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The Capstone is a culminating academic project experience that is completed within the confines of a semester-length course. Several Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) fields either require a capstone or offer the option to pursue one. In addition to the information below, review Guide to the ALM Capstone Project website.
Types of Capstones
We offer two forms of capstone: Capstone Course (faculty directed) and Capstone Independent Project (student directed).
Capstone Course–Faculty Directed
For the ALM fields of anthropology, biotechnology, creative writing and literature, cybersecurity, data science, English, government, history, information management systems, international relations, management, math for teaching, psychology, religion, and software engineering, capstones are courses designed by faculty members who bring together, in a structured syllabus, all the key learning outcomes of the field of study.
Our cybersecurity, data science, and management capstones ordinarily have a real-world industry partner as the client for your capstone research.
While our creative writing capstone allows for ample room to work on individual artistic projects, but with the added benefit of weekly engagement with peers and the instructor–a supportive writer’s community.
Every effort is made to offer the same precapstone/capstone topics each year (e.g., human development, policy analysis, and social justice); however, topics are subject to change annually.
Good academic standing. You must be good academic standing to register for the capstone. If not, you’ll need to complete additional courses to bring your GPA up to the 3.0 minimum prior to registration. For detailed course description information, including specific registration requirements, such as credit minimums and academic standing requirements, use the Degree Course Search .
Tip: Register on the first day of degree-candidate registration to obtain a seat in these limited-enrollment courses.
The ALM fields of anthropology, biotechnology, creative writing and literature, cybersecurity, data science, English, government, history, international relations, management, psychology, and religion have a required precapstone course that must be completed with a grade of B- or higher.
Mandatory Sequencing of Precapstones/Capstones. You enroll in the precapstone and capstone courses in back-to-back semesters (fall/spring), with the same instructor, and in your final academic year.
Due to heavy workload demands, all your other degree requirements must be fulfilled prior to capstone registration. The capstone must be taken alone as your one-and-only remaining degree requirement. You cannot register in any other courses along with the capstone.
It is critical that you draw upon your entire ALM training to produce a project worthy of a Harvard degree by committing to full-time study in the capstone.
Attempts . You have a maximum of two attempts at the precapstone course to earn the required grade of B- or higher. If after two attempts, you have not fulfilled the requirement (a WD grade is considered an attempt), your degree candidacy will expire. If by not passing the precapstone you fall into poor academic standing, you will need to take additional degree-applicable courses to return to good standing before enrolling in the precapstone for your second and final time.
The second attempt policy is only available if your five-year, degree-completion deadline allows for more time. If you attempt to complete the precapstone in your final year and don’t pass (including a WD grade), your candidacy will automatically expire.
For detailed course description information, visit the Degree Course Search .
Capstone Independent Project–Student Directed
For global development practice, digital media design, journalism, museum studies, and sustainability, capstones are client-based or independent research projects focused on a current issue or problem that has become compelling for you during your course of study. The project represents your academic passion and professional interest. You complete the research individually (journalism) or in a classroom setting with fellow candidates (all other fields).
Journalism candidates should scroll down to Journalism Capstone. The following applies to:
- Global Development Practice
- Digital media design
- Museum studies
Registration in the capstone for the above fields has the following prerequisites: (1) your specific research project must be approved several months in advance (prior to enrolling in the precapstone tutorial), (2) you must successfully complete the precapstone tutorial, and (3) the capstone must be your final, one-and-only remaining degree requirement. You cannot register for any other courses along with the capstone.
There are two major steps to obtain project approval.
Step one: obtain advice right away. Once admitted to the program, meet with your research advisor early and often about your initial capstone research interests. He or she can provide support as well as course selection advice as you develop preliminary ideas. Please note that while every effort is made to support your capstone interest, guidance is not available for all possible projects. Therefore, revision or a change of capstone topic may be necessary.
- For museum studies your capstone will have a main focus on (1) business of museums, (2) collections care, (3) exhibition design, (4) museum education, or (5) technology. Whatever focus you choose, you must have at least two courses completed in that area before enrolling in the precapstone tutorial. If not, your enrollment will not be approved.
- Due to the highly technical nature of their projects, digital media students must meet with their research advisor, Dr. Hongming Wang, to discuss their capstone topics according to the following schedule. Between January 2 and February 15 for summer precapstone and between May 1 and July for the fall precapstone. Appointments can be scheduled through the Degree Candidate Portal.
- Step two: register for the noncredit tutorial. The semester before capstone registration (no earlier), you are required to (1) enroll in the noncredit Precapstone tutorial, (2) visit the Guide to the ALM Capstone Project website to read through the tutorial guidelines, and (3) submit your prework by the required deadline (see below in bold).
Prework demonstrates that you have done enough prior reading and research on your topic to begin the capstone proposal process. Registration in the tutorial is limited to degree candidates who submit quality prework. If your prework is not approved, you will need to spend time revising in order to re-submit for the next offering of the tutorial, if your five-year, degree-completion deadline allows.
Once registered in the noncredit tutorial, you will receive guidance and mentoring while you iterate on your individual capstone proposal until the document reaches a satisfactory quality. The tutorial is not a course in the traditional sense. You work independently on your proposal with your research advisor by submitting multiple proposal drafts and scheduling individual appointments (ordinarily, during the hours of 9-5). You need to make self-directed progress on the proposal without special prompting from the research advisor. While the tutorial is noncredit, your due diligence throughout the semester is required.
If you do not have a proposal that is close to being approved by the semester’s withdrawal deadline, you’ll need to withdraw from the tutorial, delay capstone registration, and re-take the capstone proposal tutorial again in a future semester, if your five-year, degree-completion deadline allows.
- For the fall capstone, you complete the proposal tutorial during the prior summer term: Register for the Summer Precapstone tutorial March 1. Submit the first draft of the preproposal between March 1 and May 15 . Actively participate in the tutorial during the summer and end the term with an approved proposal. Register and complete capstone in fall.
- For the spring capstone, you complete the proposal tutorial during the prior fall term: Register for the Fall Precapstone tutorial when registration opens in mid-July. Submit the first draft of the preproposal between July 18 and August 1 . Actively participate in the tutorial during the fall and end the term with an approved proposal. Register and complete the capstone in spring.
- For the summer capstone, you complete the proposal tutorial during the prior spring: Register for the spring Precapstone tutorial when registration open in early November. Submit the first draft of the preproposal between November 7 and January 2 . Actively participate in the Capstone Proposal Tutorial during the spring and end the term with an approved proposal. Register and complete capstone in summer. This sequence (spring tutorial, summer capstone) is required for international students who need a student visa.
Please note that not all fields offer a capstone each term. Refer to your field’s Degree Course Search for the schedule.
If your capstone will involve the use of human subjects (e.g., subject interviews, surveys, observations), review the Human Subjects section on the Guide to the ALM Capstone Project website to learn Harvard University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval process.
The course, JOUR E-599 , entails a portfolio of several related stories that are completed over the course of one semester. You apply knowledge and skills obtained in the program to complete a significant journalism project under the direction of a professional in the field. Over the course of the capstone semester, you’ll conduct an in-depth investigation of a single topic and emerge with a portfolio of new work suitable for publishing, posting, or broadcasting.
You can register for the capstone once you complete 36 credits, and you work independently to complete the project within a semester timeframe. The capstone can be, and often is, completed at a distance.
To begin the capstone approval process, you schedule an appointment with your research advisor, June Erlick, ( [email protected]) , to discuss your capstone ideas.
While every effort is made to support your capstone interest, guidance is not available for all possible projects. Therefore, revisions or a change of capstone topic may be necessary before it is approved. As in all traditional journalism, projects must take a fair and balanced view by bringing in differing points of view. Projects should not be one-sided or take an advocacy stance.
Once a topic is approved, you submit the first draft of your capstone proposal (visit the Guide to the ALM Capstone Project website to read the Crafting the Capstone Proposal specific guidelines). Ms. Erlick supports you through the fine tuning of the proposal and works with the Journalism program office to identify a capstone director.
A capstone director is a journalism instructor or professional in the field who has expertise relevant to your capstone topic. The final decision about who will serve as director is made by the Journalism program office; however, you are welcome to request a particular instructor. However, we ask that you not contact an instructor directly prior to capstone approval.
You are expected to work independently on your project with support and direction from the director. The capstone director will meet with you several times over the semester to answer questions, discuss your progress, read drafts, and offer feedback. The director also grades the final project.
- Fall capstone: Meet to discuss capstone ideas by May 1. Submit first draft of capstone proposal by June 1.
- Spring capstone: Meet to discuss capstone ideas by September 1. Submit first draft of capstone proposal by October 1.
- Summer capstone: Meet to discuss capstone ideas by February 1. Submit first draft of capstone proposal by March 1
Final Capstone Grade
You need to earn a grade of B- or higher to earn degree credit for the capstone. If you earn a grade below a B– (including a WD), you will need to petition the Administrative Board for permission to enroll in the capstone for one final time. The petition process is only available if your five-year, degree-completion deadline allows for more time. Your candidacy will automatically expire if you do not successfully complete the capstone requirement by your required deadline.
If approved for a second attempt, you may be required to repeat the precapstone course or the non-credit precapstone tutorial. Please note that you cannot choose a different precapstone/capstone sequence to gain additional (more than two) attempts at fulfilling the capstone requirement for your degree.
If by not passing the capstone you fall into poor academic standing, you’ll need to take additional degree-applicable courses to return to good standing before enrolling in the capstone for your second and final time. This is only an option if your five-year, degree-completion deadline allows for more time to take additional courses.
The Board only reviews cases in which extenuating circumstances prevented the successful completion of the capstone.
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MBA Capstone & Thesis | 2022 Guide
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Typically serving as the culminating experience in an MBA program, a capstone or thesis project bridges academic study and professional practice, applying the skills gained from an MBA to real-world business management and research. Thesis projects commonly take a more academic, research-based approach, while capstones focus on the practical side of business, often requiring students to identify and solve problems at real companies.
Capstones require students to synthesize everything they've learned from their MBA programs, serving as their best opportunity to demonstrate understanding of business principles and practices. Andrew Gold, an associate professor of management at Saint Leo University in Florida, puts it plainly: "The capstone is probably the single most important class in the entire program."
This page offers a general guide to MBA capstone and thesis projects. Below, find an overview of the key differences between the two types of projects, typical steps to research and writing, capstone project examples, and answers to common questions -- all accompanied by expert advice from an MBA faculty member.
What's the Difference Between a Capstone and a Thesis?
While a capstone and thesis serve similar functions, most MBA programs distinguish between the two projects. MBAs typically include practicum/internship components, enabling students to gain hands-on experience in professional business environments. Capstones build on this experience, requiring students to develop practical solutions to real-world business problems.
As Gold explains, "The [capstone] is intended to demonstrate that you understand and can apply what you have learned about the various disciplines in the business school and use some creativity to put together comprehensive analyses of complicated, real-life problems."
A thesis generally takes a more academic approach, requiring students to answer a question to contribute new knowledge to the field through a comprehensive research paper. Programs with an academic focus, preparing graduates for research and academic positions, might opt for a thesis over a capstone.
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The MBA Capstone
Broadly, MBA capstones require students to synthesize major program principles to address contemporary business issues, serving to assess overall knowledge and individual skill. As Gold explains, "In addition to demonstrating students' abilities to analyze complex problems, the [capstone] typically shows evidence of creative thinking, critical thinking, and the ability to examine a problem from a variety of functional perspectives." The following sections detail typical capstone components and processes.
The MBA Capstone Process
The MBA Capstone Format
Choosing Your Capstone Topic
Example Topics for Capstone Projects
Business plan for a startup venture, analysis of emerging technology threats, reorganization after corporate downsizing, gamification of sustainability behavior, feasibility and market analysis for a new app.
Completing Your MBA Capstone
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How to Research for Your Capstone
Capstone research often involves a literature review of existing information on a topic, along with original research into the company itself. To address a business problem, students must understand both the general nature of the problem and its specific impact on an organization.
Gold recommends students familiarize themselves with their capstone topics before contacting their organizations with questions: "Get as much information as possible from publicly available sources. Prepare questions in advance."
When conducting interviews, strive for courtesy and professionalism. "Understand that the people you speak with in the company are doing this outside their normal job routine, so make it as easy as possible for them to help you with the least amount of effort on their part," Gold adds. "Be specific with your requests and be very professional."
How to Outline Your Capstone
After conducting initial research, students should create an outline to organize their ideas and prepare to write their capstone papers. Exact organizational strategies vary depending on capstone subject, but most papers begin with an introduction to the company and/or business issue before moving into a more in-depth problem statement. The paper then states capstone goals and objectives, and it describes methods and strategies, a management plan, and a strategy for evaluating the effectiveness of the project.
Gold offers some practical advice for students: "Start with a high-level list of bullet points that will carve out each of the different sections of the project. Then start to narrow down each of the sections. Much of the outline will develop as you start to proceed with the project and there are a variety of templates online that you can also use as a guide."
How to Write Your Capstone
Gold recommends students begin their writing with high-level questions: "What is it that you are trying to answer? Avoid very simple yes/no-type questions, and instead ask questions like, 'How might we' or 'How can we,' that imply more complicated answers. As you hone in your question/topic for your project, then start to think about how you would go about answering the question."
Given that most capstone projects aim to propose solutions to business problems, students should ensure they clearly define the business problem, their strategies for addressing it, and their methods for evaluating strategy effectiveness. Capstone writing should always adopt a professional tone, suitable for academic or business communications, and students can work with faculty to ensure their work meets professional standards.
Capstone Project Workflow Tips
Make realistic goals, divide work into stages, delegate tasks efficiently, use past work as a guide, seek assistance when necessary.
Presenting Your MBA Capstone
How Is an MBA Capstone Graded?
The MBA Thesis
An MBA thesis functions similarly to a capstone in some regards, but the two projects maintain notable differences. While capstones address practical business problems, thesis projects draw on original research to contribute new knowledge to the field of business. This section outlines major components of an MBA thesis.
The MBA Thesis Format
Choosing Your Thesis Topic
Completing Your MBA Thesis
Presenting Your MBA Thesis
How is an MBA Thesis Graded?
Frequently Asked Questions About MBA Capstone
What is an mba capstone project, what are different types of mba capstones, is a capstone course hard, how long does an mba capstone project take, what is a great company for an mba capstone analysis project, what happens if you fail your capstone, is a capstone the same as a thesis, what is the difference between a dissertation and a capstone, is a thesis required for an mba, how long is an mba thesis, meet andrew gold.
Andrew Gold , Ph.D., is an associate professor of management at Saint Leo University in Florida and an adjunct associate professor at the University of North Carolina, teaching managing innovation processes and performance in the online MBA program . He received his bachelor's degree in finance in 1992 from Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business, with a focus on international finance and investments. He received his doctorate in 2002 from the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School, with a focus on strategy and innovation management.
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What is a capstone project? And why is it important?
By Stephanie L
Sponsored by York University
What is a capstone project?
The capstone project has become an integral part of the university degree curriculum. It can take many various forms, but its purpose remains the same. The capstone project is a unique opportunity to carry out independent group research in order to devise an innovative solution for a real-world problem. While a project of this scope and scale can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding.
The capstone project is usually the final assignment and plays a vital role in preparing students for the world of work thanks to its practical applications and ability to help hone students’ professional knowledge and skills.
At York University in Toronto, Canada, things are a little different. In 2019, the university revised the traditional capstone project and created C4: Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom . While it still possesses the fundamentals of the traditional capstone project, C4 is a new, year-long initiative that brings students together from various degree programmes to work in interdisciplinary teams with faculty and project partners on real-world challenges pitched by non-profit organisations, start-ups and businesses to create social impact.
TopUniversities spoke to Megan Tran and Javeria Mirza, two students at York University, to find out about their capstone project and why they feel it has played an important role in not just their academic development, but their professional development as well.
What is the Purpose of a Capstone Project?
1. it prepares you for the working world.
The capstone project is designed to consolidate final-year students’ learning with valuable hands-on experience to help develop them into well-prepared and well-rounded graduates.
Students work together in small groups to come up with innovative solutions for real-life problems, all while gaining valuable insights into the demands and responsibilities of the working world. This gives students a chance to bring their leadership and management skills alive and understand the consequences of their decisions in a ‘safe space’.
C4 gives students an insight into global affairs, international relations as well as social corporate responsibility and sustainability.
Final-year bachelor’s in international studies student Megan and master’s in political science student Javeria were two of the eight interdisciplinary students, from the Faculty of Environmental Studies, the Lassonde School of Engineering, Glendon College, and the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies at York University who worked together on the ‘Solar Floatie’ project.
“As a group, we were all interested in using technology and design-thinking for good. Our collective passion for social impact brought us together as a team. CooperLab at York University led by Professor Thomas Cooper was already spearheading the idea of an inflatable solar collector,” said Javeria.
“But how we went about developing the technology and what we wanted to use it for was up to us,” added Megan.
“ The Solar Floatie was born when the engineering side of the solar collector project was merged with the anthropology side and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework to propose a sustainable implementation model,” explained Javeria.
2. It helps build your CV and help you stand out as a candidate
Undertaking a capstone project demonstrates to prospective employers that you’re more than just a potential candidate with the necessary academic qualifications. It shows your dedication to an issue which demands time and effort, as well as strict professionalism, work ethic and experience working in a practical, hands-on setting.
3. It offers valuable practical experience – something many graduates do not have
As a graduate, the reality of securing a job can be difficult as many roles demand practical experience. Many graduates are conceptually strong and suitable candidates, but a lack of applied knowledge in practical settings can make it challenging to demonstrate such experience and skills on their CV or in an interview.
The capstone project is a great solution and is something which both Megan and Javeria felt helped bridge that critical gap and has given them a competitive advantage as young professionals.
“It gave me an opportunity to learn outside a traditional academic setting and allowed me to explore my interest in sustainability and passion for social impact,” said Megan. “Since being a part of this project, I’ve been involved with a variety of organisations carrying out work that align with these passions.”
Javeria echoes Megan’s sentiments.
She said: “Bridging the lessons learnt during the capstone project such as the value of continuously learning, taking initiative, and working effectively with people from diverse disciplinary backgrounds has been invaluable in both my UN work and my graduate studies.”
4. It hones on specific skills that are highly valued by employers
The capstone project encompasses a real-life working culture which aims to instil a set of specific skills that are both highly valued by employers and will ultimately serve students well into their careers.
York University’s C4 focuses on the development of a wide range of skills, including creative, critical, and strategic thinking, effective communication, teamwork, problem solving and research analysis through diverse learning approaches and perspectives. Students deepen their sense of social and ethical responsibilities as they learn to mobilise their knowledge across disciplines and work effectively in interdisciplinary teams while engaging professionally with their peers and professors.
Lead image: Solar Floatie project team members work on assembling the solar energy collector, under Professor Thomas Cooper’s direction. Credit: York University
This article was originally published in March 2021 . It was last updated in December 2022
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As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com (until September 2021), Stephanie created and published a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.
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What is a Capstone Project in Graduate School?
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In order to successfully finish graduate school, most master’s programs require students to either write a thesis or complete a capstone project. A capstone project serves as another way to prove your understanding of a given subject, but unlike a thesis, you can prove your skills through solutions or new ideas instead of pure analysis.
What is the Purpose of a Capstone Project?
A capstone project is designed to push you to think critically and apply what you’ve learned through your graduate program. It allows you to show the faculty of the department what you’ve learned throughout the program. It also allows the faculty to ensure that you're prepared to enter your chosen careers.
What sets a capstone project apart from just an exam is its real-world application. Rather than just proving you understand the subject matter, a capstone project requires you to apply the knowledge and experience in a way similar to how you would in your career. By integrating basic research skills and practical experience, you can also end up showcasing a competitive portfolio to future employers.
Additional Resource : 5 Topics for a Master’s in Communication Capstone Project
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These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s or PhD programs.
How Long Does it Take to Complete a Capstone Project?
Although this will vary from school to school, generally a capstone project will be as short as a 10-week quarter to as long as two semesters depending on the rigor and requirements of the graduate program. However, it is common for most graduate programs to require students to take a capstone project course that generally only lasts around a semester.
If you are currently enrolled in a graduate program and you have the option of completing a capstone project, it is best that you start formulating an idea of what you would like to investigate. Waiting to the very last minute to study a particular problem or issue in relation to your graduate program can derail your capstone project. You would need to have a sufficient amount of previous research in order to complete a capstone project proposal.
Which programs usually require capstone projects?
