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Capstone Research and Citing

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Research Is Important

Research means finding the best information for the problem that you need to solve.

At the senior level (or in any field where time and money matter) you need to find specific information and that usually means going beyond the first things you find on Google.


Start Early

Be realistic... the more complex your questions and issues, the more time you need to read and think and evaluate.

Facts are fairly easy to find but you can't make a strong argument on facts alone. You need to go beyond facts for your Capstone paper.

You are going to be asked to explain and interpret and for that you will be using other people's ideas. You may find your position changing as you research; that is the nature of learning.

Mind mapping may be a useful tool for organizing your concepts and keywords.

There are many steps in the Research Cycle.

Use a Variety of Sources

Do not rely upon one source for most your facts and citations. Get other points of view. Address them in your paper; it will make your argument stronger.

Use a mix of books, articles, statistics, images, and other types of sources.

Seek out the same information intended for different audiences. How is the same bit of information presented for different audiences, from advertising to consumers to news articles to academic essays.

Image: The Ohio State University Pressbooks

Books, magazines/journals, newspapers, websites

Experts & Interviews

You can also get good information from experts in the field so don't overlook interviewing but remember that material from interviews usually has to be put into context or supports and that means you will need to research in advance.

Use the Annotation Builder

Unsure how to write an annotation? This form will guide you through the process to draft an evaluative annotation. You will receive an email with the data.

NOTE: Some faculty may require you to use this form. Enter their email address on the first page and they will receive a copy of the email.

Sample annotation for What is Copyright video

Ask for Help

Found too many sources? or too few? Get unstuck at the Library.

Finally, don't forget that you can always ask your instructor or a librarian about sources.

Schedule a Capstone Research consultation

Minimum Requirements

Junior/Senior Level Competency

C - level Information Literacy

Source information ANALYSIS supports topic and includes FOUR quality sources, which include at least

TWO adequate annotations. Analysis may be from database books, articles, academic/museum/professional websites.

Sources must appear as in‐text citations and on a works cited page

Each of the annotations must include all of the following criteria:

  1. Author’s credentials related to topic
  2. Description of type of source/audience
  3. Discussion of purpose/point of view
  4. Discussion of currency of the source
  5. Description of the author's coverage of the topic
  6. Explain why the source is relevant to the assignment.

Capstone Prompt

Due Week 13. Produce a paper/project, which will include the equivalent of 2250 words plus:

  • Works Cited page using at least 6 quality sources
  • Annotations that evaluate at least 4 of your sources

The paper should address some issue or subject matter that deeply engages you and that you want to spend your semester researching and writing about. It should relate to your own art and/or design practice or your art and design education in some manner. All topics will be approved by your instructor.

For additional requirements, please refer to your course in the Nest.

Complete Senior Rubric

Quality Sources

QUALITY sources are often found easily in books and databases. At the junior / senior level, at least one database article and one book is expected.

Check out these relevant guides:

Otis College of Art and Design | 9045 Lincoln Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045 | MyOtis

Millard Sheets Library | MyOtis | 310-665-6930 | Ask a Librarian