Common Assignments in Social Work Education

Writing Guide: Student Edition

Unlike many disciplines, the social work discipline asks students to master not only multiple genres of writing, but also multiple sets of genres. By that I mean, we have to learn not just how to "write for social work," but rather how to "write for clinical practice," and "write for advocacy," and "write for research." Each of these general kinds of writing addresses a different sort of audience, and tries to accomplish different things in different contexts, and so, each involves different strategies. Outside of the three primary genre sets, there are also "process-oriented" and "functional" genres, which work differently, and might be part of any assignment in one of the three primary genres.

Use the links below to read about each of the genre sets—or jump ahead to the table of genres to choose a specific genre or assignment for more detailed information.