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Library Research Guides

SW 522 - Basic Social Work Research

Evaluating Research

Three questions to answer when reading the research –

1.       What was the research question and why was the study needed?

2.       What was the research design?

3.       Was the research design appropriate for the question?


Here are some other things to think about when reading your research

1.       Title

a.       Does the title give any insight as to what the article is about?

2.       Introduction

a.       Is the problem being studied clearly stated?

b.      Is there a review of previous literature related to this study?

c.       Did the author identify a gap in the literature?

d.      Is there a hypothesis stated?

e.      Is the purpose of the study stated?

3.       Method

a.       Are the subjects well described?

b.      How was the sample selected?

c.       How large was the sample?

d.      Was a control group used?

e.      Is the procedure laid out in detail?

f.        Could someone replicate the study from this description?

g.       Is the data analysis well described?

4.       Results

a.       Are the measured data summarized?

b.      Are the results statistically significant?

5.       Discussion

a.       Was the hypothesis accepted or rejected?

b.      Were there weaknesses in the study discussed?

c.       Are other articles or studies cited which address the findings?

d.      Were any suggestions made for further study on this topic?

6.       Conclusion

a.       Are the results briefly restated?

b.      Do conclusions make sense based on the results and discussion?


RefWorks Resources

RefWorks can be accessed here or by searching the MLibrary website.

  • Tutorial from RefWorks. Click here for a Video
  • RefWorks information from the UM Scholar Space. Click here for a Research Guide


An excellent series of videos from the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library at Yale on using RefWorks.  Please note: “Yale Links” is the same as “MGet It”; the University of Michigan does not provide access to the RefShare component of RefWorks.

  • Importing PubMed References to RefWorks    Video 
  • Exporting Ovid SP Search Result to RefWorks  Video
  • Export Citations from EndNote to RefWorks (This tutorial is based on EndNote X.)   Video
  • Adding Known Articles to RefWorks   Video
  • Creating Independent Bibliographies in RefWorks   Video
  • Inserting Citations and Formatting Papers in RefWorks - Part I - Write-N-Cite   Video  
    (To set up Write-N-Cite for off-campus use, please click 
  • Inserting Citations and Formatting Papers in RefWorks - Part II - without Write-N-Cite   Video
  • Exporting References from RefWorks for EndNote (This tutorial is based on EndNote X.)   Video
  • Managing and Organizing Your References   Video


Downloadable Guide: