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Study Skills for Social Workers

Study Skills for Social Workers

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April 2010 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
'The book is completely student focused. I envisage students having the text on their desks when they attempt their written work, and this is very much how a study guide should be used' - Professor Keith Popple, London South Bank University

Study Skills for Social Workers
offers an accessible insight into the practical use of skills for study in a professional social work context. Engaging with students on their journey through the undergraduate or postgraduate qualifying course, it uses relevant case material from academic and social work perspectives to demonstrate the connection between study and practice. The book is comprehensive in its coverage of the core study skills, including guidance on:

  • Effective writing
  • Successful communication
  • Reflective study
  • E-learning
  • Learning in the workplace
  • Understanding feedback.

Written in a student-friendly style, Study Skills for Social Workers is interspersed with activities and exercises to enable students to practice and improve their skills as they move through the text. Also included is a glossary, and model answers to sample questions.

SAGE Study Skills are essential study guides for students of all levels. From how to write great essays and succeeding at university, to writing your undergraduate dissertation and doing postgraduate research, SAGE Study Skills help you get the best from your time at university. Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub for tips, quizzes and videos on study success!

What Does This Book Aim to Do?

Will this Book Help me Pass the Course?

Key Features of this Book

Thinking about Learning
Where are You Now as a Learner?

Learning as a Child or as an Adult?

How does Learning Happen?

Learning Styles

Skim the Surface or Dive in at the Deep End?

Common Learning Obstacles

Your Learning Goals


Tackling Boredom and Frustration - Head on!

Further Reading

Self-Management and Organization

Working Independently

Organising Independent Study Space

Avoidance Strategies and Procrastination

Stress and Stress Management

Useful Resources

Further Reading

Learning in the Workplace
Work-based Social Work Courses

Working with Colleagues

Skills for Managing Change

Communication, Confidence and Understanding

Support and Guidance

Useful Resources

Further Reading

Learning Online
What is E-learning?

What Sort of Technologies Might You Be Using?

How Will E-Learning Be Used?

Effective Use of Online Learning Environments

Doing Research Online

Independent Learning Online

Online Collaboration and Group Work


Useful Resources

Further Reading

Researching, Reading and Critiquing
What is Research?

How is Research Relevant to Your Course?

Projects and Dissertations

Quantitative and Qualitative Research

Searching the Literature

The Six-step Search Strategy

The Snowball Technique

Effective Reading and Note-taking

Writing about Research

Foregrounding your 'Writer Voice'

Planning a Research Project

Useful Resources

Writing Effectively
Why is Writing so Important?

Improving your Writing Skills

Support for Students with Specific Learning Difficulties

Your Previous Experience of Writing

Getting used to 'Academic Writing'

Writing at Higher Education Level

Types of Academic Writing

Writing Essays

Other Types of Writing

Further Reading

Referencing Effectively
Referencing is a Learnable Skill

The Key to Successful Referencing

Why Are You Asked to Use Referencing?

Referencing in Practice

Reference Lists

Referencing Exercises

Other Referencing Tips

Further Reading

Communication and Awareness Skills
Service-users, Carers and Communication Skills

Developing Your Confidence in Communicating

Communication and Social Work

Ensuring Accuracy - Information Fit for Purpose


Active Listening

Verbal Communication

Non-verbal Communication - Observing Communication Through Behaviour

Eyes - the Mirrors of the Soul?



Further Reading

Using Feedback Effectively
Personal Development Plan

Why Feed Back?

Feedback on Your Assignments

Feedback from Service-Users and Carers

Feedback from Colleagues

Feedback from Peers

Dealing with Criticism

Further Reading

Reflection in Social Work
They 'Why' and 'What' of Reflection

A Tool for Reflection

The GSCC Codes of Practice (2002)

Reflection and Accountability

Suggested Answers

Useful Resources

Further Reading

Developing Social Work Portfolios


Core Skills Portfolios

The Continuous Professional Development(CPD)Portfolio

Practice Portfolios

Further Reading

Computing Principles and Concepts
Social Work and Computing Skills

The Basic Concepts of IT

Managing Files Effectively

Using Databases to Access Information

Database Fundamentals

Computing and Assistive Technologies

Computing in Social Work Practice Settings

Data Protection Issues

Useful Resources

Computing Skills Workshop
Help Options and Online Resources

Features in Microsoft Office 2007

Word Processing

Presentation Software

Part 1: Authoring Your PowerPoint Presentation

Part 2: Delivering Your Presentation

Using Spreadsheets

Using Basic Formulae in Excel

Creating Charts and Graphs in Excel

Useful Resources

Further Reading



SAGE Study Skills hub
Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub for tips, resources and videos on study success!

This book has been recommended to first year students embarking on their social work study.
I particularly like the way it encourages students to make the link between study skills and social work practice. Study skills become an important and integral part of being a social worker.

Ms Susan Walton
Healthy and life Sciences, University of the West of England
September 27, 2011

I particularly liked the chapter on self management, which I think is neglected in some areas of social work training. Overall the book is a great manual for students and I too have found useful guidance to share with students.

Mrs Sally Booth
School of Education and Social work, University of Sussex
August 30, 2011

A useful resource across a number of modules on our Social Work degree.

Ms Barbara Coulson
Social Work, Nottingham Trent University
July 25, 2011

This text encourages students to develop responsibility for their own learning, and gives helpful commentaries to enable students to reflect on their learning styles

Ms Jackie Hughes
Please select your department, Coventry University
December 29, 2010

An excellent source of material for social work students at all levels

Mr Gerry Rice
School Management Group, Northumbria University
September 28, 2010

Christine Stogdon's text 'Study Skills for Social Workers' is a very welcomed and valuable contribution to social work education. As a University committed to widening participation, this texts helps students develop the right academic skills to achieve on this very demanding course. A text well worth promoting.

Mr Graham Tuckley
Dept of Social Work - HLSS, Wolverhampton University
September 20, 2010

Useful text that covers all the necessary areas, we'll use it for Masters students and probably for undergraduates as well.

Dr Simon Bradford
Education , Brunel University
September 17, 2010

I find this a very comprehensive and useful text which goes beyond just focusing on the production of assignments and reports to include valuable links to skills in communication, feedback and reflection, demonstrating how these effectively link the academic tasks to development of key practice skills.

Mr Ben Wyke
Social Work , Derby University
September 14, 2010

A very detailed book that I think most students would struggle to get good value from
Worth dipping into

Mr Michael Marriott
Dept. Family Care and Mental Health, Greenwich University
September 9, 2010

This book offers useful chapters on a number of core study skills, such as essay writing, research skills and referencing. However, where it really excels in enabling students to develop their problem solving and reflective practice skills. By providing a number of excercises in the form senarios it offers students the opportunity to engage in developing higher order skills. It also gives feedback on the excercises which allows students to consider their own actions. I will be recommending this book to students and asking the Library to stock it.

Ms Gillian Rice
Learner Development, Manchester Metropolitan University
August 31, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter One

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781847874573
ISBN: 9781847874566

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