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Social Work : Social Work Writing, APA style

Writing in Social work and Policy Studies

Social work students and practitioners are required to produce not only academic literature but also other forms of documentation including policy submissions and proposals, case notes and records, funding applications and media statements and releases. Library and other resources and guidelines are available to assist students in writing for Social work and policy practice.

Searching for books and eBooks in the Library

Use Library Search to find books on writing skills for social workers, for example a keyword search social work* writing retrieves the following titles Writing skills for social workers by Karen Healey and Joan Mulholland; Report writing for social workers by Daisy Bogg, Courtroom and report writing skills for social workers by Seymour, as well as Social work documentation: A guide to strengthening your case recording by Nancy L.Sidell.

You can also search for books on the subjects communication in social work , communication in the social sciencescommunity development or action, and  public administration for additional resources.

Resources from Government, Professional organizations and Advocacy  Agencies

Professional associations - consult the websites of relevant organisations to access guidelines for the preparation of documents such as case notes or court reports see for e.g. from the Australian Association of Social Workers Writing court reports and How to develop a policy submission

Advocacy organizations and NGOs frequently prepare policy submissions for Government Inquiries and statements for the media on many social issues. If you are writing for the media or working on a policy submission, the websites of many organisations include  examples of policy submissions. Visit the follow website for ideas: Brotherhood of Saint Laurence, ACOSS reports and submissions and ACOSS media pages; National Shelter media releases and submissions.

Government - many government departments provide useful guidelines for writing funding submissions and grants.

Websites for Federal and State Committees of Inquiry often include submissions made to an Inquiry. These can provide useful examples for submission writing. Look at completed inquiries and their associated submissions.  

Guidelines for Submissions Community Door publishes Guidelines for applying for funding and the Funding Centre provides step by step guidance on applying for grant funding.

More resources for report writing in Social Work

Citing in APA Style - Quick Links

Writing quick links


EndNote is a commercial reference management software package, used to manage bibliographies and references when writing essays, articles and theses.

The University of Sydney has a site license to EndNote; this means current staff and students may download it for free.

Go to the Library's EndNote Guide to download the software and access training notes. Watch our EndNote training module videos.

Do you need help with EndNote?

Email the Librarian for Social Work

Contact Us

For general enquiries such as opening hours, locating resources on the shelves, copying and scanning and booking study rooms in the library please ask at the Information Desk in Fisher or contact us by phone 9351 2993 or 9351 2994. We also have a Live Chat and Frequently Asked Questions service.

For research enquiries contact Christine Tennent, Academic Liaison Librarian for the Sydney School of Education & Social Work.