A Social Worker’s Role in Minimizing Suicide Attempts in Transgender Youth


Final Paper:

The purpose of the final paper and oral presentation is to integrate knowledge gained over the course of Senior Seminar and the student’s cumulative educational and field experiences in the social work program. Specifically, this assignment aims:

  1. To facilitate the display of in-depth knowledge about some contemporary area of social work policy practice, and/or social issue of concern.
  2. To create an opportunity for students to demonstrate their ability to access and integrate research and theoretical literature, and to appropriately apply that knowledge to social work practice.
  3. To reflect critical thinking ability.
  4. To display the ability to write clearly, and organize complex, intellectual material.
  5. To consider the value of the contribution of new knowledge to social work as a discipline and a practice.

Your proposed topic for your final paper and presentation is to be decided upon, in consultation with your professor. Generally, the final paper and oral presentation is expected to focus on a micro, mezzo or macro problem or issue that has generated concern for you–the student. The topic may or may not be directly tied to a student’s current field placement, but should draw on field experience. If you do not choose a macro focus, the student must especially discuss his/her interest with the professor.  Examples include: Psychosocial Social Work Practice for the Beginning Generalist (micro); Vineland City’s School Social Worker Advocates Against Gang Violence (mezzo); America’s War on Poverty: Fifty Years Later (macro). The student is expected to clearly identify the focus (topic) of the paper, provide a historical summary which speaks to when and how the issue emerged as a concern for the social work profession, review all relevant literature, reference theoretical materials which offer explanatory supports, identify relevant social policy influences, programs and service interventions, and describe the success or failures of current initiatives.

Outline for Final Paper Content Areas:

I. Introduction and Overview
• Describe the problem, issue, or practice concern.
• Describe the relevance to social work practice.

II. Background/History
• Identify when this issue emerged as a concern for social work.
• Identify target area/population.
• Describe past initiatives that addressed the problem area.
• What are the diversity intersections/multicultural practice issues that require consideration?
• What are the current major social/professional concerns?

III. Theory
• What theory (s) best explain, interpret or predict the problem, issue you identified?
• How does this theory influence your thinking about how to intervene to alleviate the problem, issue?

IV. Literature Review
• Who are the contributing researchers, scholars, social work professionals to this issue? Which other disciplines are interested in this issue?
• How does the empirical literature describe the problem, issue and social work intervention? (ex. does it support or refute current interventions used in the field?)

V. Describe interventions
• What has been done to address the problem, issue identified?
• Explain the success or failure of past initiatives.
• Offer your recommendations for effective change.

VI. Policy
• What policy(s) is important to understand in relationship to the problem, issue?
• How has the policy influenced the creation of programs, social work intervention and/or the delivery of services?

VII. Conclusions
• Summarize the significant findings of your research and how they could make a contribution to social work knowledge and practice.

• The paper should clearly identify the topic/focus and its relevance to contemporary social work practice.
• Describe the history, theories, programs and policy influences on the selected problem/issue.
• Use the American Psychological Association Manual of Style (APA) format
• Type, a 15 page, double-spaced paper and use 12 point font
• Cover and reference pages will not count as part of the required 15 pages
• Students are required to have a minimum of 8-10 empirical journal references.

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