The Columbia Guide to Social Work Writing

The Columbia Guide to Social Work Writing


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Social work practitioners write for a variety of publications, and they are expected to show fluency in a number of related fields. Whether the target is a course instructor, scholarly journal, fellowship organization, or general news outlet, social workers must be clear, persuasive, and comprehensive in their writing, especially on provocative subjects. This first-of-its-kind guide features top scholars and educators providing a much-needed introduction to social work writing and scholarship. Foregrounding the process of social work writing, the coeditors particularly emphasize how to think about and approach one's subject in a productive manner.

The guide begins with an overview of social work writing from the 1880s to the present, and then follows with ideal strategies for academic paper writing, social work journal writing, and social work research writing. A section on applied professional writing addresses student composition in field education, writing for and about clinical practice, the effective communication of policy information to diverse audiences, program and proposal development, advocacy, and administrative writing. The concluding section focuses on specific fields of practice, including writing on child and family welfare, contemporary social issues, aging, and intervention in global contexts. Grounding their essays in systematic observations, induction and deduction, and a wealth of real-world examples, the contributors describe the conceptualization, development, and presentation of social work writing in ways that better secure its power and relevance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231142946
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 07/17/2012
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Warren Green founded the Writing Center at Columbia University School of Social Work and has been its director since 1995. He holds a BA and MFA from Columbia University and is a writer and educator living in New York City.

Barbara Levy Simon is an associate professor of social work at the Columbia University School of Social Work and has served on its faculty since 1986. Her research focuses on the history of social work and social welfare in colonial and postcolonial settings and gender and sexuality in social work practice. Her books are The Empowerment Tradition in American Social Work and Never Married Women.

Table of Contents

Foreword. A Social Work Leader on Writing, by Linda Hoffman
Preface, by Jeanette Takamura
Introduction, by Warren Green and Barbara Levy Simon
Part I. The Foundations of Good Writing
1. Writing in Social Work in the United States: 1880s to the Present, by Barbara Levy Simon
2. Writing Strategies for Academic Papers, by Warren Green
3. Writing for Publication in Social Work Journals, by Ronald A. Feldman
4. Inscribing Knowledge: Writing Research in Social Work, by Denise Burnette
Part II. Applied Professional Writing
5. Student Writing in Field Education, by Kathryn Conroy
6. Writing For and About Clinical Practice, by Mary Sormanti
7. Getting the Policy Message Across to Diverse Audiences, by Shirley Gatenio-Gabel and Sheila B. Kamerman
8. Writing in Program and Proposal Development: The Social Work Writer as Translator, by Marion Riedel
9. Advocacy, by Vicki Lens
10. Administrative Writing, by Sue Matorin
Part III. Writing in Distinct Fields of Practice
11. Writing in Family and Child Welfare, by Brenda G. McGowan and Elaine M. Walsh
12. Writing Strategies for School Social Workers, by Alida Bouris and Vincent Guilamo-Ramos
13. Writing About Contemporary Social Issues: Lessons Learned from Working with Street-Based Sex Workers, by Susan Witte
14. Writing in the Field of Aging, by Ann Burack-Weiss
15. Writing in International Work: Power, Knowledge, and Social Interventions in the Globalized World, by Fred Ssewamala and Elizabeth Sperber

What People are Saying About This

Jeane W. Anastas

The Columbia Guide to Social Work Writing is an essential reference work for students, faculty and social work practitioners at all levels. Encompassing social work as both a discipline and a profession, its chapters provide expert advice on writing clearly, cogently, soundly and effectively in academic, practice and advocacy settings. Clinical practice, administration, policy, specific fields of practice, and international work all present specific challenges in explication that are thoughtfully and creatively addressed. A critical resource for journal editors and reviewers as well, this volume is a new classic.

Jeane W. Anastas, Ph.D., LMSW, Silver School of Social Work New York University, President of NASW, Author of Teaching in Social Work: An Educators' Guide to Theory and Practice

Wynne Sandra Korr

This book will help all social workers -- students, seasoned professionals, and educators -- to improve their writing. More importantly, the authors remind us of the critical role we have in giving voice to our clients and advocating for them through the words we use. The comprehensive approach includes writing for different audiences and in the context of various fields of practice.

Wynne Sandra Korr, Dean and Professor of School of Social WorkUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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