Typically, it is very common for master's programs in social services, public administration , mass communications , and liberal arts to require graduate students to complete a capstone project. This is because these programs are usually geared towards working professionals and capstone projects give students the ability to take knowledge and theory they have learned and apply in a real-world setting.
Additional Resource: Writing a Graduate Capstone Project
Prerequisites for a capstone project?
Before an individual can complete a capstone project, one must take a series of undergraduate or graduate courses that will give one the theoretical and skills-based knowledge necessary in order to formulate an idea for a capstone proposal. Classes that usually are required before taking a capstone course usually center around research statistics, ethics, program theory, leadership and other relevant courses based on the master's program. Also, many programs have a GPA requirement before actually completing a capstone course.
Before a student can actually take capstone course to begin implementing their capstone project, many students would need to come up with a comprehensive proposal that will be reviewed by a professor or instructor. This proposal usually contains an introduction, theories, hypotheses, scholarly literature review, research methods, proposal alternatives and any other issues relevant to the project proposal. Each capstone requirement is unique to the student's program, so it is best that a student continuously consult with a program advisor to make sure their capstone proposal meets the necessary requirements.
Different types of Capstone Projects
There are a variety of capstone projects. Some include case studies, program evaluations, outcomes-based evaluations, surveys, focus groups, etc. Each master's program has a different set of capstone projects that students can complete for graduation. Nonetheless, case studies and program evaluations tend to be the most popular forms of capstone projects completed by students.
Erin Gobler is a freelance writer who covers education topics for Best Value Schools, Graduate School Hub, and Criminal Justice Degree Schools, among others. Her work has been published on sites like Fox Business, Rocket Mortgage, and The Balance.
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The difference between a dissertation and doctoral capstone
November 25, 2019
If youâve been researching doctoral degrees, you may notice that virtually all PhD programs require a dissertation, while some professional doctorates require a doctoral capstone, much like Capella Universityâs Doctoral Capstone Experience.
So, whatâs the difference between the two?
Dissertation and Doctoral CapstoneâCommonalities
All doctoral programs prepare students to apply research skills in the workplace and community.
Completing either a dissertation or a doctoral capstone requires intense preparation and a strong foundation in research, writing, and critical thinking. Both culminate in a final document or project that demonstrates academic rigor and readiness to lead in your chosen profession.
Learn more about the differences between a PhD and a professional doctorate .
Dissertation and Doctoral CapstoneâDifferences
The Capella dissertation is the traditional five-chapter written document.
The doctoral capstone is presented in two parts:
- A deliverable, which could be a portfolio, a paper of publishable length, or a product such as a change management plan, policy manual, software product, application, or curriculum.
- A final report or presentation, which describes the creation of the deliverable and the learning that supports it.
Additionally, the focus for each is different.
- A dissertation is an original contribution to the body of academic literature and theory in the field. It addresses a research problem, or a gap in existing research, that will contribute to the knowledge base of the discipline. At Capella, a PhD dissertation involves a quest for new knowledge that is intended to solve a real world problem and be relevant to the field.
- A doctoral capstone is intended to extend or apply research to deliver a solution immediately to an issue within a real world setting. Thatâs why, unlike the dissertation, the doctoral capstone deliverable can take on so many different forms. It may be the writing of software to solve a specific technical problem, or a curriculum designed to solve a specific educational problem.
- Project focus
- Project deliverable
- Deliverable detail
- Extends or applies research to solve a real-world problem
- Provide a solution to a problem within a specific organizational setting
- Presents the results in a deliverable (paper, product, or portfolio) and a final report that describes the creation of the deliverable
- Involves a quest for new knowledge to solve a real-world problem
- Addresses a research problem in one field of specialization.
- Involves either quantitative or qualitative research methods
- Designed to be completed in 2-8 quarters, depending on program
- Designed to be completed in 4â8 quarters
- Paper, Product, Portfolio
- Action research
- Clinical Research Paper
- Program Curriculum
- Change Management Plan
- A final report describes the scholarly background and process, including the literature and theory that supports the deliverable.
- Chapter 1. Introduction and Statement of the Problem
- Chapter 2. Literature Review
- Chapter 3. Methodology
- Chapter 4. Data Analysis and Results
- Chapter 5. Conclusions and Recommendations
Capella University offers PhD and professional doctorate degree programs ranging from business to education and health to technology. Learn more about Capellaâs online doctoral programs.
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What Is A Capstone Project?
03 Mar 2022
- What is a Capstone Project?
- Capstone Project Definition
Common Development of a Capstone Project
- Importance And Goals Of A Capstone Project
Goals Of A Capstone Paper
Getting proper education is not an easy task. Particularly with modern curriculums placing more burdens on students to perform. You may be comfortable writing essays and navigating the library, but you may run into an overwhelming task you may not be ready for. One such project college students dread is the capstone project and for good reason.
These assignments take significant planning to complete, let alone achieve a good grade. But fear not, we know how to help you weather the storm and put together a compelling paper that your teachers will highly praise. Follow these tips for your capstone research project and you are sure to avoid the many obstacles students have to overcome.
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What is the Capstone Project?
A common question any student has, especially in high school, is the definition capstone project. According to the University of Virginia, this task is a two-semester project where students must independently research a topic to obtain a deep understanding of the subject matter. UV gives many recommendations when preparing your assignment you can use. But here our professional writers will dig into detail about the purpose of this significant work as well as methods to overcome some hurdles. There are several sections that encompass a capstone project meaning, which we’ll detail below.
The main goal of this task is to challenge a student to carry out significant research over an extended period of time. Not everyone is up to the arduous journey this task demands. Therefore capstone project for sale for college is a common way to avoid failure. Leveraging the help of the pros, you get a set of guarantees to ensure a quality paper that is plagiarism-free and will get a good grade.
One of the most complex issues is a capstone paper. What makes it so difficult? To figure it out, we need to define the capstone project meaning first because there is no way you can handle an assignment without knowing what it requires from you.
Capstone Project Definition
What is the capstone definition? A capstone project is a culminating assignment, on which students usually work on during their final year in school or at the end of the academic program. It requires different intellectual activities. This project helps young people learn how to find and analyze information and how to work with it efficiently. It has a wide variety of forms. This means that a capstone program can be submitted in various forms including a multimedia presentation, film, performance, or paper. A capstone research project is very similar to a college thesis. No one can argue that this type of work is a bit more complicated as writing a capstone project involves a wider range of activities like critical thinking, deep analysis, and the ability to use different media.
What is a capstone project purpose? A capstone college course can help students demonstrate their knowledge and skills and it can also be used as an employment portfolio. At university, people get such tasks in the last class of a study program.
In most cases, while working on a nursing capstone project, a student can be asked to pick out a topic such as a profession, a social problem, or another topic in which he or she is interested. After that, the student finds information, analyzes it, and makes a portfolio or presentation based on the findings. During a presentation, a person demonstrates the project to the class and gives a short conclusion. The student usually gives an oral presentation apart from the main material, which can be in writing, film or a multimedia product.
Why do you have to write about it? Capstone projects were generally developed to encourage student's abilities of critical thinking, problem-solving, oral communication skills, research skills, and teamwork. Moreover, thanks to this project, students learn to connect with the community and analyze important issues, problems, and ideas. Some tasks include outside-of-school experiences, like interviews and scientific observations.
Colleges may present this task at any academic level. And you may be faced with this task in several areas from Political Science, Criminal Justice, Biology, Literature, etc. As a result, the requirements can differ significantly across courses, but often, your work will result in some type of presentation at the end. As a guideline, a capstone project will revolve around the following framework:
- Selecting a topic. Whether you are given a set of topics to choose or you can select your own, a good topic will make the process much easier. In short, you need to find a happy balance of a topic that has a wide enough scope to investigate but is not so narrow you won’t be able to find resources for your task.
- Do a literature review. Initially, this may seem like extra work. But the pros at our capstone writing services state a proper literature review will pay dividends when further down the road. If you’ve never done a lit review before, don’t get intimidated. Simply organize a section of your written work where you state the relevance of your sources, any background information they had provided, as well as any information gaps. This will create a road map of where to take your project. You’ll have a strong foundation to work off and can spot any areas to improve upon.
- Research your topic. Since these assignments often have a presentation at the end, you can be more creative with your fact-finding. You may conduct interviews with professionals, observe various events, and of course the classic dive into the library. Just be sure your research is on target with your outline and the resources are authorization.
- Presenting your findings. With your presentation, the first is to look at the content of your research and choose a means of delivery. You can present your work as a defense, where you lecture the class on your work and field questions related to your topic. Revise some tips for writing essays to include in your work. You may also incorporate graphical elements or an engaging onscreen presentation. Prior to presenting your work, be sure to practice. You can do this in the mirror or with friends. Note down the areas that flow nicely and improve areas where you stall or do not clearly deliver your point.
How to handle this task? Below are a few examples which illustrate the general forms of work and objectives found in capstone projects:
- Organizing scientific research, which could last several months or even a year to study ecological and environmental changes in a local habitat;
- Designing and producing a robot, or an app, which can deal, for example, with people who have special needs (such robots can support the disabled);
- Creation of an organization or an office to learn more about vital social problems such as hunger, poverty, effects of war, homelessness, or mortal diseases;
- Comprehensive research of an industry or market and creating an applicable business plan for a recommended company;
- Writing, directing, and filming an announcement that will be broadcasted on public television;
As you see, it has many different forms.
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Importance Of A Capstone Project
But why is it important work? There are many factors that explain its importance and one of the main factors is that it increases the austerity of academic studies of the senior year. How? You may ask. In many cases, students take simpler courses for their last or senior year, which can lead to learning failure or deficient preparation for their work in college. In this way, a capstone project can help increase preparation for college and work, reduce the loss of learning during the senior year and encourage efficient work and new interesting experiences in science or other disciplines.
Also, it increases individual motivation. Assignments like this require creative work on topics that are interesting to a person, which increases motivation significantly.
Capstone projects are a great way of demonstrating the proficiency of learning. This type of work can help young people determine their competence and readiness to demonstrate what they have learned through the course of their project.
How else can it be useful? Involving students in long-term projects which combine their ambitions and goals, motivate people to more deliberate future planning, understanding their main objectives, career exploration, and obtaining useful experience, which will help them in their future careers.
In addition, capstone projects can give students more confidence in their strengths and make their self-perception clearer which is always a good thing.
