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SW 200/SW 201: Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare: Research Basics

Topic Refinement and Keywords


To find books and government documents in USA Libraries' collections, use SOUTHcat: USA Libraries' Catalog.

  • Catalog tips and tricks:
    • Keyword searches – use quotation marks to hold phrases together ("social work")
    • Truncation – use ? after the root of a word to find all its variants (social worker?, finds social worker and social workers)
    • Browse the Subject(s) field in records to find the right words for searches. (Example: Try doing a keyword search for "substance abuse" prevention, then look at the subject(s) field in several records. You’ll see that the subject term is "Substance abuse--United States--Prevention." Click the subject heading to find more records with this subject.)
  • Revise and refine your searches.
  • Watch for repeating call numbers and browse stacks in that area.
  • Pay attention to the Location and Status fields. You will need this information to locate the item in the library.

Suggested Search Terms to Find Books


  • "social work?" biography
  • "social reform?" biography
  • "social work" gay? lesbian?
  • school social work
  • refugee? "social work"
  • social worker?
  • family social work
  • social service?
  • minorities services
  • person in environment system
  • child welfare
  • psychiatric social work
  • "substance abuse" prevention
  • social group work
  • immigrant? services
  • law? "social work"
  • poverty
  • children

Subject Heading Keyword:

  • public welfare
  • school social work
  • social case work
  • social service
  • social work administration
  • social work education
  • social work with children
  • social work with women
  • social workers
  • family social work
  • social work with minorities
  • public assistance
  • refugee children-services for
  • social work with immigrants
  • Social case work--Moral and ethical aspects
  • Social workers--Professional ethics--United States