What is a Capstone Project [Steps to Write]
A capstone project is written by the students in college just before the final semester and in the last year of school as well. The outcome of a student’s learning throughout the course can be observed with the help of such projects by professors and teachers. Writing a capstone project requires a good understanding of its structure, outline, format, and analytical skills as well. Here is a step by step guide for writing a capstone project given by the experts.
With the help of this guide, one can write a good capstone project on IT, literature, science, and history, etc. for school and college. It becomes very easy to complete the best quality capstone project on multiple subjects once the way of writing them is clear in mind.
The main purpose of the project to know the student’s learning of course, analytical and critical skills. The project can be assigned in the form of a research paper, thesis, term paper, and even essay in case of the school-level project.
A capstone project reflects the knowledge of the students that they have acquired throughout the course at a glance. Based on this project sometimes assessment is also given to the school and college students in the final year as well. Depending upon the length and type of the project one can be given different time deadlines to write their capstone project.
FAQ Related to Capstone Projects
Why students in school and college are assigned with a capstone project
The main motive behind assigning a capstone project to the students in school and college is to check their understanding of the course in overall aspects. A capstone project gives an idea to the professor that whether a given student is able to criticize the things or not. At the same time, glimpses of his clarity of concepts related to the course can also be obtained by the students. A capstone project, in a nutshell, serves the same purpose as that of a term paper at the end of a semester.
Students are allowed to choose a topic of capstone project as well. Those who have a poor understanding of the analytical and critical skills become able to develop them while writing such projects at the school level and in college as well. Thus the significance of the project cannot be neglected when it comes to inculcating research values in school and college students.
Subjects in which students have to write a Capstone project
A capstone project can be assigned on any subject according to the course in which the student is pursuing his degree. For example, in Economics, Science, Biochemistry, Physics’ and environment students can be asked to write a capstone project by picking the topic of their choice. A lot of research is required to finish the project on the given topic to students. Apart from the above subjects, there are so many other areas in which one can be given with the capstone project.
Types of capstone projects that are assigned to the students
Like described several times here capstone project can be divided into several types based on their length and structure of writing. For example, a paper capstone project is written in the format of a research paper and assigned to the college level students. Similarly, short essay type capstone projects are given to those who are in the final year of their school education by keeping their level in mind by teachers.
So many other types of capstone projects like term papers, thesis, etc. may also be asked from the students at different points of time in college and school.
The time is given to students for writing a capstone project
The different types of capstone projects are assigned to the students like essays, research papers, and thesis based on the level of standard of education. For example, the school level capstone projects are short in length and not based on a critical level of research. That is why ten to fifteen days are given to the students in such a case to complete their capstone project on time.
On the contrary, when it comes to writing a college-level capstone project it is a long project full of several complicated research and requires more time comparatively. A standard capstone project can be finished in two months or even more than that by the graduates. That is why a minimum of sixty days are given to the students in college for writing their capstone project.
How long a capstone project could be?
The length of the capstone project is a big aspect that must be clear in mind to the students before writing it. This is because framing the outline and giving a certain word limit target to every section is crucial to maintain a balance of words in the project. Usually, a capstone project written in middle and high school is short in length like 5000 to 7000 words.
But when it comes to writing the professional real capstone project in the final year of the graduation degree it may vary from the word limit 20, 000 to 25, 000 easily. So, students have to be very much careful about every part of the project after doing the research carefully.
How a capstone project writing for school is different from a college project
The capstone projects that are assigned in the middle and high school to the students are a bit easier than the college projects. This is because the purpose of school level capstone project is to the clarity of concepts that students have attained in the course. But on the contrary, when it comes to the graduate level Capstone project the reflective, analytical, and critical approach on the topic is also considered by the professors.
At the same time, the length of the two types of projects also varies to a great extent. That is the reason students in school are given lesser time to finish their project than the time given to the college students for the capstone project.
Format or template of the capstone project
When it comes to the structure of the capstone project it varies as per the type of project assigned to the students. For example, if it is an essay project then it can be written by writing its thesis statement, introduction, main body, and conclusion along with a bibliography. But on the other hand in the case of a research paper project students have to go through the following steps for its completion.
- Title or context page
- Methods of research
- The outcome of research and its analysis
- Citation of resources
These are the steps that need to be followed for a capstone project research paper for students.
