Most Common Student Writing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Written communication skills are so important for students to learn. As a social work instructor for nearly 10 years, I often gave students feedback and guidance to improve their writing. The following list contains the most common writing mistakes I encountered and suggestions for how to fix them. This list is geared toward social science writing and use of APA Style.

Most Common APA Style Errors

Properly Using the Work of Others

Grammar

Writing Research and Other Scientific Papers

What is missing? What would you add to this list?

For additional back to school tips for social workers, check out my eBook: Back to School Guide for Social Work Students.

Wishing all the new and returning students (myself included!) much success in the coming year!

Digital Tools for Engaging Writing Assignments #swtech

I created the following Sway presentation for both the Teaching & Technology Center as a Teaching & Technology Faculty Advisor and Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC), a  “faculty development program that holds workshops, hosts guest speakers, runs retreats, awards grants, provides faculty time and space for their own scholarly writing, and supports faculty in their endeavors to improve student writing” at Bridgewater State University. The presentation contains a broad overview of digital tools for engaging writing assignments presented during a series of workshops. It includes many resources and videos with more information that could not be covered adequately during the workshops.

inSocialWork Podcast #199 – Karen Zgoda, Dr. Melanie Sage, Dr. Jonathan Singer, and Dr. Lauri Goldkind: Technology-Mediated Assignments for Real World Learning

kzgoda_msage_jsinger_lgoldkindThis podcast contains follow-up conversation from our CSWE 2015 #swtech session!

Listen to the podcast here: inSocialWork Podcast #199 – Karen Zgoda, Dr. Melanie Sage, Dr. Jonathan Singer, and Dr. Lauri Goldkind: Technology-Mediated Assignments for Real World Learning

Have you considered incorporating technology or social media into your courses? If you have, then you are not alone. However, it can be daunting, given that there seems to be an increasing push to use these digital tools but not much direction as to how to do it. In this podcast, four social work educators talk about how they have used digital tools in their teaching. Professors Karen Zgoda, Melanie Sage, Jonathan Singer, and Lauri Goldkind offer examples from their work as they share thoughts about, and experiences with, integrating technology-mediated assignments into their coursework.

Karen Zgoda is an instructor in the School of Social Work at Bridgewater State University. She starting hosting online social work chats in 2000 and is currently a collaborator and chat host for the #MacroSW Twitter chats focused on macro social work practice. Karen previously wrote the SW 2.0 technology column for The New Social Worker Magazine and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and project coordinator at CTCNet working on digital divide issues. Her research and pedagogical interests include technology in social work and education, macro social work, social policy, and research methods.

Melanie Sage, PhD, is an assistant professor and BSSW program director at University of North Dakota, where she conducts research in areas of both child welfare and technology. She has trained over 1,000 social workers in the ethical use of social media and is especially interested in how technology is used in child welfare practice and in social work classrooms. She teaches coursework in direct practice with individuals and families, children’s mental health, and motivational interviewing. Dr. Sage holds a PhD in social work and research from Portland State University and an MSW from East Carolina University and spent most of her pre-academic social work career in child welfare and mental health settings. Currently, she’s working with colleagues, Dr. Laurel Hitchcock and Dr. Nancy Smyth, on a book titled “Teaching Social Work with Digital Technology.” You can join her for conversation and virtual coffee on Twitter: @melaniesage.

Jonathan B. Singer, PhD, LCSW, is an associate professor of social work at Loyola University Chicago and founder and host of the Social Work Podcast. His practice, teaching, and scholarship focuses on suicide intervention, cyberbullying, family-based interventions, community services, school social work, technology, and podcasts. Dr. Singer is the author of 45 publications, including the 2015 book “Suicide in Schools: A practitioner’s guide to multilevel prevention, assessment, intervention, and postvention.” He has given over 100 academic and continuing education presentations nationally for the U.S. Military, community mental health agencies, school districts, and clinical social work organizations. He can be found on Twitter as @socworkpodcast.

Lauri Goldkind, PhD, teaches at Fordham across the foundation and advanced year curricula as well as in the masters of nonprofit administration program. She holds an MSW from SUNY Stony Brook with a concentration in planning, administration, and research and a PhD from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. Her practice experience was focused in the in youth development, education, and juvenile justice realms. Prior to joining the faculty at Fordham, she served as Director of New School Development and Director of Evaluation at the Urban Assembly (UA), a network of specialized public schools located in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. At UA she supported principals through the new school process, helping them earn start-up grants valued at over $500,000 per school; additionally, she provided technical assistance to principals and school-based staff on data-driven decision making, development and maintenance of data management structures and the effective use of data to improve student achievement.

Direct podcast link here.

 

APA (6th ed) citation for this podcast:

Episode 199 – Karen Zgoda, Dr. Melanie Sage, Dr. Jonathan Singer, and Dr. Lauri Goldkind: Technology-Mediated Assignments for Real World Learning. (2016, September 12). inSocialWork® Podcast Series. [Audio Podcast] Retrieved from http://www.insocialwork.org/episode.asp?ep=199

Integrating Theory and Practice: Meaningful Technology-Mediated Assignments for Real-World Learning

Here is information on the panel I will be participating in at CSWE. It is called: Integrating Theory and Practice: Meaningful Technology-Mediated Assignments for Real-World Learning. 

  
To get there, follow directions to the fitness center. It is NOT accessible by easy to find elevators in the Tower building. I found it by going to the main lobby and going outside. Look for the soup place across the street, and go to the door to the right:

  
The entrance is directly below the walking concourse. Here is the door with people walking through it:

  

Once inside, go to the fitness center:

  

Take these escalators down a level. Then take the next escalator down a level. Vail is around the corner! 
  

Client Confidentiality in the Age of Social Media

I had the pleasure of presenting at Community Services of Greater Brockton on March 4, 2015 to talk about client confidentiality in the age of social media. My colleague, Melanie Sage, has done related work and graciously allowed me to repost her related infographic. Here are some talking points from the Brockton presentation.

General Talking Points:

  • It is not a matter of if we use technology, it is a matter of how we use technology
  • Social worker voices tend to be missing from conversations and decisions about tech
  • Confusion and fear about how to proceed with technology in practice drives avoidance not solutions
    • This does a disservice to our clients, who may expect practitioners and services to meet them where they are with technology
  • We run the risk of being culturally incompetent with clients
    • How can we practice effectively if we don’t understand significant aspects of client’s lives, and this includes technology?

Social Media:

  • Social media allows us to have asynchronous, non-geographically bound conversations, interactions, and connections with others
  • These interactions can reach more people than ever before, and typically publicly archived
  • We can advertise our services, provide the most up to date information for clients, and share research findings related to our practice, etc.
  • Social media presents opportunities and challenges for social workers
  • To avoid or lessen complications, develop a social media policy

In terms of confidentiality, the following guidelines from the Online Therapy Institute Ethical Framework for the Use of Social Media by Mental Health Professionals are helpful:

  • Be upfront about appropriate methods of contact (i.e., text messages, email, public messaging)
  • Provide the best level of protection for client data
  • Recognize client concerns and be upfront about the challenges and risks involved with security and privacy. For example, if you email me I may have no control if my account is hacked, but here is how I protect your information as much as possible and what I will do if there is a problem. (Source).
  • Not discuss confidential information on social media
  • Be upfront about avoiding dual relationships on social media
    • Have a policy in place if a client discovers on social media mutual friends, interests, or cultural groups with you. For example, I do not friend or follow current students on social media. If students find me, I welcome their conversation and dialogue, and questions.
  • Do not ask for reviews on consumer review sites, and do not respond on consumer reviews in any way confirming whether someone is or was a therapy client

References: