Research mindedness

Finding resources

This section of the resource focuses on conducting a review of the literature. It will help you to think about what to look for, where to find it and how to assess its quality in relation to the aim of your search, since different types of research are more appropriate for different kinds of questions. The section guides you through:

In order to be able to work in a research-minded way it is important that you know how to find research. There are a range of reasons that you might be searching for research on an area of interest or practice. If you are a student on a qualifying course, you may be:

If you are a practitioner, you may be:

Dodd and Epstein (2012: 64) distinguish between conducting a literature review, and writing a literature review. For all the reasons given above, you could conduct a review of the literature, but in only two would you produce a formal, written literature review.


What reasons do you have for seeking out research? Write them down in a list, and next to them write the context or focus of your search. For instance:


Looking into an area of interest

Examining the evidence base for a work

Coursework essay

Context or focus

Domestic violence in same-sex relationships

What helps to improve communication with adults with autism and challenging behaviour?

I want to write something about young black men being diagnosed with schizophrenia, and community mental health teams

There is an online 'Virtual Training Suite' to help with using the internet in your research, aimed at social work students and available at the Internet for Social Work website.

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