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Subject: Capstone Project – Half Draft (This is a required assignment)
Learning Outcomes
Consistent with the course syllabus, this assignment aims to have students demonstrate the
Formulate a clear well-written research question or statement of problem that is well
Demonstrate deterministic or cause and effect logic in your research question or statement
of research problem.
Convey the Project’s conceptual structure via the previously produced outline that has now
been transformed into a well-organized and well-written APA formatted Table of Contents.
Collect valid academic and professional information or data relevant to that research
question or statement of problem.
Evaluate and analyze published literature specific to the research question or statement of
research problem.
Present findings or results using a discipline-specific and well-written medium (i.e., APA
This submission must be formatted using the APA style (Cover Page, Executive Summary or
Abstract, a Table of Contents [your Table of Contents will reflect, in heading and subheading form,
your finalized outline], your written work and your reference page/s). This means that all you
produce for this submission must be APA formatted. Further, all you produce for this submission
will be submitted as one pdf file.
To ensure you remain on track to finish your Capstone Project before the semester ends, I have
designed this course so you are regularly submitting work. Toward that end, for this submission you
will submit no less than a half draft of your Capstone Project. Looking at your finalized outline, I
expect half of that outline to have been incorporated into this submission. If, upon completing half of
the outline, your written work (excluding cover page, Executive Summary or Abstract and Table of
Contents) is less than 12 pages of double-spaced typed 11 or 12 point font text, you will need to
keep writing. You may submit more of your project on that date but to submit less will result in a loss
of points.
Please contact me in advance of the due date if you have any questions regarding these
Be Aware of the Following
Be sure you are formatting your work correctly using the APA style.
Pay attention to quality writing.
Do not write in the first person. The word “I” should not appear in your writing. This Capstone
Project is to be written in the third-person.
Since you now have a finalized outline, I want to see a Table of Contents immediately after your
cover page and abstract/executive summary page. Let me make a few additional comments about
the Table of Contents. When you were creating your working outline and finalized outline, I
requested that the outline sections (e.g., the A, B, C and A1, A2, B1, B2, B3 sections, etc.) be
expressed in sentence format. By doing this, I hoped to get a better idea of what you would be
discussing in that section. It is now time to turn those descriptive sentences into first level, second
level and, where applicable, third level headings. Your Table of Contents will reflect the various
headings that were once your outline. So, there will be no more need for the Roman numerals, the
A, B, Cs and numbered elements of your outline. I am looking now for primary headings, secondary
headings and third level headings.
Cite your sources internally using the APA style. Do not plagiarize!
Paraphrase well. Using direct quotes is okay but only in a limited fashion. Extensive use of direct
quotes will not be allowed. You may have been allowed to quote extensively in other courses but
you will not be allowed to do that in this course/for this Capstone Project.
APA Style and Literature Reviews 1
The Literature Review and the APA Style
The issue most central to this brief set of notes relates to use of the American
Psychological Association’s (APA) style when writing professional or scholarly work. The APA
style—now in its 6th edition–is more than just a system to help writers ethically cite their
sources. It is a comprehensive system that helps produce similarly styled scientific work
reflecting uniformity in headings, tables and figures, use of quoted and non-quoted material,
and tone of writing. Following the APA style will help researchers produce better professional
or scholarly work but it will also help them become better writers.
There is no way to cover all elements of the APA style in a single set of notes. Frankly,
the best thing a student can do is purchase the Publication Manual of the American
Psychological Association (6th Edition). The link below will take you to an APA Style Tutorial.
You are encouraged to review the tutorial in its entirety but recognize that it does not
represent complete coverage of all APA issues.
To be sure, becoming a better professional or scholarly writer is an important goal to
which students should commit. However, there is more to becoming a better writer than just
following the APA style. The mechanics of APA will not cure a comma splice and will not help
you distinguish between “there” and “their”. Following the mechanics though will certainly
enhance the professional nature of your writing so please pay close attention to the points
discussed in this set of notes.
As was mentioned in a previous set of notes, the taking of another’s thoughts, ideas, or
work and presenting such as one’s own constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism is regarded as
cheating and is discouraged in the research and academic worlds. The APA style will help you
avoid plagiarism in the sense that the uniform style being promoted encourages researchers to
organize their related literature and document carefully when and where that literature is used.
It is up to the researcher to employ the style immediately upon incorporating published work
into their own work. This is done through in-text citations which will be subsequently
addressed. Before that discussion though it is necessary to discuss paraphrasing and use of
direct quotes.
The purposes underlying a literature review are numerous but, in some general way,
obtaining knowledge in the form of ideas, facts, and arguments is pretty central to conducting a
literature review. Writers are paraphrasing when they restate the original author’s ideas, facts
and arguments. Essentially, one is stating what others have said but doing so in a new way. To
paraphrase effectively, it is recommended that:
APA Style and Literature Reviews 2
1) you read carefully what you want to paraphrase because you do not want the original
meaning to be lost.
2) what you intend to paraphrase must blend with the language you have used throughout your
work (nothing raises a professor’s suspicion of student plagiarism than realizing that two
different writing styles are present on the same written page).
3) you aim to use far fewer words to capture the original author’s meaning (the fewer words
you use the less likely you will use their words).
4) you always cite the original source using the APA style and do so immediately within the
body of your written work;
5) you immediately prepare an APA formatted reference for the sources just employed.
The following examples of an original idea, the poorly paraphrased expression of that
idea, and a better paraphrasing example were obtained from El Paso Community College at
Original Passage
The chronically ill are by no means confined to hospitals or other institutions. If you
think for a moment about your friends and acquaintances, you will recognize that many of the
chronically ill live in the general community and lead perfectly normal, happy lives within their
limitations (Anderson, 2001).
Poor Example of Paraphrasing
By no means are the chronically ill confined to hospitals or other institutions. If you
consider your friends and acquaintances, you will acknowledge that several of the chronically ill
live in the general public and lead a normal, ecstatic lifestyle within their limitations (Anderson,
The above is a poor example of paraphrasing because the parallels to the original
language are too great. The poor example, at best, reflects only limited use of a thesaurus.
Good Example of Paraphrasing
Despite some restrictions, the chronically ill live an ordinary life. Often they can reside
away from a hospital environment (Anderson, 2001).
APA Style and Literature Reviews 3
Notice the “good example” is much shorter with very few close parallels to the original
language. The original idea is not lost reflecting a careful reading of the original work. The
good example meets all the numbered criteria mentioned above.
Here is another example from Williams College at
Original Passage
To the extent that a women’s self-image is challenged or threatened by an unattainable
ideal of an impossibly thin female physique, she may well become susceptible to disruption of
her self-regard, and may be more likely to develop an eating disorder.
Good Example of Paraphrasing
If a woman interprets the media’s representation of thinness as the idea she must
achieve, her sense of self-esteem might be threatened and even damaged, making her more
likely to exhibit disordered eating patterns (Polivy & Herman, 2004).
If students will keep in mind the five numbered points, recognize how they have been
expressed in the above examples, and reflect upon this advice as they write their professional
or scholarly work, then the probability of paraphrasing should increase and the probability of
plagiarism should decrease. Attention should now turn to the use of directly quoted material.
Direct Quotes
First, use of direct quotes should be minimal in professional and scholarly work.
Remember that people are interested in reading your written work and that means that you
should be doing the writing. A Capstone Project presenting repeated use of direct quotes is
little more than a typing exercise and students are not being graded on their typing ability.
Second, taking another’s words verbatim should be done only when paraphrasing would
not be appropriate. Subjective as this sounds, it would be good practice to consider using
direct quotes when:
1) you want to emphasize that a recognized authority on the subject agrees with your
2) you intend to present a counter argument to the position reflected in the quote
3) the original language is impeccable
4) you may, by paraphrasing, lose the author’s original intent (The Writing Center, 2014,
APA Style and Literature Reviews 4
Points 3 and 4 are often used by students to justify a research paper full of direct quotes when,
more often than not, the justification really was they were too lazy to work on paraphrasing.
Professors are simply not sympathetic to students that abuse the use of direct quotes.
Third, it is imperative that students count the actual number of words that constitute
the direct quote. Direct quotes involving less than 40 words are presented within the flow of
the normal written text. Direct quotes involving 40 words or more are presented in a freestanding double-spaced block of text. The block of text representing the quote should be
indented an additional ½ inch from the left margin and the first line of text in this block should
be indented an additional ½ inch. Ironically, long direct quotes like these are not accompanied
with quotation marks.
Paraphrasing and APA Style In-Text Citations
Below are examples illustrating paraphrased written text and ways to properly cite the
original source using the APA style. Now, before going any further, the APA style recommends
but does not require page numbers as part of the in-text citation referencing where in the
original source the idea, argument, or thought was found. It is recommended that one of the
strategies or a skillful combination of both be used.
Example 1A
According to Barker and Ray (2016), use of electronic surveillance on parolees known to
have substance abuse issues is essential but random home visits by parole authorities enhances
both home confinement compliance and increases the likelihood of clean drug tests.
Example 1B
The above example could have been presented as follows:
Random home visits by parole officers for the purpose of drug testing parolees on house
arrest with electronic surveillance appears to increase the likelihood of clean drug tests (Barker
& Ray, 2016).
In Example 1A and 1B, Barker and Ray are the original authors. 2016 is the year their
work was published. Note in the second expression that the sentence-ending punctuation
comes after the in-text citation rather than after the word “tests”. Please note that within the
actual in-text citation an “&” is used rather than the word “and” but in flow of your normal
writing you would NEVER use an “&”.
Under no condition would you do the following:
APA Style and Literature Reviews 5
According to James Barker & William Ray in their article titled “Enhancing Parole
Effectiveness in the 21st Century” which was published in 2016 by the Quarterly Journal of
Correctional Science, an increased likelihood of clean drug tests was observed where random
house visits for drug testing were coupled with use electronic surveillance (Barker & Ray, 2016).
