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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.
Social Work Background Information
Encyclopedia of Social Work by
Call Number: Online
Key disciplinary encyclopedia for social work. It will include entries on some illnesses that are relevent to social work.
Medical Background Information
Centers for Disease Control: Diseases and Conditions
The CDC gathers information about a wide range of diseases and conditions affecting Americans. You can browse this list alphabetically.
Medline Plus is a free, online consumer health resource produced by the National Library of Medicine as part of the NIH.