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Procurement & Acquisitions Management at Webster University Library

Capstone paper versus a formal thesis

Graduate students in most Walker Business School programs complete a 6000/capstone paper or project rather than a more formal thesis as is outlined in the University's Graduate Thesis & Dissertation General Guidelines.  Formal theses and dissertations are held in the library

You may ask: Does the Library keep graduate capstone (e.g. 6000) papers and projects? The answer is no. Follow the link for more info.

Choosing a Topic

For a capstone or advanced research paper, you will want to carefully choose your topic.  The topic should be of interest to you and should be focused enough so that you can cover it in significant depth within the assigned page count.  You may want, or be required to, get your topic approved by your instructor.  Begin as early as possible and consider doing some preliminary database searching to make sure there is enough on your topic.

Forming a research question

We find it helps many students to think strategically about their topic if they ask it in the form of a question. Here's how. 

  • Think of a broad topic within information technology management that intests you; we'll use government contracts
  • Focus on a narrower aspect of that topic; we'll use fraud.
  • The research question may be "What influence do contractors have over procurement fraus prevention?" 

Finding for articles

This is how a search of the above topic might look in the Business Source Complete database.

Top search  box: government or defense
Second box: procurement
Third box: contractors
Fourth box: fraud

This search found 43 articles on 9Jan2023.


It depends on your topic!  For most topics, we suggest you begin with Business Source Complete, which is the library's largest business periodical database. Or, you might prefer ABI/Inform, another business article database. 

Research on a specific industry

If you are doing research on topics from a specific industry, you might also search one of the following subject databases:

If you're researching: Use:
a broad, cross-disciplinary topic that spans multiple disciplines Academic Search 
education, school administration, teaching/training adult learners ERIC
health administration/management Medline, Academic Search
information technology, MIS, computer security Scopus
military, government, public administration Military & Government Collection, Academic Search
the psychology of human behavior PsycInfo
social sciences SocINDEX

To access these library databases, please see the research guide for your program or visit our Articles / Databases page for a full list of databases available from your library.

To find scholarly/academic, peer-reviewed sources for your literature review

  • If in doubt, ask your professor what kinds of periodicals s/he requires or prefers for your assignment.
  • The Find Articles tab on this guide will help you to discover appropriate journal databases
  • Use the Books & eBooks tab to access the library catalog

For additional help

Begin with the library's Capstone / Thesis Support research guide.  Pages on this guide provide help and videos to lead you though:

  • selecting and focusing your research topic
  • completing your literature review
  • presenting your research in writing or as a presentation

You might also want to view the videos on research, writing and presenting and citation and managing research that are linked from the Library Training, Tutorials & Online Presentations/Webinars research guide.

For help finding Webster University theses and dissertations (not capstone papers), please see the following links:

FAQ:How do I find a print copy of a thesis or dissertation?

What are Webster's graduate thesis/doctoral dissertation proposal and submission requirements?

FAQ: Does the library keep graduate capstone (a.k.a. 6000) papers? The answer is no. Read the FAQ for more information.

Check out the following databases if you are Interested in finding online theses and dissertations from Webster University or searching for those produced at other universities.