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SWSP1013 Social Work Theories


This guide has been designed to help you get started with your library research for assignments in the unit Social Work Theories.  The library has great resources available to help you answer the questions in these assessment tasks.

  • Use the Advanced Search pages to learn about specific searching techniques that are useful for this topic.
  • The Search Assistant (in the sidebar) can guide you through the process of building a search, which you can copy and paste into MultiSearch or any of the library databases, to retrieve better results.

You can find more information about finding ebooks and journal articles, referencing and other research skills from

A good place to start if you need definitions, history, trends or overviews of a topic, is to search the set of GALE Encyclopedias.

Definitions & Overviews

A good place to start if you need definitions, history, trends or overviews of a topic, is to search the set of GALE Encyclopedias.

Searching the Library Catalogue (Multisearch)

Find resources (books, journals, ebooks or audiovisual) on a topic

To find resources in the library, choose keywords from your assessment. 

If you are new to searching, revise the Information Skills section of the website.
You may also use these live searches as an example and a starting point. 
Edit the live searches to build your own search for resources on specific topics.  
Change the date range, add or remove keywords and select which type of resource you want (books, journals etc).  This will narrow your search and make it more specific.

NOTE : do not rely on these live searches for your assessment.  They are meant to assist you to start your own search.

Find resources (books, articles, ebooks and audiovisual) on these topics. 

"Social work" AND theor*
"social work" AND (post-strucural OR post-structuralism)
"social work" AND anti-oppressive
"social work" AND femini* 


Still not sure how to format your search?  

Watch this video called Finding Journal Articles for an Assessment Task.

Searching Journals

Each field of study has a number of key journal publications which cover the major themes in that area. Searching within these journals, rather than searching an entire database, may provide research that is more relevant to your assessment task.

To help you begin searching:

Check the list of journals below. These have been hand-picked for their relevance to this unit.
Watch the short videos which show you how to search within the library's online journal resources.
Finally, check out the list of possible search terms, which you may find useful to get you started.

Key Journals

Australian Social Work 
Australian Social Work is an international peer-reviewed journal reflecting current thinking and trends in Social Work.

The Australian Journal of Social Issues

Social Indicators Research

Journal of Social Work Education (US)

Journal of Social Work (UK)

Critical social work