CAPS04101 – Health Science Capstone

CAPS04101 – Health Science Capstone

Capstone Research Paper Assignment Guide & Rubric


Capstone Research Paper Assignment Guide & Rubric
The capstone research paper will represent a culmination of your learning in the
undergraduate health sciences program. This assignment will provide you with the opportunity
to integrate the knowledge and experiences you gained from your course work into a
focusing on an issue within the field of human biology, health or healthcare.
The process for completing the capstone research paper is
a. select a research topic
b. develop an annotated bibliography
c. transform the annotated bibliography into a research paper consisting of three parts
i. introduction
ii. integrated literature review
iii. impact statement (this replaces the standard conclusion)
Each of these components is detailed in the following section.
Parts of the Capstone Research Paper
The purpose of the introduction is to gain the reader’s attention, help the reader
understand the problem that needs to be solved, and develop a strong thesis/purpose statement.
It’s important to include facts and figures (e.g., incidence and prevalence, morbidity and
mortality statistics) so the reader can get a clear picture about the scope of the problem you are
investigating. A purpose statement is generally one declarative sentence that, according to
Locke, Spirduso, and Silverman (as cited in Creswell, 2014a, p. 123) “indicates why you want to RESEARCH PAPER ASSIGNMENT GUIDE 3

do the [research paper] and what you intend to accomplish.” Information about how to develop a
strong thesis/purpose statement is covered in the capstone course material. Here is an example:
The purpose of this research paper is to uncover the degree to which
self-esteem influences the development of friendships among
adolescents. In this paper, self-esteem is defined using the work of
Smith and Jones (2005, p. 2) as “confidence in one’s own worth or
abilities; self-respect.”
Creating an Integrated Literature Review
Following the introduction, you will synthesize health sciences literature from your
annotated bibliography into an integrated literature review (also called a survey of literature or a
critical review of literature). You are not limited to the articles you included in your annotated
bibliography; feel free to add more peer review primary research articles to support this section
of your paper. Organize your literature review like a funnel – start out with broad concepts and
work your way down to more specific/focused concepts. It’s useful to include factors
influencing the issue you are exploring. You may choose to describe what efforts have been
made in the past to improve or solve the issue and what a solution might look like in the future.
Many students fall into a trap when converting the annotated bibliography into a research
paper. The trap is describing the articles again, study by study (e.g., Author A said…Author B
said…Author C said…). An integrated literature review is different than an annotated
bibliography. It’s a synthesis of the research articles you collected and organized using the
subheadings in your outline. To synthesize the articles, make connections among the studies.
One of the best ways I can suggest you learn how to write an integrated literature review is to
read the introduction sections from the articles you included in your annotated bibliography. CAPSTONE RESEARCH PAPER ASSIGNMENT GUIDE 4

Another way is to read review articles. Though you are not allowed to use review articles in
your research paper, a review article provides an excellent example of how to write an integrated
literature review.
The resources below were selected to help you with the literature review section of the
research paper. In addition to these articles, videos and web pages, be sure to use the resources
available to you via the Logan Writing Center (LWC).
Pautasso, M. (2013). Ten simple rules for writing a literature review. PLoS Computational
Biology, 9(7), e1003149. Retrieved from
Purdue Owl. (2009, Feburary 12). APA Sample paper. Retrieved from
Purdue Owl. (2014, June 10). The literature review (Web page). Retrieved from
Taylor, D. (2017, March 27). How to write the literature review in 30 minutes or less (Video
podcast). Retrieved from
Impact Statement
The impact statement will replace the use of a standard conclusion section and should
answer two questions: So what? Who cares? The impact statement should also be framed using
the socio-ecological model as a guide (refer to the Week 11 Module [content & instructions
page] for materials related to this model. To get started, organize your thoughts by describing CAPSTONE RESEARCH PAPER ASSIGNMENT GUIDE 5

how your research topic is addressed at each level of the socio-ecological model (individual,
interpersonal, institutional, community, public policy). For example,
Topic: Booster Seat Use for Children Age 2-5
Statement of the Problem: The US has high rates of fatal motor vehicle accidents. Morbidity and
mortality among children age 2-5 years of age are on the rise due to inconsistent, improper,
or nonexistent use of booster seats when traveling by automobile. The death of a child can have
lifelong traumatic psychological/emotional effects on the parents and relatives. Society is also
impacted by productive years of life lost when a child dies. Factors impacting compliance with
child restraint laws for use of booster seats occurs at all levels of the ecological model.
Individual Level
Parents of children age 2-5 often fail to use booster seats due to their lack of knowledge and poor
attitudes and beliefs. Some parents are unaware of the need for a booster seat and prematurely
restrain children with an adult seat belt. Some parents report that using a booster seat is “a
hassle” – the child doesn’t like it and they are hard to install. Others report that the high cost of
booster seats prohibits their use.
Interpersonal Level
Parents need to have a united front about the use of booster seats; if one parent does not think
they are necessary, the child often goes unprotected. Health care providers (e.g., pediatricians)
often do not discuss booster seat use with parents. Grandparents have poor knowledge and
attitudes about the use of booster seats, so they often do not use them when caring for their
grandchildren age 2-5.

CAPS04101 – Health Science Capstone

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