Learning resource kit

The Learning resource kit has links to information, policies, and other resources that we hope will assist you in preparing for and completing MSW courses online.

MSW students are admitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the School of Social Work. The Grad Calendar lists all policies and procedures governing graduate studies at UVic.

School of Social Work policies

Graduate Studies policies

To: University of Victoria Distance Education Students in Social Work

From: Jessica Mussell

Hi everyone and welcome to UVic!

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the Distance Learning and Research librarian, who supports the social work programs at UVic, and encourage you to make use of our library services to assist you with your studies. Please visit SOCW LibGuide for the library introduction.

As a distance student, you can contact the Distance Learning and Research unit to request specific books or articles from the UVic Libraries. To request any of these services, call us anytime at 250-721-6488 or email 

You may request an unlimited number of books sent to your home address* at no charge. Return postage is included. If you can't find an article you want online, let us know. We can help!!

To locate information on a course topic or research paper, you can access the UVic Libraries main search tool. Databases, including PsycInfo and Social Work Abstracts, can be accessed by clicking "Advanced search", then "Databases Search", or you can go to this listing of databases particularly relevant to Social Work.

If you have a difficult topic which you would like to discuss or if you need help conducting your search, you can contact me at .

We welcome your questions in whatever form they come!

We can help you to:

  • gain remote access to the Library resources
  • devise tips and strategies for using any of the online databases more effectively;
  • formulate a search strategy or choose appropriate key words for your topic;
  • broaden or narrow the focus of your search;
  • access other resources appropriate for your topic;
  • search the Web more effectively;
  • and much more!

In short, we can help to make the UVic library and its resources more accessible to you.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Regards, Jessica

*Due to border restrictions we can only mail out books from out collection to addresses within Canada. 

Updated: March 2023

The qualitative social work thesis - a brief guide to process and proposals (PDF, 126 KB)
by Susan Strega
last updated: January 2009

Oral defense tips (PDF, 77 KB)
by Susan Strega

Link to the Faculty of Graduate Studies document on responsibilities in the supervisory relationship policy (PDF, 50 KB)

Checklist for thesis defense (PDF, 61 KB)
by the MSW Working Group

Checklist for project defense (PDF, 45KB)
by the MSW Wroking Group

Undertaking a literature review
Notes for a presentation at The practicalities of completing a degree in HSD
(PDF, 110 KB)
by Kathy Teghtsoonian October 2003

The research proposal in thirteen parts (PDF, 164 KB)
by Marge Reitsma-Street October 2003

APA Style Guide (PDF)

APA Style Tutorial

UVic Centre for Academic Communication (formerly The Wrting Centre)

Writing skills

Developing your critical analysis skills (PDF)

Dan Kurland's www.criticalreading.com

Critical thinking skills

Essays and arguments: a handbook on writing argumentative and interpretative essays

Writing an annotated bibliography

Writing Resources (from UVic Learning and Teaching Centre)

Additional Writing/Analysis Resources

Critical Thinking, Reading & Writing Basics

Practical guide to critical reading, thinking and analysis (Oxford Brookes University)


What is critical thinking? (Walden University)


Critical writing (University of Leicester)


Short guide to critical thinking (UNSW)


Strategies for critical thinking (Walden University)


Narrated Power Point on Critical Thinking (WLU)


Writing Basics

Understanding the assignment (Walden University)- (Scroll to bottom of this link for podcast)


Writing discussion posts (Walden University)



Writing papers (Walden University)


Writing an essay (Harvard University – excellent site!)


Organization and clarity in writing: Fixing common errors (Madeline Walker, former writing tutor, Nursing)


Punctuation and grammar (narrated power point by Madeline Walker)

Punctuation Matters!

Hit Parade of Common Writing Errors (UofT)


Writing Argument Papers

How to write a strong argument paper:


Madeline Walker resource on argument papers (narrated power point): 


Short guide on writing an argument paper (Laura Zern – Nursing)


 Argument requires excellent use of rhetoric:  Rhetoric explained (3:26)


Other Types of Papers

Not an argument paper? Perhaps it is an exploratory paper – see this guide: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/728/1/

Writing an annotated bibliography


Writing Manuals & Resources

Highly recommended site – Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) – many resources including APA Guide:


Also highly recommended – UofT resources on reading and writing:


Four Directions Writing Guide for Indigenous Students (Ryerson)


Writing manual for Indigenous graduate students from Wilfrid Laurier University:

PDF File

University of Wisconsin – Madison Writing Handbook (covers many topics)



Quick Guide from UVIC Library:


APA explained in video (Memorial University):


Specific Concerns

Managing time and stress


Is your writing “flabby”? Check it out here – site highly recommended by students:


Concerned you might be unintentionally plagiarizing? This webpage on paraphrase and plagiarism gives examples of unsuccessful paraphrase and explains why it is considered plagiarism; examples of legitimate paraphrase, and an explanation of shared language


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Additional Support & Resources:

UVIC Learn Anywhere - Virtual Centre for Student Learning