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SWK 200 - Explorations in Social Work

This guide provides information resources to support the Explorations in Social Work assignments.

Course Assignment

Course Assignment


This page gives an overview of your course research assignments, course outcomes, and forming a topic.

Assignment Details

Course Application Project

Course Application Project

EP 2.1.4: Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research

Course Application Paper (CAP): Throughout this course, you will learn about and be impacted by a number of different areas of social work practice. This project gives you the opportunity to integrate your learning with developing a foundational understanding of social work and how the profession may shape your future career. The assignment is intended to push you into a further understanding of those areas. You will develop a project that reflects this additional integration and learning. The project may take a variety of formats. You may want to review and discuss numerous works and how their ideas can be integrated; works can include literature (i.e. books) or film, among others. You can develop a poster or video project that explores a concept or issue in greater depth. You can research a particular current event—such as immigration or healthcare—and provide an overview of it in light of social work values and principles. Creating a website or Wiki for your project is another option. You are welcome to include your own personal experiences as a part of this project. The parameters of your project are limited only by your own creativity. The assignment will consist of 3 main elements:

a. Submit a formal cover letter . Find examples of cover letters online to learn proper formatting (single-spaced). In addition to an introduction and concluding paragraph, you might want to consider devoting one paragraph each to the 3 sets of points below:
i. Personal information, such as your major(s) and minor(s) at Taylor, what your future career goals are as of this point in your education, and any other relevant information (such as what you did this past summer or a recent book you read, if applicable)
ii. Your response to the Epilogue in the back of the text
iii. An initial idea of what you’d like to do for this project
b. Presentation of your project to the class toward the end of the semester. Details of the presentation will be discussed at a later date

Assignment Details

Faith Integration Paper

Faith Integration

Faith Integration Paper (FIP—See Syllabus for Due Date): Write a research paper that explores social work values in light of Biblical principles. Refer to Chapter 2 of the textbook for an overview of social work’s values (specifically, pp. 41-2). Papers must be 4-5 pages in length. Here are some points to keep in mind:

o   Discuss the social work values as the profession describes them

o   Evaluate the professional values from a Biblical perspective. Provide at least one Scripture reference to support each value and discuss how Scripture and social work values align. The Bible serves as only 1 of your 5 references

o   Choose one area/issue where there is potential conflict between Scripture and social work values. Furthermore, discuss how Christian social workers can deal with these dilemmas. This aspect is critical to the paper, as it gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your critical thinking skills. This part of your grade will be based on how well you support your reasoning rather than on your mere opinion. Use at least one source to support your reasoning

Assignment Details

Course Outcomes

Course Outcomes

Relevant Student Outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate and articulate an introductory knowledge of basic social work settings, systems, fields, levels of social work practice, the planned change process, and social work career opportunities
  2. Integrate personal values with professional values and ethics within various program, professional, and educational settings at a beginning generalist level
  3. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of social justice issues
  4. Demonstrate critical and creative thinking skills in order to expand and actualize one’s visions of wholeness of self, others, community, and society
  5. Demonstrate the ability to use effective written and oral professional communication skills

Assignment Details

Formulating a Topic

Choosing a Topic

Here are some general topics:

  • Gender differences 
  • Social cognition, identity, and/or selfhood
  • Social and personal relationships
  • Family systems
  • Poverty
  • Conflict and conflict resolution
  • Intergenerational / issues of aging populations
  • Fear and apprehension
  • Group Behavior

Ways to narrow your topic:

  • By population: children, or elderly
  • By location: rural, suburban, urban
  • By time: research since 1990
  • Compare/contrast: UK vs US, Canada vs US, 
  • By a particular social work standard: 
  •          Advocacy for [x]
  •          Interventions for [x]

NASW Standards 

Questions to Consider in Choosing a Topic

Consider these questions:

  • What subjects or ideas interest you?
  • What kinds of life experience do you have?
  • What kinds of issues have affected you or people you care about?
  • Do you have a passion about an idea, a question, a subject? How can you explain or describe it such that others might be passionate about it as well?
  • Does your subject have an edge? Does the topic have passionate supporters and opponents as well as being logical and reasonaable. Is it debatable. Is it an unsolved problem?.

These questions may generate ideas. Next brainstorm. Which topics are most worthy of your time? Why is your topic significant? What angle might you take to fulfill the requirement: informative, persuasive, etc. Consider making your topic specific. For example:

What parts of Obama-care are working? What are the effects on people who previously had no health care benefits? 

Avoid over-done topics. When you are narrowing your topic choices, try to choose something fresh and interesting. 

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