How to Write a Capstone Project
Learning how to write a capstone project is usually a requirement for passing a specialized course. In fact, capstone projects are often directly associated with writing a major paper while in a Master's Degree program (though you do not necessarily need to be involved in a Master's Degree program to be required to write one of these papers). Oftentimes, honors-level courses will require the successful completion of a capstone project in order to finalize the class.
Since the requirement to write a capstone project can be associated with a wide variety of different courses and subject areas, the precise requirements for completion of a capstone project may vary according to the course and the instructor or instructors that will be assessing the project. Regardless, capstone project writing should help you with solving a real problem or with meeting a real challenge within a particular area of study. As such, the general topic of the capstone project may be assigned to you or you may be called upon to develop your own topic for the project.
Since the written portion of a capstone project is generally quite large and contains forty or more pages of written work, it is essential to devote a substantial amount of time to the research and writing.
While a major paper in a Master's Degree program will tend to be informative, a capstone project should be more applied. In other words, your report should be able to demonstrate your understanding of the concept as well as how the concept can be put to work with real-life applications.
After determining the topic that you will be exploring when writing a final report, you will then need to conduct research into the topic. By reading a substantial amount of literature regarding the topic, you will be able to develop your thesis statement. Your thesis statement is the one sentence that describes what your entire capstone project will be about. All subsequent information in your capstone project should then support your thesis statement.
Once you have determined your thesis statement, you will need to thoroughly research the topic in order to find information that will support your statement and general capstone project writing. While you will need to present facts that you have found through your research, you will also need to interpret those facts and draw reasonable conclusions concerning how these facts can apply to real life situations. A well-written capstone project will need to include plenty of facts to support your interpretations.
Since a capstone project is a rather lengthy paper, it will take careful planning and organization in order to make sure the ideas flow together properly and result in a well-written report. Therefore, once you have gathered your research material, you should create an outline for the document. Each step of the outline should transition smoothly into the next in a logical fashion, with all steps helping to support the thesis statement.
Once you finish writing a final report, it is important to proofread for mistakes and for flow. Most people find it helpful to complete the report and then wait several days before rereading it, as this helps them look at the report with "fresh eyes," which makes it easier to spot mistakes.
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