14 4.0 Chapter introduction

Whether you plan to engage in clinical, administrative, or policy practice, all social workers must be able to look at the available literature on a topic and synthesize the relevant facts into a coherent review. Literature reviews can have a powerful effect, for example by providing the factual basis for a new program or policy in an agency or government. In your own research proposal, conducting a thorough literature review will help you build strong arguments for why your topic is important and why your research question must be answered.

Chapter outline

  • 4.1 What is a literature review?
  • 4.2 Synthesizing literature
  • 4.3 Writing the literature review

Content advisory

This chapter discusses or mentions the following topics: homelessness, suicide, depression, LGBTQ oppression, drug use, and psychotic disorders.


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Scientific Inquiry in Social Work Copyright © 2018 by Matthew DeCarlo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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