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Upon completing your project you’ll demonstrate that you can engage in serious research work. And if you get a good grade it’s a good reference for future academic work if asked about your academic achievements. You will find that you not only know how to investigate a subject but organize work to reach a deep understanding.
Another aspect is the presentation portion. Many students are great researchers and can write wonderful papers and get good grades. However, presentation is a necessary skill to apply in the real world. When you want to ask for a raise or get a proposal approved, often you’ll need to present factual data to back up your reasoning.
Don’t pass up this opportunity to showcase your skills to your university. With the right plan, you can develop a great project that can be a lot of fun. Try to devise a practical topic of interest and follow this guide to get the A you deserve. But as a long term project, you may need help with all or part of your assignment and think about buying a capstone project . When you’re burning the midnight oil sweating about a deadline, reach out to us at PapersOwl and we’ll come to your aid.
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How to Write a Capstone Project With Ease
How to Write a Capstone Project: Definition
A capstone project is an academic paper that serves as a summary of a student’s experience. This type of paper is written in the last year of middle or high school or as a part of a college or university course. It can be assigned for nursing, engineering, IT, business, and other courses.
How to Do a Capstone Project: What’s So Special About It?
A capstone project is another way to sum up skills and competencies the student has gained during the course. This kind of paper may be presented in various forms: case studies, research papers, surveys, outcome-based evaluation, focus groups, and more. The type and complexity will depend on the tutor’s requirements and course. The student needs to pick one of capstone project ideas related to the course or specialization and write a paper. Typically, a capstone project will be connected with the future specialization and require strong skills in teamwork, public speaking, and critical and analytical thinking.
How long is a capstone project? This will depend on the tutor’s requirements and usually is approximately forty pages long or more. You will be given plenty of time to write it.
Along with the writing process, students are frequently required to make a presentation (also known as a defense) of their project. The aim of such presentation is to improve public speaking skills and help students clearly express their thoughts. Along with a presentation, you will need to create a portfolio of your project that will accompany your presentation with additional materials and help the listener understand how you have come to your conclusions.
How to Write a Capstone Research Paper: Step by Step
1. Think of the topic. It is advisable to think about the topic from the very beginning of the program. Take notes and write down the ideas that come up during the classes. Think about the topics that interested you the most and seem manageable. Talk with your classmates or faculty members who have faced the topic before.
Focus on topics connected with your own experience and life. Think about situations where your knowledge from the course can be applied. Your capstone project should highlight the knowledge and skills you obtained during the course and how you can apply this in a prospective workplace. For example, it may be a business plan including a market investigation in a particular area, or the development of a new product or program aimed at a certain need.
2. Create a capstone project proposal. Before you start writing your paper, you will need to submit a proposal to your tutor. Usually it is a paper of 200 words or more. How to write a capstone proposal? Include the following points in your proposal:
- Tell about the topic you want to choose and why you want to write about this particular topic.
- Write about your experience or background in the particular topic.
- Highlight the scope of information available and sources.
- Tell about the research that you plan to do in your project and what methods you plan to use: analyze a certain process, pick certain products, etc.
- List the required workplace and human subject approvals.
- Set the aims that you wish to achieve with this project.
If you are required to write a broader proposal, you will need to develop a literature review and methodology that you plan to use in your writing. Make sure that you have included everything that will assure the tutor that you are interested in the topic and he or she will accept your proposal.
3. Gather information. Identify the sources and search for information related to your topic. Look through textbooks from your course; you can find a list of recommended literature and use it as a basis for your project. Create a folder on your computer and save all references and helpful links in one single place. Structure information in various files, name them appropriately, and add tags to ease the navigation. Highlight the key articles related to your topic that you will be discussing in the literature review section. Group the articles by categories.
4. Come up with a structure. The structure of every capstone project may vary. A clear structure will help you logically divide your work and concentrate on each part. Here you can see the typical structure of a capstone project:
- Title page.
- Literature review.
- Results and Discussion.
- Conclusion and Recommendations.
- References list.
5. Make a timetable. As a capstone is quite a voluminous paper, you will need to involve your time-planning skills. The best decision will be creating a calendar with tasks and deadlines. Correct the schedule over time, as one task you can complete faster, while the other one may take more time than you have planned. Use organizers in your phone or computer to keep track of your progress any time.
6. Get to the writing. The basis of your capstone project is the thesis statement. Come up with a strong thesis statement that is specific and narrow enough. If your thesis will be too broad, you won’t be able to cover all of the detail. You can write your project from any point you like; the only thing you need to remember is that the introduction is written last. You won’t be able to create a good introduction when you are not deep in the matter of the issue. Don’t forget to state the major problem (or issue) and list the limitations of the study.
In the literature review summarize your findings of the existing information on the topic. Make general conclusions and a brief analysis of each source that is valuable for your research. Keep being critical of the sources and note the gaps in the information. Add quotes to add value to your review, but don’t overuse it.
In the methods paragraph, analyze the process of your research. The reader should understand what you have done and how: collecting data, analysis, evaluation, etc. Justify the methods you chose and discuss the positive and negative sides of the chosen method.
In the results section, describe the data you received during the research. If you have statistics or other data, visualize it in tables and charts. Add descriptions and an interpretation of the data. In the conclusion, sum up your findings and make recommendations for further researches and applications. Find the connection of your results with the initial issue.
7. Proofread the text. Reread the first draft and make corrections. Firstly, look through all sections and make sure that they are complete and logically right. Cut sentences without meaning, and add important sentences so the text will be complete. When you will be done with the context, look through for incorrect grammar, typos, and other mistakes. Make sure that the tone of your work is totally academic. And at last, format the text in accordance with the requirements to make it look neat and well structured. Ask someone experienced in academic writing to look through your writing and ask for feedback.
8. Prepare for the defense. Most of the project should be defended before the project committee. The quality of your presentation will influence the evaluation of the whole project. Initially you will need to reveal the essence of your topic, discuss the project research, and tell about your findings. Along with your presentation, the committee usually asks questions connected with your research and findings. Usually, committee members are familiar with the text of your project, as they have already looked through your proposal and drafts, so keep in mind that your defense will look more like a discussion than a presentation itself.
Capstone Project Sample
Here you can read one of our capstone project examples for nursing. We have commented on this paper with essential notes that you need to consider while writing. The paper was written in APA style and can serve as a great example to follow, especially if you are writing a capstone project for the first time. Please, note that the capstone project sample may differ from your requirements; we are giving you only a general view on how a written capstone project looks. Also, you can buy essay online cheap and check out other capstone paper examples.
Click the images to see their full size.
Tips to Write a Capstone Paper
- Strictly follow the given instructions. If the tutor requires you to use a particular structure or to organize text using bullets – do it. All these recommendations are given to make your text readable.
- Make sure that you have applied the right structure. Capstone projects are usually voluminous and require a clear structure.
- Create a powerful thesis statement that will show you potential.
- Plan your time wisely. Create a time schedule for completing your paper.
- Pick reliable sources only. The quality of your work will depend on the sources you use.
- Pay attention to the layout. Follow the required style and format, as the presentation is vital.
- Stick to one single style of writing and tone. The paper should be written using an academic style of writing – avoid a narrative or personal style.
- Constantly contact your supervisor to make sure that you are going the right way.
Mistakes to Avoid in a Capstone Project
- Don’t pick the topic that requires tons of calculations or complex concepts. If you will need to make a presentation of your project, the listeners will get bored from the numbers.
- Avoid repetitions and self-plagiarism (copying parts of text from your previous researches).
- Don’t underestimate the meaning of a capstone project – it may be as important as a thesis or dissertation.
- Don’t use long sentences. Make your writing laconic and to the point. A capstone project doesn’t require narrative skills, only academic writing skills, and involves accurate sentences which present a certain idea.
- Don’t skip doing proper proofreading and editing. Even a single grammatical or punctuation error may spoil the impression from a good capstone project.
How to Choose Capstone Project Topics
Choosing a topic is crucial for your capstone project—it has to be interesting, engaging and at least be somehow connected with your interests or hobbies. If you are wondering why, just imagine you need to write 45 pages on a topic you feel deadly bored about. Is that convincing enough?
1) The difficulty with choosing a topic for your capstone project is that it actually can be related to two or even more disciplines, not only one. So take your time and think what has fascinated you during your studies the most. If you have some notes left from previous years, you can look them through (of course, if you have a habit of writing questions that come to your head during a lecture). This is still not a topic, but at least you will find the direction to move in.
2) Now it’s time to actually choose the topic . You have the field of studies – let’s lay, literature and language. What do you need to do here is have a quick look at what you have been studying the whole course and form a related topic. To make the task easier, ask your counselor to give you a list of topics or review the works written previously in your department. You can base your topic on those you’ve found or come up with a completely unique one, but remember that you need it to be confirmed by your project counselor.
3) Don’t be afraid of changes. In the process of the research, most students find that their topic doesn’t quite suit the scientific reality they encounter. For example, if your topic was “symbols in Celtic love poetry,” you initially find out that the Celts weren’t very fond of writing love poetry, and most of their poems were about battles, power and might. But don’t be afraid, as this doesn’t mean you have to conduct new research or something—simply adjust the topic. If you have found reasons why the Celts didn’t write about love, then your topic should include this important discovery. It will read like this “Main reasons for avoiding the love topic.”
Do you have a better idea on how to write a capstone project? Share your opinion in the comment section below. The best and most useful secrets will be added to the article.
We hope that our guide and tips have given you a basic understanding of how to write a capstone project. All of this information is general, as every capstone project depends on your department requirements and program. We wish you to write a capstone project with ease!
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Style Guide: Graduate Thesis, Capstone Project, and Dissertation
- Introduction & Student Responsibilities
Introduction to Formatting
Required order of manuscript pages, formatting of your manuscript.
- Creating an Accessible Thesis
- Copyright and Use of Images
- Intellectual Property
- Using Human Research Subjects
- Depositing Your Manuscript on Dominican Scholar
- Go to Dominican Scholar
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IMPORTANT! The Guidelines take precedence over other style guides or department handbooks and example theses provided to you by your instructor. If there seems to be a serious conflict, check with the Library and have your manuscript advisors do the same.
Manuscript front matter, margin, pagination, and document structure requirements are specified throughout this guide, and must be observed as stated, no matter what other guidelines dictate. Remaining format issues are governed by standard publication manuals and/or standards of publication in your discipline.
