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Capstone Guide

Online research guide for Associate and Bachelor degree Capstone students


Once you have identified a problem to solve, you must do some more research, then present a solution.

Recommended steps for solving a problem:

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Investigate the "who," "what," "when," "where," "why," and "how" of the whole situation
  3. Generate as many ideas as possible
  4. Critically evaluate your ideas
  5. Select the best solution

These steps are nonlinear and iterative - meaning you may repeat certain steps multiple times (and possibly out of order) before you are finished.


Once you have chosen a solution, you need to propose the action plan - how you intend to accomplish your proposed solution.

Think about:

  • Why is this problem important enough to be solved?
  • What similar situations and solutions have you found? (Cite it!)
  • Outline all steps that will need to be taken and who is responsible for taking those steps 
  • Do you need to seek permission for any of the steps?
  • Are there expected standards or policies that you intend to follow?
  • What resources do you intend to consult?
  • What will it cost financially? (See the Budget section below.)
  • What will it cost in time and man-power?

Check out these links to find more information about writing a research proposal:

Budget Narrative

You will not be formulating an actual budget, but you will write a narrative about how much you estimate your proposed solution will cost. You will need to persuasively justify the expenditures.

Think about:

  • What supplies will you need?
    • How many of each item?
    • How much does each cost?
  • Will you need to pay someone for work?
    • How much time do you anticipate they will work?
    • What is their salary?
  • Are there any fees that you might encounter? (Rental space, contracts, etc.)
  • How much of your own money do you intend to spend, how much should the company plan to spend, and how much money will you need to borrow? How do you intend to borrow that money?

Check out the links below for more information about writing your budget: