Skip to main content

Human Services: HUSV 3700 Research Methods

a guide to online and print resources for human services research.

Other resources

UC San Diego's webpage on Writing a Good Social Science Paper gives some tips and pitfalls when writing the paper.

Developed by the Cornell Office for Research on Education (CORE), the Web Center for Social Research Methods was develped "for people involved in applied social research and evaluation." Check the links in  General Evalutation Resources for other helpful tools for social research.

Meaurement Scales in Social Science Research from Virginia Tech.

Social Work and Social Policy Newsletter has updates about recently-published research articles.

Getting Started

Online resources for APA style include the American Psychological Association's APA Style webpage.

A copy of the latest edition of the APA  Manual is available for in-library use in the Snell Library Research Help Office on level 1.

Check literature review at the UNC Writing Center and the Social Work Literature Guidelines at the OWL at Purdue. 

  Develop your Research Question or Thesis

Start by writing a question or statement that describes your topic.  For example:

  • Abortion is a questionable practice, but may be a considered reasonable in cases where the life of the mother is threatened or incest is evident. 

  • Many low income children do not receive high quality early education.

  • Is it a good idea to legalize marijuana?
  • How does parent engagement affect mentoring outcomes for at-risk youth?

 Select your Research Tools--what type of information do you need?

Here are some questions to help you get started:. 

  • Do I want a broad overview of my topic?
    Dictionaries and encyclopedias provide concise surveys of ideas, events, historical figures, and other topics.
    Books or book chapters may also offer succinct overviews of a topic.
  • Will my presentation be more effective if it includes photographs?
    The Library provides access to two image databases, ARTstor and Associated Press Images
    Visit the Library's Digital Media Design Studio to learn about other image resources and fair use of images. 
  • Do I need numbers - data, statistics, or polls - to back up my thesis?
    The Library provides access to Data and Statistics. We also have statistical handbooks at the Research Assistance Desk!
  • Do I need to read a scholarly article on my topic?  (What is a scholarly article?)
    Try our Google-style Discovery search or choose an article search tool recommended in our Research Guides by Subject
    Individual selected interdisciplinary databases include Academic Search Premier and JSTOR.

  • Do I need late breaking news on my topic?
    Use one of our Newspaper resources.
  • Do I need a primary source - eyewitness account, original document? (What is a primary source?)
    You may wish to visit the University Archives or consult a staff member at the Research Assistance Desk.

  • Will I show a DVD, streaming video, or video in my class presentation?  Will I create my own presentation?
    Search the Library Catalogs option in Scholar OneSearch, . 
    Consult Digital Media Common Studio staff about designing an original media project.