The master’s capstone thesis option, must have a substantial research component, present an original
argument, use proper academic writing conventions, including carefully documented primary and/or
secondary sources, and should be at least fifty pages in length. This page count does NOT include the front
and back matter (e.g., table of contents, lists of figures, illustrations and tables, acknowledgment and
dedication pages, abstract, end notes pages, bibliography, appendices, etc.).
Contextualize the thesis/research question by claiming its significance or centrality to the discipline.
Persuade a persuasive rationale for pursuing the thesis by demonstrating a research need or gap.
Articulate how the paper will address the key question or issue and why the approach is novel.
Synthesize relevant, appropriate scholarly literature to establish a theoretical framework or central
Create an argument that builds logically upon the thesis/hypothesis with research-based, disciplineappropriate supporting facts, evidence, and/or data.
Explain the chosen methodology or theory and demonstrates mastery in implementing this method/theory to
produce original research.
Analyze data (whether textual, statistical, qualitative, or other) and demonstrate maturity and sophistication
in interpreting, analyzing, and synthesizing information to advance the argument.
Provide a conclusion that summarizes findings, discusses limitations, and addresses unanswered
questions/future research directions.