SOWK 420: Social Policy Analysis

Choosing an Issue | Finding your Bill | Support & Opposition | Impact & Implications |
InterLibrary Loan | Writing your Letter | APA

Fall 2013 Handout

Choosing an Issue

Reference Books

Book Resources... Keywords to try... Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) to try...
"social welfare"
"social policy"
"public policy"
Social policy
Social policy--Decision making
Social problems
Social problems--United States.
Public welfare
Social problems
Social service

Examples books from our collection:

Encyclopedia of social welfare history in North America (2005)
Call Number: R 361.97 En19h and online

Encyclopedia of social work : 2008 online

Poverty and homelessness (2009)
Call Number: R 362.50973 P869m

Health care politics, policy, and services: a social justice analysis (2007)

Leading health indicators for Healthy People 2020.(2011)

Reference databases

CQ Researcher 
The CQ Researcher Online contains original, comprehensive reporting and analysis on issues in the news. Controversial topics are addressed in a balanced, unbiased manner in the CQ tradition.

Credo Reference 
Credo Reference is a customizable ready-reference solution for learners and librarians. Its full-text, aggregated content covers every major subject from over 50 publishers of reference materials.

Issues and Controversies 
Analyzes and explains controversial topics with balance and accuracy, probing hot public policy issues. Covers more than 70 controversial topics yearly; online access includes frequent updating, interviews with experts, statistical overviews of major issues, selected newspaper editorials, editorial cartoons, primary documents, a directory of contact organizations and curriculum/study aids.

Recommended Website

National Association of Social Workers Advocacy page

Finding your Bill: details, supporters, & detractors

State Information

  • Full-text state statutes and legislation on the Internet: “This page seeks to link to sites containing full-text state constitutions, statutes (called codes or compiled laws in some states), legislation (bills, amendments, etc.), session laws (bills that have become laws), and administrative rules. Updated 9/16/07.”
  • State Statutes on the Internet: Page within the Legal Information Institute (LII), the research and electronic publishing activity of the Cornell Law School

Federal Information

    Congressional Record: Congressional Record: 1994-present. Must choose individual session of Congress. | Use to search from 1995-present at once; Change drop-down menu to “Congressional Record.” "THOMAS was launched in January of 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress. The leadership of the 104th Congress directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public. Since that time THOMAS has expanded the scope of its offerings to include [these features and content]: Bills, Resolutions, Activity in Congress, Congressional Record, Schedules & Calendars, Committee Information, Presidential Nominations, Treaties."

  • Housing policies
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Federal Government Agencies Directory : (Hierarchical and Alphabetical listings). Maintained by LSU Libraries.
  • FedStats: The gateway to statistics from over 100 U.S. Federal agencies
  • Administration for Children and Families
  • FedWorld: In 1992, FedWorld was established by The National Technical Information Service (NTIS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, to serve as the online locator service for a comprehensive inventory of information disseminated by the Federal Government. This service assisted agencies and the public in electronically locating Federal Government information, both information housed within the NTIS repository and outside of NTIS.
  • U.S. Census Bureau: "The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy."

International Information

Full-text journals

Law, Politics & Government
SocialSciences: Social Welfare & Social Work

News: Support & Opposition

Lexis Nexis 
Academic (Lexis-Nexis) provides full text and citation access to information in the reference, business, medical, and legal disciplines. Newspapers, magazines, wire services, federal and state court opinions, federal and state statutes, federal regulations, and SEC filings such as 10-K's and 10-Q's. News information is updated daily and wire services several times daily.

Newspaper Source 
Cover-to-cover full text for 25 national & international newspapers, including The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Times (London), and Toronto Star. Contains selected full text for more than 260 regional newspapers, including The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, The Miami Herald, Daily News (New York), San Jose Mercury News, etc. In addition, full text television & radio news transcripts are provided from CBS News, CNN, CNN International, FOX News, and NPR.

Chicago Tribune (Historical) 
The Chicago Tribune (1848-1988) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue.

New York Times (Historical) 
The New York Times (1851-2008) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue. Coverage: Sept 18, 1851-Dec 31, 2003.

Scholarly Article: Research Impact & Implications

Full-text articles in general and specialized psychology. Includes all articles from the journal issues indexed, as well as errata and letters to the editor. Indexes selected U.S., Canadian and European psychology journals.

Psychology and related fields since 1806 including international material from periodicals written in 25+ languages. Includes current chapter and book coverage with worldwide English-language material published from 1987-present.

See other databases listed on Social Work Subject Guide.

InterLibrary Loan (ILL)

Fulltext eJournals

If it's not there, try our print holdings

Still can't find it? Use ILL:
  1. Request it throughInterLibrary Loan
  2. Allow up to 2 weeks
  3. Send an email message from your Webmail account with complete citation information (and how you got the citation e.g. SocINDEX database).

Writing your Letter