Master’s Theses, Capstone Projects, and Culminating Projects
Because a manuscript or project is usually an objective, unbiased investigation based upon the author's scholarly work, it should be written in a formal scholarly manner appropriate to academic publications. It is important to be consistent in matters of style, usage, and punctuation. Consistency with the style, punctuation, headings, the use of capitalization, and the placement of figures and tables and their corresponding captions should be observed. The presentation of data should be clear and clutter-free, utilizing a legible font and size.
Some manuscripts from the MFA in Creative Writing are creative works and may require minor deviation from the Guidelines in order for creative expression. You are still responsible for creating a document that meets accessibility standards.
Observe the Guidelines as closely as possible and use the formatting tools in your word processing applications for creative styling. Meet with the Scholarly Communications Librarian if you need help with creative formatting.
Word Processing Applications
Word is a robust application that, like Google Docs, allows for shared documents and shared editing. With the desktop version of Word you can do all the formatting required for your manuscript.
If you need help the Library has created an ever growing suite of tutorials that specifically address formatting requirements.
Available to all students via their University Gmail account, Google Docs is an excellent word processing tool, especially if working on group projects. As good as Google Docs is, it is a simpler word processing application that cannot handle the formatting requirements for your thesis.
If you opt to use Google Docs to write the bulk of your manuscript, you will at some point need to download it as a MS Word document and finish the formatting in Word. It’s recommended that you wait until you are finished with writing your manuscript.
Also an excellent word processing application, but the Library does not support Pages and cannot advise you regarding the formatting of your manuscript using Pages.
Need Help with Formatting?
If you have any questions about Word or Google Docs contact us at [email protected] .
- General Formatting
- Copyright Statement
- Table of Contents
- List of Tables
- List of Figures
- Body of your Paper
Page Size and Margins
- The entire document is letter sized (8.5" x 11")
- Portrait orientation
- 1-inch margin on all sides (top, bottom, right, and left)
- Choose a font that is clear and business-like; avoid unusual or difficult to read fonts. We recommend using standard fonts like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.
- Use 12 point font size.
- Use double-spacing throughout your manuscript.
- Blockquotes are single-spaced
- Page numbers appear at the top right corner of each page
- Step by Step: Basic Set up of your paper in Google Docs
- Step by Step: Basic set up of your paper in MS Word
- Step by Step: Page Number Basics in MS Word
- Step by Step: Advanced Page Numbers in MS Word
- Do not use running heads in the final version of your manuscript
- Left aligned
- Indent the first line of each paragraph 0.5”
- When dividing paragraphs across pages, at least two lines of text should appear at the bottom of the page and at least two lines of text on the next page.
- For quotations longer than 40 words in length (block quotes)
- inset 0.5” from the left and right margin
- The In-text citation follows the last punctuation mark of the paragraph
- Step by Step: Formatting blockquotes in Google Docs
- Sections starting with a Major heading (Heading 1) should begin on a new page. Do not place a major heading in the middle of the page.
- Subheadings within a chapter do not begin on a new page unless the preceding page is filled.
- Subheadings at the bottom of a page require at least two lines of text following the heading, otherwise the heading should be pushed to the next page.
- Step by Step: Heading Styles in Google Docs
- Step by Step: Heading Styles in MS Word
Tables and Figures
- Figures may not appear on the title page or other introductory pages.
- Diagrams, drawings, graphs, charts, maps, photographs, or any other type of illustrations should be referred to in the manuscript as a Figure .
- Tables and figures must be referenced in your text.
- Tables and figures should follow their first reference in the text within a page or two at the most.
- If more clarity is provided by placing tables and figures in an appendix, this style is also acceptable. In this case, they should appear after the References.
- Figures should use word wrapping that is inline with the text.
- Figures should include Alt Text
- All tables and figures must conform to the margin requirements. Images can be resized to meet the margin requirements OR for large tables and figures the page may be landscape orientation.
- Do not use screenshots of tables from other sources in your work. If you have an image of a table from another source, recreate the table in your word processor.
- All tables and figures, even if there is only one, must be listed in a List of Tables and/or a List of Figures located on separate pages following the Table of Contents.
- The Lists of Tables and Figures should include a Table/Figure number along with descriptive text (usually a portion of the caption)
Captions and Numbering
- All tables and figures in your paper must include a proper caption located either above or below the table or figure. Be consistent in placement
- Tables and figures should be numbered and ordered sequentially as they appear in your paper
- Table and figures in appendices should be captioned and continue the numbering sequence used in the text
Large Tables and Figures
- Large tables or figures can be placed on the page in landscape orientation
- The top and bottom margins should be the same as on a regular page
- Step by Step: Flipping a page into landscape orientation in Google Docs
- Title is bold-faced
- Text is centered on the page
The title page has 3 sections:
- appears at the top of the page and has 3 lines (1 st line) Title (2 nd line) by (3 rd line) author name(s)
- centered vertically and horizontally on the page
- Use the following statement: A culminating [thesis or capstone project] submitted to the faculty of Dominican University of California in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of [degree name] in [major]
- has 3 lines (NOTE: do not include the numbers):
- Dominican University of California
- San Rafael, CA
- Your graduation year (e.g. 2022)
- Step by Step: Formatting Your Title Page in Google Docs
- Step by Step: Formatting your Title Page in MS Word
You automatically own the copyright to your work and no one may legally copy any part of it without your permission. You also may choose to use a Creative Commons copyright to give readers more flexibility with what they can do with your manuscript or sections of your manuscript. If you have questions about copyright options please contact The Scholarly Communications Librarian
- The copyright statement appears centered and at the top of the page
- Use the following statement, replacing the brackets with the appropriate information Copyright © [author's name] [year of publication]. All rights reserved
- The abstract states the purpose, design, and results of the research or a description of your project;
- written concisely, usually no more than 350 words
- not to exceed 1 page.
An acknowledgments page includes a short paragraph acknowledging those people who helped and supported you through the manuscript process. People have included instructors, advisors, parents, siblings, significant others, pets, etc.
Your manuscript must include a Table of Contents listing all major headings that appear including the Abstract, Acknowledgements, List of Tables, and List of Figures.
Page numbers listed in the table of contents correspond with the material presented in your manuscript. If you are asked to make revisions within your manuscript, make sure to check that the page numbers listed in the Table of Contents, List of Tables, and List of Figures are still correct. Any headings, subheadings, or captions listed in the front matter must match exactly with those that appear within the manuscript.
- Step by Step: Table of Contents in Google Docs
- If you have any tables in your manuscript you must include a List of Tables on it's own page after the Table of Contents
- The List of Tables includes each table (even if there is only one) listed sequentially as they appear in your paper
- Each item in the List includes the table number and a short description (usually the whole or a portion of the table caption) and the page number on which the table appears.
- Step by Step: Creating a List of Tables or List of Figures in Google Docs
- Step by Step: Creating Captions for Tables and Figures in MS Word
- Step by Step: Creating a List of Tables or List of Figures in MS Word
- The List of Figures includes each figure (even if there is only one) listed sequentially as they appear in your paper.
- Each item in the List of Figures includes the figure number and a short description (usually the whole or a portion of the table caption) and the page number on which it appears.
The body of your thesis is the main portion of your manuscript. Follow the general formatting as described under the General Formatting tab
IMPORTANT! The Guidelines take precedence over other style guides or department handbooks and example theses provided to you by your instructor. If there seems to be a serious conflict, check with the Library and have your manuscript advisors do the same.
- The References, Works Cited, or Bibliography heading is a major heading and the formatting should be the same as other major headings in the manuscript
- Use most appropriate citation style for your discipline (APA, Chicago, or MLA). Include hanging indents if that is indicated for your style
- If you are using a citation tool, such as RefWorks, it is the author's responsibility to make sure that citations are correct including fixing typos and capitalization when needed.
- An appendix should be introduced with a cover page bearing only the title of the appendix centered and 1" from the top of the page.
- The content of the appendix begins on the next page with the standard margins.
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- Next: Creating an Accessible Thesis >>
- Last Updated: Nov 18, 2022 11:27 AM
- URL: https://libguides.dominican.edu/thesis-and-capstone-guide
- MyU : For Students, Faculty, and Staff
Skills for Academic and Personal Wellbeing
No matter what you call it, a capstone project:
Is something you complete as an undergrad, usually in your senior year
Will allow you to deeply engage with a topic and showcase your subject knowledge
Is in partnership with instructors
Is a blend of in-depth research , reflection, and will evolve over many drafts
Can be 15 to 50+ pages in length and take months to complete
Can involve an internship, service-learning, lab work, portfolio, exhibit, collecting data in the field, or analyzing historical data
Capstone project instruction examples:
- English Capstone
- Math Capstone/Senior Project
- Communication Studies Capstone
- Sociology Major Project
- Geography Senior Project
- Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Senior Project
- Manage Your Time
- Manage Your Stress
- Manage Your Money
- Getting started as a U student
- Take Better Notes
- Boost Your Study Habits
- Concentration and Memory
- Capstone Senior Project
- Test Like an Ace
- Final Exam Prep
- Quick Study Tips
How to Write a Capstone Project?
05 May, 2020
7 minutes read
Author: Mathieu Johnson
Depending on your professor, he or she may define a capstone project as a capstone experience, a senior exhibition, or a culminating project. All of these terms refer to the assignment known as the capstone project. So what is a capstone project? Good question!
If you’ve never had to do one before, don’t worry—you surely have the skills to complete it. According to The Glossary of Education Reform, this particular type of assignment is “…a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience…”. Simply put, the goal of this assignment is to integrate a variety of skills and knowledge acquired throughout the length of an entire course.
Still wondering what is a capstone project? Here are a few more defining details. These types of projects are considered long-term and are assigned well before their due date. Students are often asked to select a topic of interest, conduct research, track their process, and create an original final project to share the entire process and findings. Capstone projects rarely culminate in a single paper. They often involve portfolios and/or a multimedia presentation of some sort as well as an oral presentation. Check out these capstone projects at Yale University.
While this type of assignment is for a single class, presentations may be presented in front of a panel of teachers or professors as well as community stakeholders. Capstone projects are long, involved, require a great deal of planning, and are often heavily weighted in a student’s overall grade. In short, they require students to demonstrate a wide variety of skills in a multi-stage assignment.
