CAPSTONE PROJECT FORMAT
A completed capstone project must contain the following sections as the main body of the paper (page lengths in parentheses are strong recommendations, but students must meet the minimum total page
count of 30, not including references):
• Introduction (8 pages): This section serves as the introduction to the entire paper and defines the research topic, research problem, and research question(s) in a clear, concise manner.
Sometimes you’ll see this section identified as the Statement of the Problem, but it’s so much more than that. This section also includes justifications as to why the research problem is important
to study and any deficits in existing bodies of literature. It’s OK for this section to include examples of the problem and its impact as well as ask questions in your writing. End this section
with a clearly stated Purpose of the Paper where you succinctly reiterate the problem and what you plan to do in this paper to address it (one or more paragraphs, possibly under a Level Two
• Literature Review (16 pages): The purpose of this section is to familiarize you and your reader with research on the proposed topic that has already been completed, including the methodologies
that were employed. The literature review often provides general background information about the issue and industry. Some of the literature may be tangentially related rather than directly related
to your research problem. The review of literature should be presented objectively and will place the student’s proposed work in a proper research context, add validity to your project, and provide
supporting information related to your research question(s). You should not be asking questions at this point but rather stating facts and ideas from others found in the literature (NOT your
thoughts and ideas – that’s in the next section). Remember, a Financial Crime capstone project is a literature-based endeavor. The more quality academic sources you have, the better!
• Discussion of Findings (10 pages): The Discussion of Findings section in a capstone project acts as a bridge between the Literature Review and the Recommendations and Conclusions section. Here
you will tell your reader how the literature helps to support your proposal. Analyze all of the information you found and synthesize it into your own thoughts and words (adding your subjective
“voice” to the discussion). What major themes emerge or conclusions can you draw from the Lit Review that supports and/or counters your proposal? What does it all mean? If it’s action-oriented,
save it for the next section!
• Recommendations and Conclusion (6 pages): This section will provide substantive recommendations and conclusions regarding the problem that has been undertaken for study. This section will include
a presentation of the conclusions drawn from the study, weighing evidence and coming to a final judgment based on the evidence that has been accumulated. This section requires analysis and the
support of conclusions with solid evidence. Are there new actions, procedures, or policies that can be recommended or explored? In addition, future recommendations will be presented. The conclusion
section summarizes the entire paper and highlights the key points from each section of the paper.
The capstone project will be a 30 – 50 page substantive paper that is APA compliant and adheres to the formatting requirements specified in the Thesis/Capstone Project Formatting and Submission