This written assignment contains two parts: an outline and a narrative component for your research paper.
Now that you have begun to do research in earnest for your project, begin thinking about how you will organize your material. An outline is critical to helping you begin to organize your thoughts and the development of your paper. Consequently, it is imperative you devote your attention to this outline so that you know with some degree of confidence where you are going with your research and your writing. You can, of course, modify your approach after the outline has been submitted based on further research or considerations. However, at this juncture, it is important to have the necessary groundwork laid out for how you anticipate moving the capstone project forward.
Develop a full-sentence outline for your entire capstone project. Use at least three levels (I, A, 1). You may use the following outline template as an example or draft your own. This will help you to plan out what you intend to research and write about for each of the major points of your capstone project. As you create this outline, you will begin to see a flow of ideas and how they relate to your problem statement, research question, or thesis statement. Using your increasing knowledge, define the scope of your research question more completely. Incorporate important concepts or theories that relate to your topic, and explain how the sources you are finding relate to these concepts.
Use alphanumeric or any other format that Word offers to create your outline (provided you go at least to the third level) and write in complete sentences (not phrases and not paragraphs). The use of full sentences will help your mentor better understand what you have in mind, since phrases can be ambiguous or lack sufficient information or clarity.
Your outline should conclude with 5 to 7 sources in APA or MLA format with entries alphabetized. These sources should be academic in nature and indicative of a source that would be reliable and recognized, though it does not need to necessarily be peer-reviewed. This information will be useful for your mentor to understand how you are proceeding with your research and provide helpful feedback.
In your narrative, define the scope of your research question, determine the key concepts, and relate your sources directly to the research question or key concepts.
With your research question in mind, explain the scope of your project. The scope includes the specific goals of your project as well as the tasks that need to be completed in order to reach those goals related to your research question. After completely defining your projects scope, defend the appropriateness of this scope for your project and why it is neither too broad nor too narrow.
Determine the key concepts you must research, study, and analyze to move your project forward. Provide preliminary definitions of these key concepts and explain how they relate to your research question.
Indicate the types of information sources (i.e. databases, journals, articles) that you have selected so far and will continue to seek. For each information source type, explain how it relates directly to your research question or the key concepts you have identified.
The narrative is intended to help the reader see how you have approached finding the required information to the resolution of your problem statement, research question, or continued development of your hypothesis or thesis statement. In an effort to expand your breadth of understanding of your topic, it is expected you will continue to actively engage in research throughout the duration of the course.