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Capstone Project Outline
When you first receive this type of assignment, it’s a good idea to sit down and brainstorm a capstone project outline. Taking the time to map out your approach will save a great deal of time later. This type of project requires a broad range of skills including the following:
- Media literacy
- Independent work
- Oral communication
Identify any weak areas early and develop a plan to tackle them head-on. Most professors allow students to select the best presentation method for their capstone project; therefore, you’ll have the ability to select a final product that you’ll enjoy doing. This could mean creating a public service announcement or perhaps a pamphlet to be distributed at a local event. It could also mean presenting your research at an appropriate local event. The first step in approaching what is a term paper is to consider your final product. Once you’ve determined where you’re going, it will be much easier to plot a path to get there.
Once you’ve determined your final outcome, it’s time to create a capstone project outline. Brainstorm the best sources for research. Consider creating questioners for professionals in the field you’re researching and make appointments to interview them to get primary source information. Consider investigating multiple forms of information including newspapers, magazines, journals, and other informational texts. Consider the problem from various viewpoints to ensure that you’re covering all aspects of your chosen topic.
Next, you’ll need to organize all your research into logical groups to present it in some way. Whether you create a multi-media presentation, give a lecture, create a brochure, or air a PSA, the information will need to be easily accessible to the audience and accurate.
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Capstone Project Format
Your capstone project format can take a variety of different shapes. Since each capstone project format may be different depending on the issue that you’re researching, it is very important to get approval for your idea from the teacher or professor. Before you begin any type of research, be sure that your project is in line with what the professor wants. Set up a meeting during office hours to review your goals, your approach, and your final product. Once you have approval, you’re good to go! Not sure how to approach your capstone project format? Here are some potential ideas:
- Creating a business plan for a product or service that would solve a current issue in the community; the plan will be presented and assessed to local industry leaders and community stakeholders
- Create an air a PSA concerning a local issue
- Write and illustrate a children’s book on an important issue; present the book to age-appropriate children and lead lessons on issues in the book
- Designing an app to help a specific population or address a specific community need
As you can see, a capstone project format can take a variety of different forms. While there is certainly writing involved in the “what is a capstone project”, the emphasis will be on the culminating project.
Capstone Project Writing
Once you’re finished with the capstone project format it’s time to get down to the capstone project writing. Depending on what your capstone project format it will depend upon the type of capstone project writing you’ll need to do. While some students will be focused on scripts and press releases, other capstone project writing will be more along the lines of formal reports or text for multi-media presentations.UTICA College has a great step by step guide for approaching all the parts of capstone projects. Whether you need to write a formal report or many smaller pieces of text for a brochure or oral presentation, the same rules apply. All capstone project writing should be grammatically perfect and well-organized.
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Hopefully, this guide has answered basic questions regarding what is a capstone project. Remember: this type of assignment is meant to be a culminating activity. This means that it will rely on all the skills you’ve learned throughout the course to make it a success. Choose your topic wisely; you’ll be spending a great deal of time researching information, organizing it, and presenting it. Planning out your approach and setting milestones for your project will be essential to its success. You’ll need to avoid procrastination and work diligently throughout the duration of the project. Ask your professor and/or mentor for help; they will be invaluable resources during this important assignment.
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What Is a Capstone Project? Meaning, Importance, and Goals
A capstone project is integral to the college degree educational program or any certification courses. It can take many different structures; however, its purpose remains the same. The capstone project is a unique chance to do independent gathering research to devise an innovative answer for a real-world issue. While a project of this degree and scale can be tested, it can likewise be exceptionally fulfilling. The capstone project is normally the last task. It assumes a vital part in preparing students for the world of work thanks to its practical applications and ability to improve students’ expert information and abilities.
What Is a Capstone Project?
A capstone project is a final assignment that students must complete in the last year of their academic program. It requires different scholarly exercises. This project assists young people with figuring out how to find and analyze information and how to function with it proficiently. It has a wide variety of structures. This implies that a capstone program can be submitted in different structures, including a multimedia presentation, film, execution, or paper. A capstone research project is the same as a college thesis. Nobody can argue that this sort of work is a bit more complicated as composing a capstone project includes a wider range of exercises like critical thinking, deep analysis, and the capacity to utilize various media.
Capstone projects are generally developed to energize students’ critical thinking, problem-solving, oral communication, research, and teamwork abilities. Additionally, thanks to this project, students figure out how to connect with the local area and break down significant issues, problems, and ideas. Some tasks incorporate outside-of-school experiences, similar to interviews and scientific observations.
Why Is Capstone Project Important?
Many factors make sense of its significance, and one of the principal factors is that it expands the austerity of academic studies during the senior year. How? You might ask. By and large, students take more straightforward courses for their last or senior year, which can lead to learning disappointment or inadequate preparation for their college work. Along these lines, a capstone project can assist with expanding preparation for college and work, diminish the deficiency of getting the hang of during the senior year and encourage productive work and new fascinating encounters with regard to science or different disciplines.
Also, it increases individual inspiration. Tasks like this require creative work on themes that are fascinating to an individual, which boosts inspiration.
Capstone projects are an incredible approach to showing the capability of learning. This sort of work can assist youngsters with deciding their capability and preparation to show what they have realized through the course of their project.
What is the Purpose of a Capstone Project?
- It Helps Build Your CV and Makes you Stand Out as a Candidate Undertaking a capstone project demonstrates to prospective employers that you’re something other than a potential competitor with fundamental academic qualifications. It shows your dedication to an issue that requires time and effort, as well as severe impressive skill, hard-working attitude, and experience working in a practical, active setting. One of the most impressive advantages of finishing your capstone project is that it assists you with standing apart from the group while applying for jobs. As it requires a long investment to finish, capstone projects are not conveyed by all students. Also, because it is a broad piece of paper, you can refer to it in your resume. Depending on the topic you picked, this paper proves that your correspondence, exploration, and project management abilities are great. Likewise, it shows your insight into the topic.
- It Offers Valuable Practical Experience As a graduate, getting a job can be difficult as many jobs require practical experience. Many graduates are areas of strength for theoretically reasonable candidates. However, an absence of applied knowledge in practical settings can make it trying to show such experience and abilities on their CV or in an interview. Another advantage of a capstone project is that it proves you have both theoretical and practical experience. You probably won’t consider this to be a significant advantage. However, it is. In this day and age, employers are searching for candidates that don’t just have the information to finish the work yet have practical experience as well. This is trying for students, as they have very few chances to acquire this experience. However, as a capstone paper is a project that forces you to leave your comfort zone and search for reliable sources of information, you gain precisely this practical experience. Whether you will talk with a nearby power or gather information on the field, you will level up your abilities massively.
- It Hones Specific Skills Highly Valued by Employers The capstone project envelops a genuine working society that plans to instill a bunch of specific skills that are both highly esteemed by employers and will, at last, work well for students in their careers. Assuming you choose to step into the working world or advance your studies, the way that you support your skills is crucial. You polish your skills with each paper you work on. Be that as it may, given the complexity and length of a capstone project, you further develop more skill classes. These sorts of tasks force you to further develop your critical thinking skills, as you need to choose relevant, valid, and true information. You could overcome difficulties along the way, yet they will assist you with helping your critical thinking skills. Assuming that you will interview somebody, you will level up your oral communication abilities through this experience.
- Overall Development of Students The strict meaning of capstone is the stone put on the structure’s highest point to finish its construction. Essentially, a capstone project refers to all students advancing through their course, coming full circle into a project. This project intends to help students tackle challenging problems, and improve relational abilities, public speaking, planning, teamwork, and so on. Fundamentally, to plan students for their work life. Students explore various ideas and utilize their abilities while doing this project. It additionally assists students with encountering learning techniques, including research, internships, and so forth.
The cycle of Doing A Capstone Project
- Select a topic that interests you and can get endorsed by the educator.
- Do a thorough literature review
- Conduct your broad research for the chosen topic.
- Present your outcomes
Goals of a Capstone Project
After completing the project, you will understand that you have developed areas of strength for a capacity and a deep understanding of the topic. Whenever got some information about academic grades, getting a passing mark on the project will likewise help you in your career. Thus, a capstone project will show your capacities.
The capstone project will likewise expand your presentation abilities. Many students can research, write, and present a decent project; however, they stumble while verbally presenting their project. So this is vital expertise.
This project intends to prepare you for your expert life, which you will be after you complete the project.
Capstone project vs. Thesis
Most believe that a capstone project and a thesis are very similar but not valid. The Thesis underscores more on an exploration situated approach for evaluating students’ figuring out capacities. Then again, a capstone project evaluates students’ status and type.
Similarities between a capstone project and a Thesis are that they require data collection, project execution, and giving the outcome.
In a thesis, students should add new thoughts and learnings. Then again, a capstone project expects students to gather data and give results concerning subjects of their advantage or, as of now, shown in their formal education.
A capstone project could appear to be troublesome. It is the last year project students need to finish and convey. Nonetheless, not all students could see its advantages and significance. A capstone project will force you to leave your comfort zone to examine a subject, conduct interviews, or gather information. Furthermore, the whole excursion from beginning to hugely work on your paper and finishing it will help you. It increases the value of your resume as it demonstrates you had the diligence and inspiration to finish it. It likewise demonstrates that you acquired down-to-earth insight outside the college, something managers are searching for.
To wrap things up, a capstone project assists you with further developing your abilities hugely. It will greatly help you to hone your oral communication, project management, critical thinking, and examination abilities while working on your capstone project. If your looking forward to upskills in new-age technologies like Business Analytics, Data Science, Product Management, Digital HR, etc and apply your learnings via a Capstone Project,
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Master's Capstone Writing: Home
Introduction, getting started, proofreading and editing, paper review appointments, program-specific capstone tips, related resource.
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Many—although not all—master’s students complete their program with a capstone course. These capstone courses look different depending on the program and program learning outcomes. However, there are some common characteristics in these capstone courses, one of which is that it usually requires intensive writing throughout the course. Students need to use all of the skills they have learned thus far in this culmination of their degree, often writing and developing one final capstone throughout the entire capstone course.
With this in mind, we have collected Writing Center resources that will be particularly useful for master’s students writing their capstone. We also have listed resources that will be helpful for students in particular programs. Additionally, if you are looking for help on something specific that you don’t see here, be sure to reach out and ask at [email protected] .
If you’re a master’s student and you’re not sure you are in the right place, note that master’s program capstones can be called by many different names—capstone project, master’s project, capstone, final project, scholarly project, case study, treatise, and research project—although the resources we’ve identified here should be useful for all master’s capstones, no matter what they are called.
