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Capstone Guide

Online research guide for Associate and Bachelor degree Capstone students

Learning Center Info

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.

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Call or text 717-728-2500 or email to make an appointment.

Remember the Learning Hub is also open with lots of great faculty and staff willing to help with tutoring, advising, and general questions.


How do I know what benefits to write about?

Think about your goal, what you're trying to achieve; in essence, your thesis statement. You are conducting research to explore an issue and hopefully find a viable solution. Think about:

  • What problem does my solution solve?
  • How will this solution positively change the way things currently are?
  • Who will be affected most positively?


Is it OK for my research proposal to have negative consequences?

Yes. There will rarely (if ever) be a solution proposal that has absolutely no negative consequences. It's important that the reader knows you have carefully thought through possible results of your proposal. In the real world, if you were to submit a research proposal to a company and you said that there would be no consequences, they would probably not believe you. Instead, they might become suspicious of your intentions and infer that you have not done enough research.

How do I know what consequences to write about?

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." While Newton's third law was intended to describe physics, it describes many real-life scenarios as well. Think about your intended goal (your solution), and what you are proposing to accomplish that goal. For every change you intentionally initiate, there will be other smaller changes that also must take place. Consider the changes you're proposing from every possible angle. Think about:

  • How might this solution negatively change the way things currently are?
  • Who will be affected most negatively?

So how do I defend my proposal against these consequences?

You will have to write refutations providing evidence that justifies the consequences and possible objections. Make sure you use logic and reasoning, and avoid any logical fallacies. 


  • Directly address the consequence; don't side-step the issue
  • Carefully summarize the consequence or objection, then provide your response
  • Are you able to make accommodations to either avoid or lessen the consequence?
  • If not, are you able to justify the reason for accepting the consequence? (Do the ends justify the means?)

Use the links below to learn more about writing refutations, using logic, and avoiding logical fallacies.