by Liz Davies, senior lecturer, children and families social work, London Metropolitan University.
Make your argument clear from the beginning
Students often launch straight into the essay topic without introducing their approach to the essay. It is really important for the marker to understand the student’s rationale in responding to the essay title and to be guided as to how the student intends to address the question. Students often begin an essay with long definitions or historical information without relating these to the essay title. Equally important is a conclusion which relates back to the aims set out in the introduction and demonstrates a progression in thinking achieved through the process of writing the essay.
Identify references clearly
The marker must be able to identify exactly the source of a reference. Students often include a website without stating the exact webpage. A marker cannot locate a reference on complex websites such as the Department for Education without the detail of the exact page being provided.
Similarly, quotations must include the page number so that the marker can find the exact source material. This is particularly important because of the extent of plagiarism and the need for academics to check exactly where the student has gained the information from. Also, students probably do not realise that as lecturers we often like to check a reference for our own interest to develop our knowledge of the subject.
Use professional, not colloquial, language
Students often use language which is colloquial and as they would speak rather than more professional language – for example, “I got a case of…” rather than “I was allocated the case of…”. Or “I did an interview” rather than “I conducted an interview”. It is important to recognise the distinction between how to communicate verbally and how to write a coherent and professional essay.
Provide evidence that you understand social work principles
Students often list principles of social work practice without evidencing their understanding of them. For example, they state that social workers must be anti-oppressive and non-judgemental but often give no evidence that they understand the concept or know how to apply it in practice. Lists of principles and standards should be avoided. The marker needs to know that the student has made sense of these concepts and can demonstrate their application.
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Social Work Values and Ethics Essay
Ethics and values often go hand in hand. There is always some form of correlation between one’s actions and a doer of actions. It is a combination of the two that can play a crucial role in the determination of one’s values, standards, and subsequently, morality. Social work, to a great extent, entails the interaction between individuals. In social work as a field, the code of ethics always plays an important role. It forms the basis of everything that the field is all about. A value carries various meanings and definitions but generally, entail the combination of reasons and drive that are behind every action that an individual does, be it right or wrong.
Values in social work can be exemplified by respect to everyone, as well as the aspect of self-determinism. Since social work traces much of its existence in the various interactions between people, it also recognizes the complex nature of such interactions, especially when it comes to doing with human beings and the surrounding. It has taken a great deal of its knowledge body from such complexities, in order to influence individual change in one way or another. Subsequently, such values play a key role in helping the social worker to be able to make wise decisions when it comes to sociocultural challenges and injustices. Social work professionals aim at empowering members in the society who are vulnerable, oppressed or impoverished. Ethics and values in social work outline that social work entails various core values for instance dignity, social justice, integrity, valuing human interrelationships and competence.
The core of the social work profession is the social work code of ethics and values which helps the workers make sound judgments while handing clients if caring ethnicity, race or religion. Value and actions link directly, and thus we are judged according to the values we express through an action once we perform it. Ethics and values in social work dictate how we can interpret and resolve dilemmas between different values in a professional manner. The article grants guidelines on some ethical practices and their roles in the determination of actions basing on the social work significance.
Ethics and values in social work illustrates how we can access the ethics concept and show how it is employed to examine daily operations in the social work practices. These two aspects of social work also allows us to analyze the major role of governance among the representative bodies within the social work activities. Ethics and value in social work describe values as set guidelines and rules in the wrong or right decisions individuals make.
It’s evident that values facilitate the recognition of the actions as valuable or worthy and thus we can evaluate what is vital and what is less important in case a conflict of values erupts. Ethics and values in social work explain that the core values within a social work practice inform our understanding of diversity. The values and ethics in social work are not just part of the whole field, they actually constitute the entire field. They literally dictate how social workers interact with real life problems or challenges, by providing them with the set platform through which they can use to do it. From a sociocultural point of view, this helps in understanding the complexities of human interactions, while helping to make sense out of it.