You will most likely be writing, developing, and revising your capstone from week to week throughout the entire capstone course. Thorough preparation is essential to set a foundation for the writing you’ll be doing. To help you take notes, organize your thoughts, and research, use these resources:
- Our Goal Setting pages offer suggestions about how to set and achieve your writing goals as you work on longer projects, like the master’s capstone.
- Our Prewriting pages include tips for critical reading, taking notes, organizing ideas, and outlining.
- The Prewriting Techniques: Taking the First Steps recorded webinar will also give you examples of how to lay the foundation for your writing.
- Episode 34, Taking Care of Yourself with Mindful Writing , and the follow-up Episode 35 will help you learn how to fit writing your capstone in with the rest of your life via mindful writing.
- Watch the recorded webinar Walden Assignment Prompts: Learn the Requirements to ensure you fully understand the expectations for your capstone, which will be outlined in the grading rubric, prompt, and other information in your course. Even if the final rubric for your capstone is posted in the last week of the course’s resources, we suggest you download it now to ensure you’re fulfilling the final expectations for your capstone as you develop it each week.
Also note that you may be asked to write one of the following kinds of documents as part of your capstone.
- Presentations webpages
- Annotated Bibliographies webpages ; Annotated Bibliographies recorded webinar
- Literature Reviews pages ; Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography Basics recorded webinar
- Executive Summaries webpages
Of course, don’t forget to use the Library for help researching too!
Writing your first draft may seem overwhelming, but many capstone courses break down the process across multiple weeks in the capstone course. Remember to take it one step at a time and know that you will have time to revise once you’ve written a first draft. To help you with your writing, use these resources:
Developing Your Capstone
- Our Drafting pages will help you with essential components of your capstone, like an introduction, conclusion, and thesis statement.
- Our Paragraphs pages will show you how to develop your ideas into academic paragraphs, and you can see even more examples in the recorded webinar Using the MEAL Plan to Write and Revise Academic Paragraphs .
- Episode 26 of our WriteCast podcast, Wrestling with Writer’s Block , will help you overcome any writer’s block you’re experiencing.
- Our Paper Review service offers you the opportunity to receive individualized feedback throughout the drafting process on your writing progress and goals.
Using Sources in Your Capstone
- Our Paraphrase pages and the recorded webinar Paraphrasing Source Information will help you paraphrase sources successfully, since paraphrasing evidence is often preferred in master’s capstones.
- Our Synthesis pages can help show you how to synthesize in your capstone, since at this point in your program you’ll also be expected to synthesize rather than summarize sources.
- Our Citing Sources Properly pages will ensure you are citing your sources, including just the right amount of citations throughout your writing.
Because you’ll be working on your capstone over multiple weeks, you’ll be expected and have ample opportunity to revise. Revision helps clarify and strengthen your writing, so you’ll be spending just as much if not more time revising than you spent writing your first draft. Use the following resources to help you with revision strategies:
- Use our Revising pages to make sure that you revise both at the paragraph level and for overall organization and clarity. This might be a longer paper than you’ve written in the past, so you have to be careful that it is organized clearly and effectively.
- The 5 Rs of Revision , WriteCast podcast episode 14, will help you learn about revision strategies.
- The Improving Your Writing: Strategies for Revising, Proofing, and Using Feedback recorded webinar will demonstrate revision strategies for you and give you tips on using instructor feedback to revise.
Once you’re near the end of your course, you’ll need to polish, proof, and edit your capstone to ensure you are not only following APA and grammar rules but also don’t have any typos or unclear phrasing. Use the following resources and strategies to help you proof and edit your capstone:
- Our Proofreading pages outline a few proofing strategies, like reading aloud, printing a hardcopy, using spell checkers, etc.
- Speaking of spell checkers, try using Grammarly to catch typos and spelling errors.
- Use our Common Reference List Entries page , comparing each of your reference entries to the corresponding example so you can make adjustments.
Use our Citation Variations page , comparing each of your citations to the corresponding example so you can make adjustments.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to set out drafting and revising your master’s capstone project alone. We are here to support your writing progress and overall skill development. In fact, students who make three or more paper review appointments per term are statistically more likely to see progress in academic success. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and to make multiple paper review appointments with our writing instructors. If you are interested, be sure to check our resources our paper review appointments and how to incorporate multiple appointments within your schedule .
There are some other common tips and resources we can provide for master’s students’ capstones based on their program. If your program is in any of the following colleges, be sure to note these tips and resources too.
Capstones for College of Education and Human Sciences
Major assessments: For some students, portions of their capstone and capstone course may also be a major assessment. Our tips above apply in these cases too, but you may also find the recorded webinar Writing for the MAT, MSEd, EdD, & EdS Major Assessments helpful.
Capstones for College of Health Sciences and Public Policy
Literature reviews : Note that many programs in this college ask students to write a literature review . Sometimes these literature reviews focus more on summary or annotating sources than the synthesis -focused literature reviews we talk about in the Writing Center. In those cases, be sure to follow your instructor’s directions and preferences, as well as the expectations set in the capstone rubric.
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Created by the Great Schools Partnership , the GLOSSARY OF EDUCATION REFORM is a comprehensive online resource that describes widely used school-improvement terms, concepts, and strategies for journalists, parents, and community members. | Learn more »
Also called a capstone experience , culminating project , or senior exhibition , among many other terms, a capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students, typically during their final year of high school or middle school, or at the end of an academic program or learning-pathway experience . While similar in some ways to a college thesis, capstone projects may take a wide variety of forms, but most are long-term investigative projects that culminate in a final product, presentation, or performance. For example, students may be asked to select a topic, profession, or social problem that interests them, conduct research on the subject, maintain a portfolio of findings or results, create a final product demonstrating their learning acquisition or conclusions (a paper, short film, or multimedia presentation, for example), and give an oral presentation on the project to a panel of teachers, experts, and community members who collectively evaluate its quality.
Capstone projects are generally designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting—i.e., skills that will help prepare them for college, modern careers, and adult life. In most cases, the projects are also interdisciplinary, in the sense that they require students to apply skills or investigate issues across many different subject areas or domains of knowledge. Capstone projects also tend to encourage students to connect their projects to community issues or problems, and to integrate outside-of-school learning experiences, including activities such as interviews, scientific observations, or internships.
While capstone projects can take a wide variety of forms from school to school, a few examples will help to illustrate both the concept and the general educational intentions:
- Writing, directing, and filming a public-service announcement that will be aired on public-access television
- Designing and building a product, computer program, app, or robot to address a specific need, such as assisting the disabled
- Interning at a nonprofit organization or a legislator’s office to learn more about strategies and policies intended to address social problems, such as poverty, hunger, or homelessness
- Conducting a scientific study over several months or a year to determine the ecological or environmental impact of changes to a local habitat
- Researching an industry or market, and creating a viable business plan for a proposed company that is then “pitched” to a panel of local business leaders
For related discussions, see authentic learning , portfolio , relevance , and 21st century skills .
As a school-reform strategy, capstone projects are often an extension of more systemic school-improvement models or certain teaching philosophies or strategies, such as 21st century skills, community-based learning , proficiency-based learning , project-based learning , or student-centered learning , to name just a few.
The following are a few representative educational goals of capstone projects:
- Increasing the academic rigor of the senior year. Historically, high school students have taken a lighter course load or left school early during their twelfth-grade year, which can contribute to learning loss or insufficient preparation for first-year college work. A more academically and intellectually challenging senior year, filled with demanding but stimulating learning experiences such as a capstone project, the reasoning goes, can reduce senior-year learning loss , keep students in school longer (or otherwise engaged in learning), and increase preparation for college and work.
- Increasing student motivation and engagement. The creative nature of capstone projects, which are typically self-selected by students and based on personal interests, can strengthen student motivation to learn, particularly during a time (twelfth grade) when academic motivation and engagement tend to wane.
- Increasing educational and career aspirations. By involving students in long-term projects that intersect with personal interests and professional aspirations, capstone projects can help students with future planning, goal setting, postsecondary decisions, and career exploration—particularly for those students who may be unfocused, uncertain, or indecisive about their post-graduation plans and aspirations.
- Improving student confidence and self-perceptions. Capstone projects typically require students to take on new responsibilities, be more self-directed, set goals, and follow through on commitments. Completing such projects can boost self-esteem, build confidence, and teach students about the value of accomplishment. Students may also become role models for younger students, which can cultivate leadership abilities and have positive cultural effects within a school.
- Demonstrating learning and proficiency. As one of many educational strategies broadly known as demonstrations of learning , capstone projects can be used to determine student proficiency (in the acquisition of knowledge and skills) or readiness (for college and work) by requiring them to demonstrate what they have learned over the course of their project
In recent years, the capstone-project concept has also entered the domain of state policy. In Rhode Island, for example, the state’s high school graduation requirements stipulate that seniors must complete two out of three assessment options, one of which can be a capstone project. Several other states require students to complete some form of senior project, while in other states such projects may be optional, and students who complete a capstone project may receive special honors or diploma recognition.
Most criticism of or debate about capstone projects is not focused on the strategy itself, or its intrinsic or potential educational value, but rather on the quality of its execution—i.e., capstone projects tend to be criticized when they are poorly designed or reflect low academic standards, or when students are allowed to complete relatively superficial projects of low educational value. In addition, if teachers and students consider capstone projects to be a formality, lower-quality products typically result. And if the projects reflect consistently low standards, quality, and educational value year after year, educators, students, parents, and community members may come to view capstone projects as a waste of time or resources.
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Capstone options, process and deadlines.
Students select one of three options for fulfilling their capstone requirement: a strategic communication plan, a media project, or a research thesis. Each option entails a two-course sequence, which should be completed during the last two semesters of a student’s time in the program. (These two courses must be taken consecutively over two semesters and cannot be taken concurrently during the same semester.)
Strategic Political Communication Project
Students interested in developing a strategic communication plan for their capstone project enroll in SMPA 6220, Strategic Practicum, during their penultimate semester in the program, as the first 3 credits of the capstone experience. This course does not count as an elective for students opting to complete a strategic communication plan for their capstone project. Students in SMPA 6220 work with a group to complete a strategic communication project.
