Research Paper




Explore a topic related to the course in more depth. The student can choose any theory or theoretical issue related to individual and family behavior. This theory must be connected to the student’s interest in social work practice. The basic ideas of the theory should be presented in relation to a chosen practice interest. The basic ideas of the theory should be presented in relation to a chosen practice interest. (One way to write about a theory is to briefly summarize it and discuss key concepts in the theory. Then, use the key concepts you find most applicable to your practice area and apply them to what you might do as a social worker in working with your client.) 




I choose:


Behavioral, moral or cognitive development theory to explore how to work with teens involved in school violence or aggressive behavior;




The theory should be critiqued from the standpoint of its usefulness for application to the chosen practice interest. Use criteria given in class for evaluating theories, i.e., theory analysis papers. Be certain to include at least three components of the theory analysis papers in your critique. The student should consider the congruence between the theory and the student’s own values and professional commitments, i.e., discuss at least three social work values from the NASW code of ethics. The paper must be typed, double-spaced with APA style citations. In addition to relevant course readings and the text, at least ten other SOCIAL WORK scholarly articles or book chapters must be used. References found in the Social Work Abstracts database are appropriate. Note that you will need to obtain articles from the library, request through interlibrary loan or obtain from on-line sources. 


The following outline for the research paper must be used. The page numbers are approximate. 




A. Introduction (1/2 page): State your practice interest and the theory chosen to connect with it. 


B. Overview of the Theory in Relation to the Practice Interest (5/6 pages): Give a detailed description of the theory and its concepts as relevant to the practice interest. For example, if the topic is strengths-based case management for persons with chronic mental illness, one could explore how principles of empowerment theory can be applied to help clients gain self-confidence, a critical consciousness, and take effective action in coping with their illness. 


C. Critique of the Theory (2-3 pages): Adapt the criteria for theory evaluation (at least three components from theory analysis papers) given in class to your own topic. Include any scholarly evaluations of the theory in relation to the practice interest. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using this theory for your practice interest. 


D. Personal Reflections (1-2 pages): Briefly discuss your own values and professional commitments and how this theory relates with them (Refer to the Social Work Code of Ethics, which is online at the NASW website, and the introduction to Robbins et al for a discussion of social work values. Be sure to discuss at least three values). Is this theory congruent with your values? Why or why not? Are your personal values consistent with professional values and insights from this theory? Specify the implications for your personal and professional growth and the actions you will take to support this growth.

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