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Information Literacy in Human Services Courses  

Last Updated: May 3, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Information Literacy in Human Services

Information literacy includes the ability to find, evaluate, cite, and use information in a variety of formats.  These skills are important for completing college-level academic work as well as processing information in everyday life. 

The field of Human Services requires a healthy amount of research and writing.  We encourage you to refer to the resources provided here to help you complete your assignments.  The Librarians at PCCC are also available to assist you with your research.  They can be found at the Reference desk of the Library on your campus.

Annotated Bibliography Definition from Purdue OWL


Template for APA Research Paper

Save time!
Download this Template
 It has been prepared in Microsoft Word format for an APA style Research Paper
  • Cover page
  • Font, size: Times New Roman, 12
  • Paragraph style
  • APA style Header
  • "References" page

As soon as you find your first source, add it to the "Reference" page.
NOTE: Always contact your professor for assignment requirements.

Sample Literature Review

This section offers a sample APA-style  literature review, written by an undergraduate psychology student at Purdue University. 

Evaluation Criteria

When you search for information, you don’t need to settle for the first search result(s).  You should browse and/or narrow down the results and choose the books or articles that best suit your needs.  Below are some of the criteria for evaluating sources:

  1. Relevance: How does this source relate to your topic?  Does this source cover your topic with enough depth? 
  2. Authority (Author’s credentials): Who is the author or publisher or sponsor?  How is the author (or publisher or sponsor) qualified to write on this topic?
  3. Purpose: Is the purpose of the source to educate, inform, entertain, sell or persuade?  Do the authors make their purpose clear?  If there is bias (that is, if it is one-sided) do they provide evidence for their point of view? 
  4. Currency (Publication date): When was this source published or posted?  Does your topic require the latest news?  Are older sources still relevant?
  • MORE INFO: Purdue OWL Evaluating Sources
    Want to know more about evaluating information or where these criteria come from? Purdue OWL's overview about the importance of sifting through lots of information to get to the best information is brief and easy to read. Take a look at "Evaluation During Reading" (in the menu on the left) for more questions to ask as you evaluate a resource.

Finding Books

Passaic County Website

  • Passaic County Website
    Click on Departments / Human Services
    "The Department of Human Services is an umbrella social service agency concerned with the planning and funding services for the county’s disadvantaged and homeless citizens. "

Online Library Resources for Human Services

The PCCC Library Web site will lead you to a variety of types and sources of information.  The library’s online resources differ from the “free Web” in that they have gone through the publication process, making them reliable and authoritative.  

To access library resources from off-campus, log in to Blackboard, then click on the Library tab to view a list of links along with the usernames and passwords required for off-campus access.

The following resources are recommended for Human Services:

Reference materials:

  • DSM-5: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is used by health professionals, social workers,and forensic and legal specialists to diagnose and classify mental disorders.
    • Two copies on reserve at Circulation Desk in Paterson
    • One copy available at Passaic (REF. RC455.2 .C4 D54 2013)
  • Search the Library Catalog for books (use pull-down menu to restrict search to PCCC).

Articles from periodicals (including magazines, newspapers, and peer-reviewed journal articles):

Search all EBSCO databases or choose the following specific databases:
  • PsycINFO, American Psychological Association’s (APA) renowned resource for abstracts of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations, is the largest resource devoted to peer-reviewed literature in behavioral science and mental health.
  • Academic Search Complete is the world's most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals.
  • Search specific journals in EBSCO such as

Citations and Plagiarism

When you find an article or book that is useful, you can look for information that specifically addresses your topic or answers your research questions.  When you use information from a resource, you may quote it directly or paraphrase the information (put it in your own words). Either way, you must cite your sources or you will be guilty of plagiarism.  Luckily, many of our online resources have built-in citation tools.  You may also try the resources linked below for help with citation.

  • Citing Your Sources
    This guide contains information on citation best practices, brief citation guides for both MLA and APA styles, and a brief video on citation.
  • EasyBib Citation Generator
    EasyBib is a citation generator - that means you enter the information about a source, such as the author, title, publisher, publication date, and EasyBib will create the formatted citation for you.
  • Purdue OWL APA Guide
    This guide will help you create correct APA citations by showing examples of different types of resources. Use the menu on the left to see examples based on resource type (Books, Periodicals, Electronic, etc.).

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