Social Work - Part 2

This is a Social Work research guide. It offers a variety of information to help you with your research needs

Interviewing & Qualitative Research Resources

Interviewee Information

  1. Describe the interviewee, include demographics including gender, race and ethnic background, age (now and when problem occurred), family composition and marital status, SES, social support network, religion, health, education, education, and job/career.
  2. Describe your interviewees’ social welfare problem and what led to the problem including the location. Be sure to provide details about what happened that led to the social welfare problem and describe the scope of the problem in detail.
  3. Describe the law and program that addressed the interviewee problem.
    • Briefly name all the benefits the interviewee received during the initial period of the problem.
    • Describe the steps taken and forms completed to obtain the major benefit/service that is the focus of your project.
    • How was the interview treated during the process of applying for and receiving assistance?
    • What was the outcome of receiving the benefits/services? How is the interviewee doing today or as a result of the benefits or services received?
  4. Summarize findings and provide conclusions, including reflections about what you learned and how the information affected your perspective and attitudes about the social welfare problem and policy.

Example from the Exemplar Paper

Below are quotes, segments, etc. from the Exemplar Paper that directly apply to some of the questions to address.

On April 2, 2016, I interviewed my aunt, XXXXX, about the benefits my cousin, XXXXX, received through Head Start while he attended preschool from 2009 through 2012 (personal communication). In 2009, XXXXX was a 37 year old, white mother of four who worked from home as an actuarial technician for Medical Protective, where she works currently. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Miami University in 1995. Her children, at the time ages 9, 7, 5, and 3 (now ages 16, 14, 11, and 9) lived with her and their father, XX, in West Chester, Ohio, where they were involved in sports, music, and theatre in the community, and attended the local Methodist church. XXX and her family have always been particularly close with XXX’s parents (my grandparents) in Beavercreek, Ohio, who they visit on a regular basis. XX has his Master’s degree in education and works as a high school teacher, both currently and in 2009. He now has partial custody of the children after he and XXX separated in 2014. XXXXs boyfriend currently lives in the household, along with his daughter, age 18, who spends time there while not with her mom. Although the family has always enjoyed an upper middle class lifestyle, money has been more stressful since XXXX and XX separated.

Their son XXX was born on September 19, 2006 (N. C. XXXX, personal communication, April 2, 2016). Although in perfect physical health, he has autism spectrum disorder, and cannot speak verbally. Although the transition from Help Me Grow to Head Start was seamless, XXX commented that his first year of preschool was difficult because he did not have an official diagnosis yet. She said that doctors do not typically want to diagnose children with autism until they are close to 4 years old, when some children overcome prior developmental challenges. Her son was put into a class that was made up of half developmentally typical children, and half children with special needs. XXX felt that his teacher was underqualified to work with him because his developmental disabilities were significantly more severe than those of his peers.

Before XX started his second year of preschool, he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder through the Autism Center of Butler County (N. C. XXX, personal communication, April 2, 2016). Although learning that her child had autism was difficult, the official diagnoses made more services available to XX and the family.

Presentation Tips

Remember to keep it simple--

  • Use only one message per slide. If you have more than one message, add a slide.
  • Limit the amount of text on each slide - around 25-30 words max
  • Use only elements that add to the content of the message. Use graphics that clearly support your message. Good graphics can significantly add to learning, bad graphics can confuse and distract your audience.
  • Maintain a consistent design with regard to colors, font styles, and graphics.
  • Have a beginning, a middle and an end. Tell your audience what you are going to tell them, tell it, and then summarize it.

TIP: Write your last slide first - if you don't know where you are going, it is unlikely you will be able to get there. Plan your conclusion first; know what you want to convey. Make the rest of your slides lead to and support the final result.


  • Who is the audience?
  • What do they know about the material?
  • What do you want them to learn?
  • Where will the presentation take place & under what conditions?

Slide Design

  • Each slide should address a single concept
  • Slides should follow a logical progression, each building on the other
  • Use no more than six lines of text on any one slide or 25-30 words
  • Use upper and lower case text, NOT all caps
  • Choose a color appropriate to the mood you want to convey
  • Avoid using too many colors (maximum of 5)
  • Use photographs to help the audience relate slide information to real world situations (keep in mind that if you use an outside source it is under copyright and permission to use it must be granted)
  • Try to leave the bottom 1/3 of your slide blank


  • Dark Blue to project a stable, mature message - has a calming effect
  • Red or Orange to trigger excitement or an emotional response
  • Green to make audience comfortable
  • Yellow to get audience attention quickly (more so than any other color)
  • Gray to promote the idea of "quality"
  • White to project honesty/sincerity
  • Black is not appealing to most viewers

TIP: To keep an audience focused, use dark colors for background and lighter colors for text and illustrations. The eye is naturally drawn to lighter areas and lighter and warmer colored objects appear closer than dark objects.