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SWK 715: Human Behavior and the Social Environment I

Subject Guide

Susie Skarl, Urban Affairs Librarian
UNLV Libraries
Lied Library
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Box 457014
Las Vegas, NV 89154-7014

UNLV Quick Search

Check out UNLV Library's Quick Search!

How Quick Search is similar to Google

  • Single search box
  • Prompts for spelling errors

How Quick Search is superior to Google

  • Sort, rank, and refine your results
  • Results that come from reliable library source
  • Built-in citation feature to help you cite your sources in the correct style
  • Allows you to save and share your results

UNLV Library Databases

As you are searching the databases for scholarly articles--try a variety of keywords and synonyms. Below are a few examples:

  • Chinese Americans and immigration
  • Jewish and traditions
  • German Americans and values
  • African Americans and position and privilege
  • Italain Americans and social mobility
  • Philippines and family and daughters

Examples for second assignment:
family systems theory and social work and alcoholism
attachment theory and divorce and parents

Google Scholar

The Library Catalog--Keyword Searching

Try some keyword searching in the library catalog. Here are some examples:

  • Italian Americans and gender
  • Japanese and parenting
  • African Americans and elderly
  • Latino and assimilation
  • Vietnamese-Americans and acculturation 


Tools for Your Literature Review

"Lit Review 101"

A literature review asks: What do we know - or not know - about this particular issue/ topic/ subject?

How well you answer this question depends upon:

  1. the effectiveness of your search for information
  2. the quality & reliability of the sources you choose
  3. your ability to synthesize the sources you select

Begin with a Synthesis Matrix

As you read, you'll encounter various ideas, disagreements, methods, and perspectives which can be hard to organize in a meaningful way.

A synthesis matrix helps you record the main points of each source and document how sources relate to each other.


Find Good Models

  •  Search for Literature Reviews
    Look for other literature reviews in your subject area to see how they are written.
    **Thank you to John Glover for permission to use this guide from VCU.**

Evaluating Info & Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

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