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Capstone: CAPS 4360   Tags: caps, capstone  

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Using this Guide

The Capstone paper requires specific elements be included and  this guide is organized to suggest sources for each element. Also included is general information to aid you in the research process.  See tabs above or use links belowto find the information you need at the point you need it.

Elements of the Paper           General Research Help
Exploring the Issue Expand Your Research
Parties/Stakeholder Search Strategies
Policy Element Requesting Items We Don't Have
Statistics and Evidence Is This Website Credible?
State & Local Resources Organize and Save Your Research
Civic Engagement Write and Cite
Feedback (help improve this guide)

Topic Selection is Crucial

Q What should I consider when selecting a topic for my American Dilemmas/Capstone paper?

Updated: Jan 10, 2014



The American Dilemmas and Capstone papers require specific elements. There must be an identifiable, documented policy, usually legislation, regulation or some proposed action that is enforceable by an organization designed to address a social problem where the proposed solution has generated public controversy/debate by credible parties -- these can be organizations or influential individuals. 

Some examples: 

Social Problem Controversial Solution Policy
  • Unwanted pregnancy
  • Abortion
  • Roe v Wade 1973
  • Juvenile crime
  • Juveniles tried as adults
  • Juvenile Crime and Delinquency Prevention Act 1968
  • Air pollution
  • Alternative energy
  • Energy Policy Act 2005

For a successful topic, you should be able to answer YES to the following questions:

  • Is your social problem currently being discussed? In published sources?
  • Is your controversial policy solution currently being discussed? In published sources?
  • Are there at least two well-articulated sides? Are both sides publishing their positions?
  • Is there "enough" research/information available on your topic?



Sample Paper

Check out what a successful Capstone Paper looks like.


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