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I. Overview 

The Capstone Thesis is the culmination of the African American Studies major. Every student who graduates with a degree in African American Studies must complete a Capstone Thesis. Completion of the Senior Capstone thesis should demonstrate:
 ▪ depth of your knowledge acquired in your African American Studies coursework;
 ▪ ability to apply the knowledge;
 ▪ understanding of the major issues and diverse viewpoints
 ▪ ability to address a topic in an articulate well-written presentation;

 II. Getting Started 
A. Selecting a Topic
The first step and most important is the selection of a topic. Most students select topics that interest them. You may use the following questions to select a topic:
1. What topics interested you during your studies?
2. What topics or subjects were you passionate about?
3. Were there concepts, ideas or questions that you would like to explore further?
4. Are you interested in exploring a topic that might have some practical application?
5. Are you interested in learning how to develop some basic data analysis skills?
6. Can the topic be explored in a reasonable amount of time?
7. Is there sufficient information available to write about the topic?
8. Do I want to take an interdisciplinary approach to the topic?
 Remember that your Capstone paper demonstrates what you know about the topic and your ability to write about it within the context of African American Studies.
 III. The Thesis Proposal 
A. After selecting a paper topic, you are required to complete a proposal. A strong paper proposal is a guide for preparing your paper and helps you to organize your paper topics. The proposal should be approximately 2-4 pages long. The proposal should demonstrate your understanding of the topic and the issues or questions around topic. For example, if you are looking at the issue of race and incarceration, you should address issues such as structural variables, economic disparities and the widening gap bin the accumulation of wealth. he racial disparities that exist in the criminal justice system etc.
B. The thesis proposal should include the following: 
1. A clear statement of the topic and a problem or question to be addressed. (Example: What is the relationship between gender and incarceration)
2. A review of scholarly literature on your topic.
3. A discussion of your proposed methodology. How do you plan to gain information about our topic?
4. A description of the text(s) and other materials that will be the object of your research, such as historical texts and documents, films and other visual images, works of literature, interviews, or empirical data. (Annotated bibliography).
IV. Completing the Capstone 
A. The Capstone paper should include (5 or 6) major sections:
1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Literature Review
4. Theoretical Foundation
5. Methodology
6. Conclusions
7. Social Policy Applications
 B. The Title Page 
 The title page should communicate the main idea of the paper. It should be an explanation of the paper. The reader should be able to look at the title and know the focus of the paper.
C. Running Head
You should have a running head in the header of each page. The title of the paper should be left justified and the page number on the right. See the APA Manual if you need help.
D. Abstract 
The abstract is a summary of the major points of your paper. The highlights from the paper should make the reader want to continue to read the paper. While it should be concise and specific, the abstract should convey important information contained in the paper. The abstract usually about 150 words but should not exceed 250 words. The abstract should be on a separate sheet. The word Abstract should be centered but not bolded. Do not indent paragraphs or use abbreviations.
At the end of your abstract, you should include approximately 3-4 keywords.
Keywords: mental health, race, treatment
 II. Body 
The Introduction should provide background and rationale for the topic. Why The introduction to your paper should state the general nature of the problem that you will write about in your paper. It is not the statement of the problem. The length of the introduction may vary from two paragraphs to one page.
Description of the Problem 
This section should briefly provide background on the problem that you are addressing in the paper. For example, if your paper focuses on African American poverty, you might want to discuss the fact that rates for minority poverty are high when compared with those of whites. Over 25% of African Americans in the United States live in poverty compared to 10% of whites who live in poverty. This section should include a discussion of the paper/project purpose. Explanation, description, or exploration of a topic may be your goal. If you are looking at graduation and careers of UAB BMEN students, you are describing outcomes. You may choose to use racial threat theory or critical race theory to explain the disproportionate number of Black males being supervised by the criminal justice system.
This section should describe the method that you are using in your paper.
 • If this is a theoretical paper, you should provide a complete explanation and include a discussion of the major assumptions of the theory, critique of the theory, the manner in which the theory has been used to explain some phenomenon.
• If your paper is an argumentative paper, you should thoroughly research the topic; develop your argument, and present counterarguments.
• If your paper is a research paper based on research, you should do a review of past research on the topic, describe the data that you are using, describe the data collection method (interviews, focus groups, etc.), describe method of analysis, findings, and discussion.
• Whatever method, you should define terms, examples, and strong explanations of your topic.
 Please use headings to organize sections of your paper. Headings make it easier to read your paper and see how it is organized. If you have questions about the how to use headings, please refer to APA manual
 V. Conclusions 
This is a restatement of your thesis statement and summary of the major points of your paper. If appropriate, you should identify social policy implications any recommendations that you would make from your findings.
VI. Capstone Paper Guidelines
 A. Paper Submission Requirements
1. The paper should be a minimum of 10 pages.
2. Font and size: Paper should be typed in 12 point, New Times Roman
3. Paper should be double-spaced. This includes the abstract, body of the paper, and references.
4. The paper left justified; page numbers should be in the header on the right side of the page; and paragraphs should be indented five spaces.
 B. Writing and Style
 1. Common Errors in papers
a. Spelling errors. Be sure to use spell check.
     • Common spelling errors: there & their; its & it’s (it is); 1980s not 1980’s
b. Sentence fragments and missing words. It is easy to omit words from sentences; you must proof read to be sure that you do not have incomplete sentences or missed words.
C. Citations and References
 1. Paper should be documented with appropriate citations in the paper & a reference page at the end of the paper.
2. Please follow the APA guidelines for citations and references
My Capstone thesis Topic is “How does the Black Church View Homosexuality”