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Capstone Guide

Online research guide for Associate and Bachelor degree Capstone students

For the background (a.k.a. literature review), you will express your comprehensive knowledge about your topic incorporating what you have learned from writing the annotated bibliography and any additional sources you have found since. You should use the very best sources you found.

Tips for deciding which articles to include:

  • Include foundational works
    • A source is more likely to be foundational if it is cited in many relevant articles
    • So take note of any source that is cited in multiple articles you found
  • Consider work(s) of an author who has published many articles about your topic; they are likely an expert
    • Look for their most foundational, comprehensive, or innovative study to include
  • Consider any verified recent breakthroughs that have permanently altered the field
  • Consider which work contributes the most to your topic
  • Consider which work are you most influenced by

Tips for integrating the articles into your background:

  • The majority of the background should be written in your own words
  • An in-text citation typically includes the author's last name, year, and page or paragraph number
    • Example: (Smith, 2010, p. 4) OR (Smith, 2010, para. 3)
    • For more info, see the APA citation guide

Check out the Learning Center in Blackboard: go to to Student Resources tab, then click on the Learning Center sub-tab.  Look for the Academic Resources section for a link to their Writing Resources.

It's highly recommended that you also schedule an appointment(s) with the Learning Center to review your assignment(s).  Sessions are available face-to-face in Summerdale, and online/virtual sessions are also available.

You can access the Learning Center's calendar and make appointments from their Blackboard tab.  You can also contact the Learning Center via email at or by calling 717-728-2234.