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Comprehensive Exam Proposal and Annotated Bibliography Requirements

Comprehensive Exam Proposal and Annotated Bibliography Requirements

Following the selection of a topic area and a preliminary review of the pertinent literature, the student develops a proposal for the Comprehensive Exam. The purpose of the proposal is for the student to develop a focus for addressing the critical analysis of relevant research

Comprehensive Exam Proposal – Outline

1. Introduction: Provide a clear statement of the issue, policy, or problem area that you plan to examine. Provide a brief overview of the selected topic. State your rationale for pursuing this topic of interest, relevance to social work practice, policy, and research, and provide an overview of your comprehensive exam. Include the specific dimensions, parameters, or factors that will be included in your critical analysis of the literature.

2. Analyses of Theoretical Perspectives: Provide a summary of the main concepts
and/or theoretical perspectives that you plan to review and analyze. Provide a rationale for choosing these perspectives. Indicate what will be excluded from your critical analysis of theoretical perspectives and why.

3. Analyses of the Research Literature and Methodology: Provide a summary of the main research studies related to your chosen topic of interest. Provide a rationale for the research studies that will be included in your analyses. Also indicate the areas of and scope of research literature that will be included and excluded and why.

4. Discussion and Conclusions: Briefly indicate the theoretical model that will emerge from the critical analyses of the theoretical and research literatures. Outline and explain your planned approach to the discussion and conclusions that will validate your theoretical model. Indicate implications for social work practice, policy, and research.


Format and Length of the Comprehensive Exam Proposal

The Comprehensive Exam Proposal should be no longer than 10-12 pages, excluding references. The text should be formatted in 12-point font, double-spaced, and left justified with 1” margins all around.


Annotated Reading List Requirements

The student will submit an annotated reading list with a minimum of 30 empirical and theoretical articles or books that are relevant to the topic of their Comprehensive Exam. Students are expected to begin to work on this list in the Fall session of the second year, while working on the draft of the Comprehensive Exam Proposal for the Comprehensive Exam Seminar (SWK7000H).

The annotated reading list should consist of three sections:

1) Works related directly to the topic of the Comprehensive Exam, its significance, and other relevant background information.
2) Works related to the main theoretical perspectives in the Comprehensive Exam.
3) Works related to the empirical studies in the Comprehensive Exam.

Using annotations, the student will explain, in one paragraph, how each item on the reading list is related to one of the three sections above and how the reading will be used in preparation of the Comprehensive Exam.



Evaluation of the Comprehensive Exam Proposal and Annotated Reading List

After submission of the approved comprehensive exam proposal, assessors who wish to
provide further feedback can do so within two weeks of the specified deadline for the Final
Comprehensive Exam Proposal.

Assessors are not permitted to provide feedback, however, on the Comprehensive Exam, reading list, or development of the Comprehensive Exam paper (i.e. what theories to include, structure of the paper, or the reading list) during the Comprehensive Exam period, as students should have received and addressed the feedback prior to submitting the final proposal.