How to Write a Capstone Project
The other day we were having a chit-chat with a colleague over a cup of coffee after our day job. He shot up hastily to leave. He mentioned that he was heading home to complete a thesis as part of his masters of business education degree. I stopped him and said,” You are not completing a thesis, but you are writing a capstone project.” “What is the difference?” He asked. That is a common question that most students ask. They are also baffled by the difference between a dissertation and a thesis. Well, let’s agree that the three have a few commonalities.
- They are part of completing an education degree.
- They are approved by the institution offering the degree.
- They exhibit a student’s knowledge on a particular topic.
On the other hand, the three disciplines have some key discrepancies.
It is done as a section in a doctorate degree. In addition of a professor overseeing it, a committee is also involved. A rigorous exam follows a dissertation.
It is usually done as part of completing a research-founded master’s degree or even an undergraduate honors degree. The project is overseen by a professor often called an advisor. An arduous examination also follows a thesis.
It is a project done in light of a course-based master’s degree. The project is supervised by a course instructor. Usually, there is no exam after completion of the project.
Now that we have a crystal clear understanding of the three correlated disciplines, in our case, let’s examine a genius path of writing a capstone project. Read on!
After identifying the most variable format (depends with your institution’s requirements) to your capstone project, it is time to introduce your work. An introduction is a basic part of every other project. In this part, the research problem is highlighted. Next is to device an approach that you’ll use towards answering the research question. The approach leads you to showcasing the merits of the project while still sharing the brilliant ideas of the subject. Remember, the introduction is like the rudder to your project. It prevents you from veering off the subject.
- Literature Review
Create a generous timeline to enable you do a thorough brainstorming on your topic. You can begin from your freshman year up to now. Extend to books, journals, scholarly literature and websites. Find out if there has ever been a similar research, if there has been, flesh out a list and keep it handy. Include prior research findings in your project. Compare and contrast them to your work, and formulate an in-depth analysis in totality.
Among the many, many ways of collecting, one would be in a puzzle to choose the best. Well, the techniques depend on the research paradigm. Methods of collecting data, sources of statistics and reliability of information are issues handled in this section. In a nutshell, the whole information regarding the subject is expounded here. Additionally, while writing a capstone project, it is primarily important to keep checking with your advisor. That way, you’ll ensure the methods you adapt comply with the requirements.
It has been a long way writing a capstone project. Now you need to demonstrate that the research question has been duly answered and has proved a hypothesis. It involves a cognitive description of the data collected and a synthesis of the same. Simply put; it means peeling the layers of the research, evaluating them while still answering every question proposed. Note, the questions were suggested at the on-set of writing the capstone project.
Grab the attention of the reader by a succinct, reasonable and an interesting conclusion. At the conclusion, you have a chance to announce a gist to your research work. Provide a recap of the major points, offer recommendations and a call to action. Also, show the limitations of the research. All in all, a research is a fact finding mission, and the facts may both be objective and subjective.
Fundamental Points to Consider While Writing a Capstone Project
- A capstone project demonstrate that you are a somewhat of an adept in the topic in question.
- The recommended length is 45 pages which translate to approximately 12,000 words. It consists of 12 to 14 sources.
- Capstone projects include a table of content, references, cover sheet and an abstract. Meaning that it is a tedious process that consumes a lot of time.
- Use online software such as Papyrus to organize your references.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Choose the right referencing styles’, that is, APA, MLA, Chicago or Turabian.
- Keep an account of the changes you decide to make on the project.
- Let the start of the project be engaging and the conclusion really captivating.
- Keep consulting your advisor from time to time.
- Grit stick with the main point.
- Do not use hackneyed expressions or clichés.
- Do not overlook correct use of grammar, syntaxes and punctuations.
- Do not omit crucial points or details.
- Do not keep the capstone project in wait till the last minute.
- Do not shift your focus off a scholarly writing tone.
- Copying from previous projects.
- Scattered and jumbled analysis.
- Shortening research period.
- Squeezing in irrelevant information.
- Grammatical errors.
In conclusion, writing a capstone project is an intense research process. The theoretical knowledge of a student is applied in the real world. It is a compulsory task in every degree program. Therefore, if you are not sure on how to write the project, get the assistance in advance of initiating the project. There is nothing agonizing and suffocating than finishing a project only to realize it has been rejected. To avoid this, and to develop a well formatted and intricate project, always follow the guidelines of your advisor. Collect, analyze and authenticate all information. Prior to the presentation, proofread the project and correct errors arising. Leverage with the above tips and be lest assured you will design a winning capstone project.