On your journey to graduation, you will need to write thousands of academic papers for different purposes. The downside of our curriculum is that it focuses more on pressurizing students for theoretical knowledge that they are not gonna use in real life. Sometimes students are assigned tasks that they know nothing about. One of such projects is the capstone project that most students have never heard about until they are assigned. Therefore, they find this task overwhelming. However, there is no need to worry. Follow the steps down below to learn what is a capstone project, why is it important, and how to write a capstone project.
What is a Capstone Project?
A capstone research project is a two-semester-long project that students are assigned normally in their final year of university. They get a topic and they have to do independent research on the given topic to gain a deep understanding of the subject. This enables students how to find and analyze sources and information and how to use it efficiently. It is very similar to a thesis that students have to complete before they graduate.
Moreover, students can present their research projects in different ways. For instance, they can present it as a multimedia presentation, paper, short film, art exhibition, or performance. Because the main purpose of a capstone research project is to showcase students’ ability to deeply analyze, think critically, presentation, and communication skills.
Importance of a Capstone Project
Until the last year of their university, students write different types papers and each paper has its own importance in preparing them for real-life work. Similarly, this research project aims to prepare students for more difficult and practical work. They spend a good amount of time researching a topic, studying different types of materials, writing their papers, and presenting them to their professors.
Besides, it also increases their motivation. Because this research project requires them to think critically and be creative about the topic making them stay motivated. It is also a good way to showcase their understanding of the subject matter. In addition, they also get a chance to enhance their communication and presentation skills. Nevertheless, the most important advantage of this project is that it prepares students for real-life work.
How to Write a Capstone Project – Step by Step Guide
Now that you know what a capstone project is and how important it is, you are good to start writing your own capstone research project. This is very similar to a thesis in many ways. So, if you know how to write a thesis, writing a capstone research project is not difficult for you. Anyways, you can follow the steps below to learn how to write a good capstone project.
Step 1: Understand the Topic
There can be either of the following cases: your teacher assigns you the topic for your research or you can pick one for yourself. If your teacher assigns you the topic, the first thing you should do is read the instructions carefully and try to understand as many of the instructions as you can. Then, consult your teacher if you have not understood something.
Otherwise, if it is up to you to pick a research topic, go through all the topics related to your subject matter. Make a list of all the topics that you find interesting. Then, narrow down your search and pick a title that seems more manageable. In this case, we recommend you to go for something relatable to your own experience and life. Figure out ways that you can apply your own knowledge and skills to your research. Because the main purpose of a capstone research project is to highlight your skills and knowledge about that topic.
Step 2: Create a Capstone Project Proposal
Before you actually start writing your paper, you have to submit a proposal to your professor. The proposal is usually a 200 long paper about your topic. In your research proposal, you should:
- Briefly explain the topic you have selected and why you want to write about it
- Talk about your personal experience or knowledge about your topic
- Include the resources that you are going to use
- Put some light on the research you will do for your capstone project and what methods you are planning to use
- And set a target or aim that you want to achieve
All in all, make sure that you have included everything to tell your professor that you are interested in the research.
Step 3: Do Your Research
The step that you all have been waiting for. Initially, figure out resources that you want to use and search for related information for your project. You can use your textbooks, journals, articles, and authentic websites online to gather as much information as you need. Next, go through all the information you have collected and highlight important points and figures.
This may take some time but be patient with this step may cut down further hurdles in the long run.
Step 4: Draw the Structure and Write Your Paper
Now that you have enough information that you need for your research, you should now come up with the structure of your project. Because a clear structure will help you divide your project and focus on each part one by one. The basic structure of a capstone project is as follows.
- The title page: This is used to tell your reader about the topic your research is based on.
- Introduction: Briefly describe your topic and the arguements you are going to use further.
- Literature review: Tell your reader about the resources you have used and how they have been helpful.
- Methods: The methdologies you have used during your research.
- Results and discussions: List down the results of your research and what you have gained.
- Conclusion and recommendation: Briefly summarize everything from the introduction fo the results you have gotten from the research.
- References: Lastly, give a shoutout to resources that you have used by either providing a link back to the sites or listing books that you have read.
Once you have the basic structure for your paper, you can start writing your paper. The first you write your paper, you do not need to check whether the dates or figures are accurate or there are not any grammatical mistakes. Because you can edit them later before you hand over your project to your professor.
Step 5: Proofread and Edit
The last thing that you should do before you submit your paper is to check whether the dates are accurate. Double-check each piece of information. And also check whether or not there are any grammatical, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Once you make sure that everything is on point, you can write the final piece of your paper. Once ready, you are good to submit your paper.
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