July 03, 2018
Get Ready for a Capstone Project: Useful Tips
Capstone projects are written to provide the details of some massive research. Students undertake these projects near the completion of their academic study. A good capstone project is a product of effort, talent, and patience. It requires a lot of time and knowledge. Make sure that you can write it well; otherwise, your academic future will be highly uncertain.
Getting Ready for Capstone Project
You will have everything needed to produce an outstanding capstone project if you follow the advice and recommendations from your supervisor. Also, you will have to consider the detailed requirements and instructions for your project. Follow them to finish your superb capstone project on time.
Choosing a Topic
Capstone projects are always long, with dozens of pages written to highlight the major and minor aspects of your topic. It is always wise to choose a topic that is interesting to you. Moreover, your topic should be researchable. Think of a topic that will give you rich material to use in your capstone project. However, do not make it too broad. You definitely need to use a topic that is specific enough to produce a good argument.
Seek approval from your professor or supervisor. You cannot start working on your project until your topic is approved. Do not disregard the requirements and instructions for the capstone paper provided by your tutor.
What you do for your capstone project will vary considerably, depending on the instructions and requirements provided by your tutor. However, in any case, you will need to do thorough and extensive research. Imagine what type of information you may need for your paper. Review the benefits and limitations of different sources.
One of the first things to do is developing a comprehensive thesis statement. Be careful and thorough. Your thesis statement will become the backbone of your capstone project. Whatever you include in your thesis statement will guide your efforts until you are ready to submit the project for grading. Obviously, you will need a lot of factual evidence to support your thesis statement. Imagine that it is an idea that you want to defend in front of your audience, and move ahead!
Create an Outline
No less important is having a good outline. Create one before you start working on the initial draft of your capstone project. Your outline is a plan for your project. You will include the key points related to your thesis statement. You will divide your paper into sections. Highlight each section in your outline. Remember that even the most interesting capstone project will never produce the best impression if it is poorly organized.
Remember that a well-developed capstone project always incorporates extensive research. Therefore, when you sit down to write the first draft, you will have to review your thesis and follow your outline. Your capstone project cannot be shorter than 45 pages. It is approximately 12,000 words. Include at least 14-15 reliable sources.
The capstone project will begin with an abstract. Then you will create a table of contents. At the end, you will design a properly formatted list of references. Follow the style and formatting requirements provided by your tutor. Software can help, but you can do without it. Use paper folders to make the process easier.
Make notes as you incorporate changes into your draft. Keeping a diary is a good idea for any capstone project.
What Your Capstone Project Must Include:
You are wrong if you think that your introduction summarizes your paper. In reality, an introduction simply lays out the general framework for your paper. You don’t have to discuss the results of your study. Instead, you will provide background information about the problem you plan to explore and include a thesis statement.
What is the question that you plan to answer? What are your hypotheses? Are there any issues with your topic? All these questions need to be addressed in your introduction.
II LITERATURE REVIEW
A review of literature will provide a thorough summary and analysis of the latest findings. It is not about listing different articles and making annotations. It is about systematizing and organizing research in ways that make it understandable for the reader. You will highlight the main themes in the current literature and summarize what has or has not been done about them. The purpose of a review of literature is to identify a gap in knowledge. Your capstone project will become an opportunity to generate new knowledge and close that gap.
In fact, everything in your literature review revolves around this knowledge gap. You will need to cast a critical eye on literature. You will have to praise the findings and critique the limitations of previous research. Quotes may help, but it is better to paraphrase the original material. You will not have any difficulty paraphrasing the ideas taken from other sources; just don’t forget to credit their authors.
In your methods section, you will describe and analyze the methods you used to answer your research question or analyze your hypothesis. Make sure that the methods section does not include any reference to your study results. Instead, list all steps of the research process, so that anyone who reads your capstone project could easily repeat it. Do not forget to provide a rationale for your methods. Evaluate the strengths and limitations of your method.
Here you will also need to review and analyze the ethics of your methods and designs. If you faced ethical issues, describe them in this section. For example, if you had to conduct interviews, how did you obtain informed consent? Just do not include anything about your results and findings. You will do it in the next section of your capstone project.
IV RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Here you will finally have a chance to share your findings with the reader. What did you find out? What does it mean? If you conducted statistical analyses, display your results. Include narratives and tables to facilitate their analysis and interpretation. If you did a qualitative study, you may want to share the most important findings by theme or code.
Do not just say what you found. Analyze it. Organize the data by themes or relevance. Do you see any controversies or ambiguity? How can you explain it? Do you see any links between themes or codes? Provide your readers with a thorough understanding of your research and its significance.
V CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS
Now you will finally have a chance to make conclusions. Link the results of your study to the findings of your literature review. Explain the meaning and implications of your findings for future research and practice.
Include recommendations for future research and practice:
- How could other professionals use the results of your project in practice?
- How do the findings of your study solve a practice problem?
- How you will apply these results in practice? What is their utility for other readers?
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