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Why Writing Matters

Why Writing Matters in Social Work/Youth Services

A central objective of the Social Work program is that students "Use communication skills effectively to link diverse client populations and communities with resources and services."

~Social Work/Youth Services Department

 

Why Writing Matters in Social Work/Youth Services

Effective writing strategies are essential for success in the Social Work profession. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, writing enhances student knowledge of specific social and/or psychological concerns relevant to current social work practice.

Typical Writing Assignments

Assignments are usually researched papers and sometimes research proposals. Course writing assignments are typically used for two purposes:

  • To demonstrate understanding of course concepts
  • To integrate theoretical material in an applied manner.

Thus, students write researched papers to demonstrate an ability to comprehend and use terminology specific to human services settings. Students research a topic related to the course and present current thought about the selected topic. Topics range from specific disorders such as depression and anxiety to broader topics related to treatment and prevalence of sexual abuse.

Qualities of Good Writing

Students begin the research process by reviewing current articles and publications on topics of interest, assessing their authoritativeness and relevance. These first steps develop the critical analytical abilities that undergird the selection and development of successful student research projects. The final researched paper should integrate relevant articles and demonstrate the student's comprehension of the topic. 

Requirements and criteria for evaluation are instructor specific. Proper use of language and grammar are also evaluated.

Appropriate Types of Evidence & Support

Research should be drawn from current journals and research in the field.

Citation Conventions

It is departmental policy that all references and citations will follow APA format. 
See the APA website, http://www.apastyle.org/, for further information.

Faculty Perspectives 
on Writing:

Vanessa Brooks Herd

Writing in Social Work

My Writing Story

Writing as a Professional Tool