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CPS Online Graduate Studies Research Paper (UNH Manchester Library): Format of Capstone Research Projects at GSC

Paper Outline

Format for a GSC Graduate Capstone Research Paper

TITLE

  • principle function is to inform reader about topic
  • should be concise statement of main idea (maximum length 12 to 15 words)
  • avoids words that serve no useful purpose:

"A study of . . ."
"An experimental investigation of . . ."

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

ABSTRACT

  • single paragraph (about 100 to 150 words)
  • brief summary of content and purpose of paper
  • should be self-contained and fully intelligible without reference to the body of the paper
  • should usually be written last, although working abstract often helps writer to focus

INTRODUCTION

  • states the specific topic or research problem
  • explains importance of topic in broader context
  • might include brief discussion of relevant theories
  • should include statement of hypothesis and possible implications of the conclusions

LITERATURE REVIEW/BACKGROUND/HISTORY

  • includes brief review of previous work
  • includes clear explanation of the difference between literature on the topic and this body of work

FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS

  • clearly states the theory/model used
  • introduces evaluation criteria

METHODS

  • necessary in empirical studies
  • explains exact experimental process and experimental design
  • identifies participating subjects
  • describes apparatus and materials used
  • summarizes procedures

RESULTS

  • necessary in empirical studies
  • summarizes data collected during experiment
  • mostly descriptive statistics, etc.
  • clearly states main findings
  • verbally describes tables and figures

DISCUSSION/ANALYSIS

  • contains conclusions, speculations, and inferences
  • evaluates results of experiment with respect to the hypothesis or research questions
  • applies evaluative criteria to situation
  • qualifies results and conclusions
  • notes shortcomings of the study

CONCLUSIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS

  • poses questions for further research
  • relates topic to the "Big Picture" and states significance of study

REFERENCES

  • lists all references cited in APA form

APPENDICES

  • insert supplemental information and, if necessary, descriptions of the material
  • appendix contents may include images, tables, figures, lists of tables, table of figures