The authors’ names, the title of their article, and the name of the publication have no
place in the body of written text. All this information will go in the reference list at the end of
the Project. Also, I used the “&” within the flow of my normal writing.
Direct Quotes and APA Style In-Text Citations
Short Direct Quotes
The point was made above that a direct quote could be used because the original
statement was impeccable/written perfection and/or one did not want to lose the original
meaning. Those are acceptable reasons to directly quote material but it is still widely
acknowledged that use of direct quotes, particularly in scientific research, should be minimal.
With that point reinforced, the subsequent discussion focuses on how to apply the APA style
when using direct quotes. The most important distinguishing points here address length of the
quote and the format of the in-text citation
The APA Publication Manual stresses that two different approaches must be taken
depending on whether the directly quoted material is 40 words or less or more than 40 words.
If the quote to be adopted is 40 words or less it is to be integrated into the normal flow and
structure of the written paragraph. How it is to be integrated can vary as shown in the
following examples (McAdoo, 2010, para. 2):
According to Palladino and Wade (2010), “a flexible mind is a healthy mind” (p. 147).
In 2010, Palladino and Wade noted that “a flexible mind is a healthy mind” (p. 147).
In fact, “a flexible mind is a healthy mind” (Palladino & Wade, 2010, p. 147)
“A flexible mind is a healthy mind,” according to Palladino and Wade’s (2010, p. 147)
longitudinal study.
Palladino and Wade’s (2010) results indicate that “a flexible mind is a healthy mind” (p. 147).
Central to the above five examples it is clear that the direct quote is less than 40 words and that
there are a variety of creative written ways to incorporate the quote but note that all of those
APA Style and Literature Reviews 6
ways somehow manage to reflect the authors’ names, the year of publication and the page
number where the quote can be found in their original work.
As noted above, the examples just presented were drawn from the work of McAdoo.
Timothy McAdoo provides these examples ( on his website. Since the examples were pulled from a website, the intext citation to McAdoo’s work (which was published to the web in 2010) references the
paragraph number where the directly quoted material are found. In this cases the quotes are
part of McAdoo’s second paragraph. If one is pulling a direct quote from a website, one simply
counts down complete paragraphs from the top of the website or webpage to the paragraph
were the material to be quoted is found. The work directly quoted from McAdoo was found
within paragraph 2. The use of, for example, p. 147, relates the quoted material to a specific
page (in this case page 147) within the published work.
Following this particular scenario, the example below is of a short direct quote taken
from a website (again, the example is double-spaced):
The idea of ecological carrying capacity may be defined differently across academic
disciplines but the essence of the idea, in terms of daily consumption, involves “using those
supplies no faster than they are replenished by the island’s environment: using the ‘interest’
income of the natural capital” (Sustainable Measures, n.d., para. 3).
From the above example, two things are worth mentioning. First, the direct quote comes from
the third paragraph of the website (i.e., para. 3). Second, because websites and webpages
often not accompanied by a publication date, the abbreviation n.d. is used to denote “no date”.
Long Block Quotes
What follows is a brief discussion of how one incorporates and properly cites directly
quoted material that is more than 40 words in length. As this type of quote, often called a
“block quotation”, is lengthy, it is strongly recommended that they be used sparingly as
frequent use of block quotes gives others the impression that the student writer is incapable of
understanding and paraphrasing what they are reading. Frequent use of block quotes also
raises professors’ suspicions that the student is trying to artificially reach an assigned paper
To properly insert a block quote, students should following these steps:
1) Introduce the block quote. The following example might be employed:
APA Style and Literature Reviews 7
Speaking to the importance of people understanding the carrying capacity of their local
environments, Catton stated the following:
The land of opportunity became our new bubble, within which the idea that there might
someday not be the blessings of a surplus was unthinkable. There was no incentive to
apply human imagination to considering what life would be like after the surplus was
depleted. (2009, p. 519)
2) Note that in the above example, the text introducing the block quote is double-spaced (all
APA papers are double-spaced) and that the block quote itself is double-spaced.
3) Note from the above example how the block quote was introduced. Above, I employed the
following: “Catton stated the following:”. This approach involving use of the colon is only one
strategy that could be employed. The following would also be appropriate:
Catton has long been an advocate for conservation and living within an environment’s carrying
capacity. Speaking particularly to and of the United States, the
land of opportunity became our new bubble, within which the idea that there might
someday not be the blessings of a surplus was unthinkable. There was no incentive to
apply human imagination to considering what life would be like after the surplus was
depleted. (Catton, 2009, p. 519)
From this example, one sees that the block quote is a natural extension of the preceding
sentence. Because the block quote is being integrated into the preceding sentence, the word
“The”, which was part of the original quote, was omitted from the original quote. For some
additional examples on how to improve your writing and ability to integrate block quotes,
please visit the following website:
4) Note also in the above examples that, regardless of how the block quote is introduced, the
actual block quote is indented an addit …
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