BGS Research Resources

On this page, you will find many forms of resources to assist you in completing an academic research project using reliable methods to develop valid data and to determine evidence-based conclusions.

Training in the Responsibilities for Human Rights and Ethics for Researchers

To best understand the researcher and the institution’s responsibility the BGS recommends that all researchers undergo the free Ethics in Research and IRB training (HHS OHPR compliant) offered by the National Institute of Health (NIH).  This training requires only the creation of a secure login and is free of charge.  This training is offered online and also in a PDF format (requires an Internet connection for some sections).  This training is also offered in the Spanish language.  Beginning in October 2018 the Trump administration changed this to be for internal training only.  However, the PDF is still available and is a great resource.  Note that the links in the NIH training PDF are no longer valid or might require a login from the NIH.  Also, Dr. Kelley Wood has a version of the NIH Ethics and IRB quiz at the link below.  Email him at, for a report of your score for courses that require it.

Links for Understanding the Role of a Theory and for Finding Theories

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The Role of a Good Theory

Examples of MSA Capstone Papers

The research papers presented below are good resources for understanding how others have solved the issues of the capstone paper.  Remember these examples might not be perfect and that your instructor might expect more or different of you in writing your paper.  There are many other students who have completed exemplary work.  Ask your BGS faculty or advisor for further suggestions and examples.  However, these are examples worthy of your critical reading and assessment.  Those marked as JA and Program-Project Proposals are submitted in the recent format, MSA Report Style.  Those which are not marked are in the APA  6th ed. five-chapter thesis format and have the same elements but more content in the Literature Review and their Research Methods chapters can inform the Introduction and IRB application of the new Journal Article, Program Plan, Grant Proposal, and Strategic Plan formats. Please refer to your capstone and research instructors for questions regarding content, formatting, research, and data analysis strategy.

Program-Project Proposals


Quantitative (Secondary Data)

Qualitative (Interviews)

Content Analysis

Mixed Methods

Quantitative (Survey)

We look forward to reading your final papers for the capstone course and to see how far you raise the bar!

Research Rescue Lab

Documents, power points, and other materials provided by the BGS faculty in the Research Rescue lab sessions.  These resources will facilitate the development and completion of a typical research-driven thesis paper.  However, they might also be useful to other forms of research and research writing.

Dr. Wood’s Capstone Quick Start

Be prepared to begin writing your Capstone or Thesis semester from the first day of the course by preparing in advance.  It is recommended that students who have completed the INT 601 Introduction to Research Design and Methods course begin the Capstone by preparing their proposals prior to the start of their Capstone semester.  Of course, you may begin as soon as you would like.  Yes, even in your first semester!

Capstone Checklists – Research Directed Projects

Start with the Capstone Quick Start Checklist to determine what you need to know to develop your topic into a research paper.  Then move to the Proposal, next the IRB Application, and finish with the Final Publication Copy.

Determining a Great Research Topic

Use this worksheet to assist in narrowing your topic, developing your overall research question, determining the problem to be addressed and its significance.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is so common in our society today, we often do not recognize when we are plagiarizing in an academic paper.  It is particularly offensive in the academic community when most research is produced for goodwill and goes unpaid.  Additionally, plagiarizing can dis-empower our own voice, making us subject to the thoughts and opinions of others.  Use the APA tutorial and the VAIL tutor to add to your knowledge and skill in writing clearly and citing to make your sources explicit.  Always include your references and use the appropriate style (APA or Chicago’s Author-Date) for the References list.