare programs began during WWII?"
- Think about subsets or aspects of your topic. Some good aspects are:
- by place, such as a country or region
- by time period, such as a century, decade or year
- by population, such as men, women, ethnic group, youth, children or elderly
You can combine these ideas, "What were the major impacts of WWII on immigrants in the U.S, in the decade after the war?"
Take a look at our brief tutorial on topic selection and narrowing. (Slides 5-9 of the tutorial deal with topic narrowing.)
Social work dictionary (5th ed.) / Barker, Robert L. Washington, DC : NASW Press, c2003.
HV12 .B37 2003
Dictionary of Psychology from Oxford Reference Online
Concise Oxford English Spanish Dictionary (also links to Spanish/English Dictionary)
Key words in multicultural interventions : a dictionary / Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1999.
BF637.C6 K493 1999
Blackwell dictionary of modern social thought / Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., c2003.
H41 .B53 2003
English Spanish Dictionary of Health Related Terms, California Mexico Health Initiative, 2005.