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What is the Capstone?

The Capstone is a 10 – 15 page paper that addresses and answers a relevant and substantial research question within healthcare informatics. The Capstone paper demonstrates your ability to find and use research, think critically, and develop clear and organized ideas related to the field. Most baccalaureate programs will culminate with an assignment like the Capstone because it not only shows the students ability to research, think, and write about a field-specific topic, but it can be used as a professional or academic writing sample. The Capstone is a way to utilize the research, writing, and thinking skills you have learned throughout your time at College and demonstrate your ability to apply them. 

You will also need to conduct field research to complete your Capstone project. Being able to use data for analysis is a required skill for any students that plan to enter the Health Informatics field. This class will cover the approach to data collection and interviewing for research. 

Why Write a Capstone Paper?

The benefit of the Capstone is that it allows you to fill specific gaps in knowledge that you may have and better your understanding of the field. This helps those who are already working in the field, looking for work, or students who want to apply to graduate school. The Capstone as an opportunity to dive deeper into an area that interests you or that you want to learn more about. The research and knowledge gained from the Capstone gives you the chance to expand your expertise, thus becoming more employable, knowledgeable, and capable.

The other important reason for writing a Capstone paper is to better understand the current academic and research conversations happening in the field. In order to complete the Capstone paper, you will use contemporary research to support your ideas. This means you will be reading through many different articles on your topic, getting an understanding of what questions experts are asking, what they are finding, and what conversations are being had about these findings/questions. The reading and research portion of the Capstone is significant because that is where you learn the substantial questions that are being asked in the field today and how experts are addressing them.

Knowing the context of your research and better understanding the conversations of the field will not only make you more knowledgeable but more likely to be employed. Thus, the goal of the Capstone is to expand and specify your knowledge base, contextualize your field, and demonstrate your research, writing, argumentation, and organizational skills. Think of the Capstone as an opportunity to make you a more well-rounded student, thinker, and professional, as well as to learn more about something substantial and interesting.