Students then enroll in SMPA 6298 for the following semester, during which the students develop their own individual strategic communication plan on a topic of their choosing. Students will apply their knowledge of the theory and techniques of strategic political communication, as well as related subject area knowledge, to design a strategic communication campaign grounded in real- world, real-time issues and data. The student will be required to research the issues and actors associated with a specific campaign and context to identify the critical points in the decision-making process and the key constituencies with interests in each issue, and then develop theory-based communication strategies which s/he regards as most likely to achieve the stated objective. Electoral campaigns for political office are not suitable for this project, though electoral strategies may be included as one component of a broader effort where appropriate.
In a bit more detail, the student will identify a cause or issue objective and design a strategic communication plan to achieve it. This plan should include, at a minimum, a contextual analysis of the issue and a statement of the objective; an identification of the key constituencies and decision-makers who might come into play as a strategic plan is implemented and of the interests, significance and points of access for each; a critical review of the available techniques that might be applied to the problem at hand; and, most importantly, a clearly delineated strategy and implementation program that combines all of these elements. Components of that plan should include schedules, budgets (revenues as well as expenditures), sources of revenue, research, media and/or lobbying plans, examples of communication materials, and such other items as the reader and/or the adviser may regard as essential to success.
Students who opt to complete a research thesis for their capstone register in two consecutive semesters of SMPA 6999 (3 credits each semester, for a total of 6 credits) during their final two semesters in the program.
The thesis is expected to be an original contribution to scholarly knowledge. It should show the student’s ability to identify key questions and debates in the literature, formulate research questions, think conceptually, critically, and rigorously, and conduct research using quantitative or qualitative methodologies. The final thesis should be between 50-80 pages in length (double-spaced). Before the end of the second semester and a student is enrolled in SMPA 6999, their thesis must be defended orally before the student’s capstone committee. The thesis defense should be scheduled with enough time to allow for the completion of any necessary revisions that are identified during the defense. Master’s theses are required to be registered electronically with the GW library; please refer to the details and deadlines for electronic submission . We recommend that defenses be held at least two weeks before the deadline for electronic submission to provide ample time for students to complete any necessary revisions. Once the committee has determined that the student has satisfactorily completed their thesis, the student needs to prepare the final approved thesis for electronic submission and complete the ETD Approval Form, which must be signed by the thesis director and submitted to CCAS.
- Details on electronic submission of the thesis
- Guidelines for formatting master’s theses
Prior to the end of the student’s second-semester, thesis candidates should find an SMPA faculty member willing to be their adviser and have them approve a brief one page proposal outlining the Research Question, proposed methodology, and tentative timeline for the project. After the advisor has approved the proposal, it should then be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies.
The student then needs to find a second reader for their thesis in consultation with their adviser. This should be done no later than the first two weeks of the student’s third semester, and ideally much earlier.
The student should work closely with the adviser during their second year while completing the thesis, but in general the third semester (typically the fall of the second year) should be spent putting together the literature review and research design and collecting sample data if that is relevant to the project. The final semester typically entails the main data collection and analysis, write-up of the full thesis, and defense.
Students who opt to complete a media project register in two consecutive semesters of SMPA 6297 (3 credits each semester, for a total of 6 credits) during their final two semesters in the program.
The media capstone project may be a short documentary, investigative media project, or any other media project agreed upon with the capstone committee. The final project must be research-based and adhere to professional norms specific to the project as determined by the adviser and reader(s). The format may be written, web-based, audio, or video. For example, a student may choose to produce a short documentary for which they will do all the research, writing, filming, and editing. Another example would be writing and producing a podcast written about a topic on which the student has conducted an original, in-depth investigation.
Before the start of the first semester of SMPA 6297, students should identify an SMPA faculty member who agrees to serve as their capstone adviser. In consultation with their adviser, students develop a short proposal (suggested length 2-3 pages) describing the topic, production plan, final product, and estimated timeline for completion. This proposal should be completed by the second week of the first semester in which the student is enrolled in SMPA 6297. During the first four weeks a student is enrolled in the first semester of SMPA 6297, students should also identify an additional faculty member who agrees serve as a “reader” on their capstone committee. Both subject area and technical expertise should be considered when identifying faculty members to serve on a project’s committee. Students are expected to consult regularly with the capstone adviser and reader during the two semesters they are enrolled in SMPA 6297 and working on their media project.
The final media project must be presented in a public session to a faculty committee consisting of the adviser and the reader(s). The project will be judged on both its substantive content and the style and quality of the presentation of the media project.
The presentation of the media project must occur at least two weeks prior to the l ast day of the semester to provide adequate time for the student to incorporate any necessary revisions identified during the oral defense.
Selecting an Advisor and Committee
Students should consult with the SMPA Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) during their first year in the program to discuss capstone options. Once a student has determined the capstone option they will complete and the topic their capstone will likely focus on, students should identify SMPA faculty members with relevant subject area and technical/methodological expertise. Once a student has identified a faculty member who would be a good fit as an adviser for their capstone project, the student should reach out to that faculty member to schedule a time to discuss their idea for the capstone and inquire about their availability to serve on the committee.
In consultation with their adviser, students next identify and reach out to additional faculty members to inquire about serving as the other members of the capstone committee (i.e., “readers”). Students pursuing a research thesis select two additional committee members, one of which should also be an SMPA faculty member. The second reader can be a faculty member from any department at GW. Students pursuing a strategic communication plan or media project need only select one additional committee member to serve as a reader; however, they have the option of including a second reader.
At least two members of all capstone committees must be SMPA faculty (full-time or part-time), whereas the third member can be selected from other departments at GW. Ideally, students’ capstone committees will be comprised of faculty whose subject area and technical expertise complement one another and are relevant to the focus of the capstone.
Capstone Proposal Form
Students must submit the Capstone Proposal form including a brief description of the proposed project topic and timeline, with the name of the adviser and, if already determined, the name(s) of the reader(s). For students pursuing theses or media projects, this form should be submitted by the end of the second week of the first semester that they are enrolled in the capstone sequence. For students opting to complete a strategic communication plan, the proposal should be submitted before the end of the semester they are enrolled in SMPA 6220 (preferably by mid-semester).
Submit the Capstone Proposal Form
Once the committee has determined that a student has satisfied the capstone requirement, the adviser should email the Director of Graduate Studies who will enter the final grade into the system.
For students to qualify to graduate, all degree requirements must be reported completed in the system no later than:
- May 15, for Spring Graduation
- January 15, for Fall Graduation
- August 15, for Summer Graduation
OMPARE THE PATRONAGE AND CIVIL SERVICE SYSTEMS AND ANALYZE THE IMPACT OF EACH ON A PUBLIC SECTOR AGENCY. essayassist.space. Vote. 0. r/capstone_project. Join. • 47 min. ago.
Length of Capstone Projects Capstone Projects vary in length, but you can expect to spend about 4 to 8 weeks working on your project, making revisions, and reviewing the work of your peers. Most Capstone Projects require about 40 hours of total work time. Awards and incentives
The Capstone is a culminating academic project experience that is completed within the confines of a semester-length course. Several Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) fields either require a capstone or offer the option to pursue one. In addition to the information below, review Guide to the ALM Capstone Project website. Types of Capstones
How long does an MBA capstone project take? Specific length requirements vary between programs, but most capstones require 1-2 semesters to complete. Some may last the duration of the program's final year, while others take place over one semester. What is a great company for an MBA capstone analysis project?
The capstone project is usually the final assignment and plays a vital role in preparing students for the world of work thanks to its practical applications and ability to help hone students' professional knowledge and skills. At York University in Toronto, Canada, things are a little different.
How Long Does it Take to Complete a Capstone Project? Although this will vary from school to school, generally a capstone project will be as short as a 10-week quarter to as long as two semesters depending on the rigor and requirements of the graduate program.
The gold standard for minimum length of time to complete a capstone project is 10-weeks. Waiting until the last minute to study a topic to clear for graduation might derail a student's graduation candidacy to complete his/her degree on time. CAPSTONE PROJECT MANUAL 8 .
The Capella dissertation is the traditional five-chapter written document. The doctoral capstone is presented in two parts: A deliverable, which could be a portfolio, a paper of publishable length, or a product such as a change management plan, policy manual, software product, application, or curriculum.
A capstone project is a culminating assignment, on which students usually work on during their final year in school or at the end of the academic program. It requires different intellectual activities. This project helps young people learn how to find and analyze information and how to work with it efficiently. It has a wide variety of forms.
How long is a capstone project? This will depend on the tutor's requirements and usually is approximately forty pages long or more. You will be given plenty of time to write it. Along with the writing process, students are frequently required to make a presentation (also known as a defense) of their project.
For quotations longer than 40 words in length (block quotes) inset 0.5" from the left and right margin; The In-text citation follows the last punctuation mark of the paragraph ... [thesis or capstone project] submitted to the faculty of Dominican University of California in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of [degree ...
A capstone project can go by many names: senior project or paper, major project, final paper. No matter what you call it, a capstone project: ... Can be 15 to 50+ pages in length and take months to complete ...
Students are often asked to select a topic of interest, conduct research, track their process, and create an original final project to share the entire process and findings. Capstone projects rarely culminate in a single paper. They often involve portfolios and/or a multimedia presentation of some sort as well as an oral presentation.
A capstone project accordingly is the crowning jewel of a student's high school or college career. It encapsulates what they have learned while acknowledging their core interests. Most capstone projects are long papers. On the high school or collegiate level, a student may write a paper dozens of pages in length.
A capstone project is a final assignment that students must complete in the last year of their academic program. It requires different scholarly exercises. This project assists young people with figuring out how to find and analyze information and how to function with it proficiently. It has a wide variety of structures.
To help you take notes, organize your thoughts, and research, use these resources: Our Goal Setting pages offer suggestions about how to set and achieve your writing goals as you work on longer projects, like the master's capstone. Our Prewriting pages include tips for critical reading, taking notes, organizing ideas, and outlining.
Capstone Design Project Course 2022 held jointly with Taiwan Tech. miragenews. 1. 0. r/capstone_project. Join. • 3 days ago.
Prior to conducting the Capstone project a student must have completed at least eight (8) courses toward the degree and should be in good academic standing in the program. A student taking 430.800 Capstone Project for GIS needs to plan well in advance of conducting the project and registering for the class. ... The length of the proposal should ...
Capstone projects are generally designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting—i.e., skills that will help prepare them for college, modern careers, and adult life.
The media capstone project may be a short documentary, investigative media project, or any other media project agreed upon with the capstone committee. ... In consultation with their adviser, students develop a short proposal (suggested length 2-3 pages) describing the topic, production plan, final product, and estimated timeline for completion ...