Guide to Writing Capstone Projects
When students reach the last year of their degree courses, they are often asked to write and submit a capstone project. This project merges together the key knowledge that the student has acquired during their entire course of study. Additionally, capstone projects are sometimes used to conduct an in-depth look into one or more sections of a study program.
So, what is a capstone project and how should it be undertaken? An effective project of this type should combine the skills and knowledge acquired from various subjects and topics. The end product should be a paper that showcases what the student has undertaken and understood over the course of their studies. A unique feature of this type of project is that it should highlight a particular problem and propose a solution for that problem.
How to Write Capstone Projects – Process Steps
- Cast your mind back to your first year of study and draw up a list of all the written assignments you completed, the projects you participated in, the courses you undertook and the exams you sat.
- Add flesh to this list by including a short description of each activity.
- In understanding the capstone project definition, remember it is a lot like a research project. Look up the research papers you have written and keep them at the ready.
- Select a topic for your project and get your instructor to approve it. This should be well worded and include as many of the activities you have undertaken as you can possibly think of.
- Regardless of whether you are working on a junior or senior capstone project, gather up a good amount of current reference material from journal articles, textbooks, websites and other academic sources.
- Allocate a generous amount of time for reading. This will be needed to go over familiar material as well as the new reference material you have earmarked for sources.
- Make notes and commence your first draft using your revision material, but give it a new angle or perspective. This is what good capstone projects are all about.
- Do not write your introductory and concluding paragraphs until the end. This will give you chance to state the purpose of your work in the most suitable way and it will allow you to develop a good thesis statement.
Selecting a Topic
If you have been given the freedom to select any topic you like, chose one that interests you. During the writing phase, you need to show you are skilled at researching and devising a methodology that suits the subject matter. Your topic should be of scientific and practical value and your research findings should contribute to existing knowledge in the field. By now, you should know the answer to this question: “what is capstone project?”
Main Points for Consideration
- Capstone projects can be likened to thesis papers insofar as they bring an end to several years of study, show how much you have learned and how capable you are.
- The number of pages in a capstone project should be at least 45, with a considerable amount of reference sources. In fact, a paper of this length, which is roughly around 12,000 words, should contain a minimum of 12 to 14 reference sources.
- Your work should include a ToC (Table of Contents), a cover page, an abstract and a reference list. Given that this is a considerable task, you should allocate sufficient time to complete it.
Arrange your references in chart form or use appropriate software e.g. Papyrus for the purpose. Keep your notes and written work in suitable folders e.g. in plastic wallets or word-processor folders.