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A final, complete version of the Capstone Project paper is due at the end of the semester. The purpose of the paper is to provide a narrative about the project with sufficient detail to allow a reader to be able to accurately describe the goals of the project, situate the project within the existing body of published literature, replicate the methodology of the project, and explain how your goals for the project relate to the methodology you chose and to the project outcomes and conclusions. In other words, your narrative must be clear, logical and demonstrate alignment with the goals, methods and outcomes. In addition, it should reflect the integration and mastery of course content from the Emergency & Disaster Management program. Expectations: The expectation for this final paper is a well written and organized document. The paper should follow the APA formatting and citation style guidelines (Links to an external site.). Papers that do not meet the quality and formatting expectations described below will not earn a passing grade. Writing should be clear and organized, with a logical flow from one topic to the next. Sentence structure should follow standard rules of grammar and punctuation. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence, a body and a conclusion. Transitions between paragraphs should be fluid. Use spell checker to help avoid spelling errors; however, this is not a substitute for careful proofreading. Use the “active voice” whenever possible, instead of the “passive voice.” Use past and present tenses, where appropriate (e.g. use past tense when reporting what you did, “I interviewed participants…” and discussing your results, “The data analysis showed…” Use present tense when stating well-established facts, “water is made of hydrogen and oxygen…”). Do not use future tense. Content and Format: The Capstone paper must include the elements described in the table below. These will serve as the major headings in your paper and should be formatted following APA guidelines. Length: The main text of the paper, excluding references and appendices, should be at least six to eight thousand words, or 30 – 35 pages. The total length, including references and appendices, should be no more than 50 pages. Basic Content for a Capstone Project Element Description Title page See sample on last page of this document: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ Abstract The abstract is a concise summary (150-250 words) of the main sections of the paper. It should be written last! Example: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ Table of contents The Table of Contents should include major headings and subheadings, as needed. Tip: Microsoft Word has a Table of Contents feature. Introduction The introduction of the paper should set the stage for the project by providing a brief overview of the topic and rationale for the project. It should include a statement of the problem at or near the beginning; don’t keep your reader in suspense regarding the purpose of the project. After clearly articulating the problem, the introduction should provide sufficient background information so the reader can understand what follows. The introduction should also include your thesis statement and a “roadmap” of your paper. Description of the Problem This section should elaborate on the statement of the problem presented in the introduction. Thoroughly describe the nature of the problem; including your rationale for believing the problem exists. Describe how the project will address the problem, and clearly state the goals of the project. These goals must align with the literature review and the methodology. Literature Review The literature review should both summarize and synthesize the relevant literature (http://libguides.usc.edu/writringguide/literaturereview). It should include a minimum of 15 references that are fairly current. The majority of the literature reviewed should have been published within the last 10 years, and come from peer-reviewed journals. It is perfectly acceptable, and indeed advisable, to cite seminal, foundational studies in your area of focus that may be >10 years old. Edited texts or textbooks may also be appropriate source material. Web sites should be used with caution. Refer to APA
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