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Michigan State University

SW 472 : Social Work in Health Care: Background Information

Start with Background Information

Background Information

Start by finding out the basics about your topic and it's context within the field of social work and social policy. 

Encyclopedias and reference books (e.g. handbooks, dictionaries, etc.) are a starting point to gather knowledge on a topic that is new to you.  They can be a used to supplement your textbook readings and will help you understand how your topic fits into a broader context.  Importantly, encyclopedia articles identify the major works on a topic and introduce terminology that you can use as search terms as you continue on with your research.

Encyclopedia of Social Work

Encyclopedia of Social Work
Call Number: Online
  • MedlinePlus​
    • MedlinePlus is a free, online consumer health resource produced by the National Library of Medicine as part of the NIH.


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Other Databases with Background Information

Sage Knowledge 

This database hosts a large number of reference works by Sage Publishers, a well-known scholarly publisher in the social sciences.

Michigan State University