In the Master of Science in Science Education program, all students complete a Capstone Project. This Capstone Project is three-fold: (a) a professional action research paper, (b) a poster, and (c) a symposium presentation. Upon passing MSSE 575 and all program requirements, your paper and poster are digitally published in the MSU library. The resources provided on this page will support you in successfully completing this step of the program.

Capstone Paper

  • MSSE Narrative Template: A template you can use for class assignments to support you in using proper formatting and to give you practice with the template properties you’ll use for your Capstone Paper.
  • Master Template: You should use this template for your capstone paper. It contains the correct styles in the styles pane and the front matter (i.e. title page, table of contents, etc.) to make formatting all parts of your paper easier. *You can also find this template on the ETDs MSSE website.
  • MSSE Formatting Checklist: The checklist is broken into sections aligned to each section or requirement of the paper. It will give you the basic formatting guidelines and is a place to quickly check if you have a formatting question. Each section contains a how-to video and written descriptions of the formatting requirements (i.e. spacing, headings, etc.). If you need further step-by-step support, use the Formatting Self-Check.
  • Formatting Self-Check: This step-by-step process supports you in checking all of the sections of your paper before submitting it for a formatting check. All students must complete the formatting self-check each time they submit a paper for a formatting check. 
  • Capstone Paper Rubric: You can use the Capstone Paper Rubric to review how you'll be scored on all components of the Capstone Project.
  • APA Cheatsheet: A quick reference guide for proper in-text citations, parenthetical citations, and reference formatting.
  • ETDs Website: This website has additional supports for utilizing the master template for your capstone paper. 
  • Outline for the Capstone Paper: Click on the expander below to view the outline for the MSSE Capstone paper. These chapter and level 1 headings are required in your final capstone paper.
  • Chapter 1 = Introduction & Background
    • Level 1 heading: Context of the Study
    • Level 1 heading: Focus Statement/Question
  • Chapter 2 = Conceptual Framework
    • Level 1 headings: Up to 5-6 headings based on the theme titles from the literature
  • Chapter 3 = Methodology
    • Level 1 heading: Demographics
    • Level 1 heading: Treatment
    • Level 1 heading: Data Collection and Analysis Strategies
  • Chapter 4 = Data Analysis
    • Level 1 heading: Results
  • Chapter 5 = Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning
    • Level 1 heading: Claims from the Study
    • Level 1 heading: Value of the Study and Consideration for Future Research
    • Level 1 heading: Impact of Action Research on the Author

MSSE Model Capstones

Note: MSSE capstones were not archived prior to Summer 2012

MSSE Capstones in Library

MSSE Capstones Not in Library

Capstone Forum

Capstone Forum Rubric

Capstone Poster

Capstone Poster Guidelines

Capstone Poster Rubric

Poster examples:

Capstone Symposium Requirements

Capstone Symposium Guidelines

Capstone Symposium Rubric

Capstone Presentation Examples

Plagiarism Statement

Paraphrasing or quoting another’s work without citing the source is a form of academic misconduct. Even inadvertent or unintentional misuse or appropriation of another's work (such as relying heavily on source material that is not expressly acknowledged) is considered plagiarism. All sources of information that are not your original thoughts need to be cited.  This includes, but is not limited to, journal articles, textbooks and online resources. 

IRB Resources

2022 Data Analysis Tutorial

NGSS Toolkit

Claims, Evidence, Reasoning (CER) Chapter Guidelines & Resources

MSU Library Assistance and Resources