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MHCA 6104 - Graduate Project in Healthcare Administration: Thesis Steps

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Getting Started

So, it's time for you to write your capstone paper / thesis.  First, have you identified the question you want to ask and then solve?  Even if you are early in thinking through this question, you can still do some research to see what, if any, research has been conducted on your topic.  This may help you define, refine, or focus your topic.  

Government Information

Once you have identified some scholarly articles or other publications on your topic, search to find any governmental research, studies, or reports.  Search USA.gov is a search engine that crawls across government webpages. 

This broad search isn't as precise as going to specific sources, so be sure to browse the Health Statistics page listed below - it contains high quality government and non-profit data. 

SWOT Analysis

Managers use many tools to assist in decision making. The SWOT analysis is used across industries and can be particularly useful to the health care administrator. It provides administrators with a clear and concise deliverable of the internal and external factors that could affect their initiative by listing and organizing a project’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (Minnesota Department of Health, n.d.).

The resources below have been gathered to assist you perform a SWOT analysis, should you choose to include it in your paper.

The library has access to several databases that provide example SWOT analyses for you to browse.  Please use one of the databases below or refer to our tutorials on how to conduct a SWOT search.

Try searching for examples of a SWOT analysis from a healthcare perspective in one of the databases below:

Literature Review

A Literature Review provides a brief overview of the articles, studies, and other publications about your topic.  Your earlier steps in the research process may have yielded a few quality articles that you have referenced; however, at this level of research (capstone paper/thesis), you need to take a more exhaustive approach.  You might try conducting a Cited Reference Search in a database, like Web of Science.  This allows you to trace the development and evolution of an idea, from the first article published about it to the most recent publications.  Web of Science has several tools that allow you to track-down these publications and it is where I recommend you begin your search for sources for your Literature Review.

For help with Web of Science, please contact Jason Phillips for a one-on-one research consultation.

Some tutorials by Web of Science