This literature review serves as the GWAR assignment. It should be 10-15 pages in length, with a minimum of 10 references, and should have the following sections:

  1. Introduction (Approximately 2-3 pages)

The introduction provides a context for the study. This section needs to incorporate up-to-date literature (e.g., current demographic statistics and trends, new and innovative studies) to articulate clearly the problem that you wish to investigate. The essential question that should be answered by this section is: what is the practical and theoretical importance of this study, in general and to social work specifically. Your introduction provides a “big picture” overview of your topic and its importance.

The section should also introduce the aim of the literature review and the process used to find the literature. You should include information on the databases searched, search terms used, inclusion and exclusion criteria for articles, and the kinds of studies reviewed (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods; local, national, or global studies).

  • Literature Review (Approximately 7-9 pages)

The literature review provides an integrated summary of the literature that pertains to your problem area. Themes, findings or chronology may be used to organize this section. Please note that the literature review is not an annotation (i.e., direct summary of each article, book, book chapter or report); rather, it presents an overview of how these sources of information converge or diverge to illustrate and support your research goals.

The literature review includes 3 parts: a) Background b) Review of previous research and c) Summary and conclusions.

  1. Background (1 to 2 pages) – A more detailed discussion of your population and the issue you are addressing in the context of this group.
  2. If possible, bring in U.S. Census data, or other national, state, or county data that can provide a context for understanding your population or your topic.
  3. Consider providing brief historical information. If you are focusing on a policy or practice, consider providing background on the development of the policy or practice from an historical perspective. When did the policy or practice begin and how has it evolved? If you are focusing on a social problem, when it began, and how has it evolved?
  4. “Body” Sections (4-6 pages) – Major subsections organized according to themes.Each subsection explains with evidence (i.e., an integrated review of relevant literature) how the themes relate to your research question.
  5. These “body” sections also discuss the current status of the specific topic in the professional knowledge base, limitations of previous studies related to your topic, and how your proposed study will contribute to what is already known about your topic.
  6. Summary and conclusions (<1 page). In a few paragraphs, summarize the findings from your literature review and any conclusions that you draw from them.
  • Relevance to Social Work (Approximately 2 pages)

                    Explain how research on this topic is relevant to social work. Introduce the transcultural model used in the School of Social Work and identify how your topic is relevant to social work from this perspective. Is there a dearth of research in this area? What are the implications for social work practice and policy? What are the research questions prompted by your review of the literature?

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