Many university programs require capstone projects for degree completion. Still, the aim of this kind of writing is is mostly the same as in all other types. It can take many various forms, but its purpose remains the same. What is a capstone project? It is the paper which gives a perfect opportunity for group research which is oriented at developing innovative solutions for actual problems. The scale and scope of such an individual project can be challenging, but at the same time, it brings outstanding rewards.
At universities, students usually write capstone projects as their final projects in the course of studies. Its main aim is to help students get ready for the future career via enhancing their skills and knowledge and ensuring their practical application. However, when it becomes a real challenge, some students may decide to buy capstone project assignments because such a decision allows getting needed score and learning on the example completed by an expert.
CAPSTONE PROJECT: WHAT IS IT?
The focus of all capstone projects is on the improvement of academic and intellectual skills within the framework of a multi-dimensional business project that unites different subjects from the university degree program.
It is not only an attribute of degree and graduate programs as even some high school students get it as a mandatory assignment. What makes it so universal? Mostly, it is the project methodology with its proper documentation and comprehensive nature. Yet, it will be easier to understand the main features of a capstone project after reviewing some good examples of such papers.
Is It Time-Consuming to Complete Capstone Projects?
Different requirements and level of the graduate program determine the length of a capstone project, while duration to complete it may vary from ten weeks to two semesters. Yet on average, graduate programs assign capstone projects with a length of approximately one semester.
Suppose you are a student in your graduate program and you are facing a challenge of working on a capstone project, which is an absolutely new type of activity for you. The most effective approach to this task would be to start with the development of the key idea for investigation. You will not be able to succeed in your studies if you wait until the last week to do research and study the related issues within the framework of a graduate program. Your capstone project proposal can be a tough task that requires extensive preliminary research.
General Notions about Capstone Projects
In the majority of capstone projects, it is essential for students to choose a topic related to a particular social issue, profession, or topic. The students are supposed to:
- Do in-depth research on the topic they have selected;
- Develop a portfolio or first draft based on the obtained results and collected data;
- Create a project that can reflect their knowledge, ability to do research, and learning experience;
- Give an effective presentation on the topic of the project to a panel of specialists.
It is essential for students to have the skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, making presentations, planning, time management, researching, and others to complete capstone projects at a high level of professionalism.
It is absolutely wrong to compare a research paper or an essay with a capstone project. While it is enough to prepare the readers and provide an effective thesis in the introduction in the first ones, a capstone project requests for much more. A properly done introduction to a capstone project covers the context of the raised problem and the rationale for doing it. A typical introduction takes from three to four pages. Nevertheless, you should always check on specific guidelines of a university or college because they may differ from common ones.
Plan and Outline the Work on Capstone Project
Students need to evaluate the topics of the projects to conclude whether they are suitable for their particular team. Thus, they study the project objectives and goals by considering the following questions:
– Which goals does the project set? What are the desired outcomes?
– Which challenges does the organization face? Which problems do you expect?
You have to decide on the deliverables of the capstone project, such as the development of applications, research reports, developed sets of recommendations, visualization of the data, system development, etc.
Specific notes: Which limitations can be applied to your project? What are the limiting conditions? Consider such restrictions in terms of the ownership of the intellectual property, team size, public display of information about the project or company, work authorization, etc.
Take into account the answers to some other questions as well:
What is your preferable method of receiving applications (website for hiring, email, or any other means)?
Will the application require some extra papers (writing samples, cover letters, references, transcripts, etc.)?
Learning how to do a capstone project, it is important to acknowledge that it requires coherence and clarity of content as well as a well-defined structure. The flow of ideas has to be logical so that the readers can follow it from one point to the next one. You have to explain to your audience which steps you have taken and which stages you have already completed. You need to address specific issues, present the used methods and interpret the obtained data while providing proper reference to the tables and figures as an illustration of your outcomes.
Make all the needed corrections after you complete the rough draft. Do not think about the grammar mistakes at first. Start with checking on the logical flow and complete content of the project sections.
- Exclude the sentences added just for making the paper longer. Leave only meaningful sentences that add to covering the topic. Only after you do this, you can proceed to correcting typos, grammar mistakes, and style issues.
Evaluate the tone of your paper and make sure that it is formal and academic.
Take care of the formatting in strict accordance with the guidelines. Mind the structure and neat appearance of the paper.
- Request for feedback from someone who knows how to make academic assignments successful and review the draft again.
Common Mistakes Students Do When Working on Their Capstone Projects
- Being too confident. Even students with profound knowledge and perfect understanding of the standards of writing capstone projects can make mistakes. The most important thing is to admit them and be ready to improve.
- Rushing through completing the process. If you cannot manage your time well, you will have a very short period for your capstone project. Therefore, the overall quality of your writing and your grade will not be that perfect.
- Inserting meaningless passages. Repetitive ideas and shallow phrases without a clear idea do not add to the value of the project. Increasing the length of your capstone project in such a way, you definitely ruin its quality.
- Lack of focus. You have to accept the reality: capstone projects are tough. Moreover, they can be really boring and tiresome. There will be a lot of distractions around, and you have to be careful not to lose your time, focus and interest.
If you know the answer to the question “what is a capstone project?” you realize that it is a great chance for a student to find a practical application for theoretical knowledge. There is always some narrow topic related to an actual problem, and the paper has to keep to a precise structure to present the outcomes of this investigation. The capstone project typically comprises an introduction, a section of literature review, a section of methodology, obtained results, and discussion. Students have to sound like scholars and demonstrate their profound knowledge of materials. They need to give a lot of evidence and do that in an unbiased manner. Finally, it is important to effective proofreading.
A capstone project requires utmost attention and diligence from students. At the same time, it teaches them to apply their knowledge and be successful in their undertakings.