Step by Step guide for writing a capstone project
Writing a capstone project needs a format, a proper outline of the capstone project, and a structure like mentioned above. Here is a step by step guide that should be followed to write a capstone project of a research paper. One can write a good capstone project for college and school by going through this guide.
Step 1: Choose a topic for a capstone project – The first and foremost thing to write a capstone project is to decide a title for your project. A title can be chosen by analyzing the interest in the various topics of the course studies by the students. For example, if you are writing a capstone project on Biotechnology then you can pick topics like:
- How the gene cloning methods can be used for the DNA cloning of the human being?
- Role of environmental conditions in carrying out plant tissue culture towards success.
- The scope of hybrid seeds in yielding expected crop per square feet.
- How natural mutation sometimes cause serious problems in human being.
Step 2: Abstract of the project – It is a crucial step that every student needs to follow before writing his capstone project to get the consent of the teacher on the topic and idea of the project. For this purpose, the abstract or capstone project proposal must be written by the student. An abstract includes the following things in it.
- Why are you writing the project on the following topic?
- Main motif and goals that will be chased in the project.
- Research methods and resources used for research.
- Conclusion of the project.
- The way by which you reach the motif of the project.
The project must not be lengthy and you have to be precise but without missing any crucial point that sets the background and entire idea of the project.
Step 3: Context page – The context page of the project is also known as the title page and it can be prepared by referring the title of the project. People associated with it like your mentor, friends who helped you out in writing the project. At the same time, you have to give the detail about the separate part of the project and page number detail on the title page as well.
Step 4: Introduction – The capstone project introduction can be written by explaining the important points of the topic. What you are going to do with it and your description of the various aspects of the topic must be included in the introduction of the project. A good introduction also talks about past research on the topic that is done by other researchers prior to it. In a nutshell, the status of the topic is cleared on research ground by the project writer in depth. Follow the following points to give a good introduction to your capstone project:
- Focus on the research work of the topic.
- Find out the research done by other people on the topic.
- Try to develop arguments and some goals for the topic.
- Prepare the ground for your project to shape your argument in the next part.
- Make it interesting, long but not boring and start with relevant quotes.
Step 5: Literary review – The literary review is the personal perception of the writer who is writing the given project about the topic. But this review must be accompanied by a firm proves that will be discussed in the paper. Your project must not give a blunt look to the reader which is written on baseless perceptions by the writer. Every point must be backed by good reasons in the capstone project. It is just like a personal narrative essay that what you think about the topic of the project on your level and why.
Step 6: Research methodology – The research methodology talks about the research methods that are used in project research on the topic. There are several types of research methods that are followed to carry out research on a given topic. For example, qualitative and quantitative research methods are mainly used in most of the research work. So if you are using a single method for research on your topic of the project then mention it in your project. At the same time if both the methods are being used then you are supposed to illustrate them in the project. Apart from it, you are also supposed to write the research points that are collected from these methods in the paper clearly. That is how a good research paper capstone project can be written.
Step 7: Critical analysis of research results – The project is not limited up to developing arguments and research work only but at the same time discussion on that research outcome must be done in the project. The meaning and critical subjection of the research points gives a new direction to the project. Multiple perceptions can be developed on the basis of this research data gathered from the research. The research analysis can be done only if the critical skills are commendable and experience is also required to engage in the field. One must be very much focused on this section of the project as it is the most crucial part which shows the significance of the research. Do not give any hint to the professors that you have a vague idea about any aspect of the research here. Several quotations can also be used to analyze the support of your critical analysis on the topic of the capstone project.
Step 8: Conclusion – Finally like every essay, research paper or thesis work conclusion is also given at the end of a capstone project of a research paper. The conclusion talks about the entire project at a glance. The important things about the project and its goals are described by the writer at this stage. The introduction and goals of the paper project are justified in the concluding part of the capstone project. One must be very much clear about how to conclude the capstone project for college as well as school. Examples from the research work can also be cited along with arguments to support your conclusion of the project.
Step 9: Citation – If you want to keep your project away from plagiarism do not forget to give a proper citation of the resources that are used in the paper. Multiple books, articles, online web pages, and so many magazines are used by the people to carry out research. So do not forget to cite your research paper in MLA citation or APA citation by knowing the difference between them. Make this very sure that each and every single resource is listed in the research paper citation otherwise your paper will be included in the plagiarism.
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