Capstone Projects for Nursing Programs

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Updated December 2, 2022 · 3 Min Read

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Theresa Granger

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Capstone courses function as a bridge between the end of school and the beginning of a career, allowing nursing students to put what they've learned into practice. As the name suggests, students complete capstones toward the end of their nursing training. Not every nursing program requires a capstone, but those that do generally culminate in a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.

Each nursing program sets their own requirements. While capstone formats differ between programs, they typically consist of an evidence-based practice formal paper or presentation. Students might complete their capstone projects as team leaders, and BSN candidates may present their papers to a faculty panel. Projects could include case studies, program evaluations, and policy analyses.

The focus on evidence-based practice allows students to apply research and experiential evidence toward solving a healthcare problem. For example, candidates may develop intervention strategies that promote health, improve outcomes, enhance quality of life, and foster safe practices for patients.

Capstone goals center on the application of knowledge gained during nursing training programs, including topics related to leadership , management, research, theories, and evidence-based practice, along with the strategies needed to transition from students to baccalaureate-level nurses.

Choosing Your Nursing Capstone Topic

When selecting a capstone topic, students should evaluate their interests, strengths, and weaknesses, along with their chosen nursing specialty area. Luther College recommends that students with lower GPAs and weaker nursing skills consider a basic medical-surgical topic. Those with strong clinical skills and high GPAs might choose emergency or intensive care medicine, although some students might prefer outpatient topics, such as clinical services, long-term care, or public health. However, this is simply an example of one school's approach, and readers should keep in mind that each school sets its own policies and recommendations.

Asking for guidance from faculty, supervisors, preceptors, and fellow students also helps narrow down capstone topics. Advisors can also provide assistance in choosing an appropriate capstone site, helping with questions of geographical location, facility size, patient population, and care delivery model.

Students develop and learn the skills needed to complete their capstones throughout their training. These include organization and time management, knowledge of evidence-based practice, writing, and critical thinking. They also learn to conduct literature searches, identify research designs, and evaluate evidence.

Completing Your Nursing Capstone

Capstone formats and completion times widely vary between programs. Students at Luther College and Purdue University Northwest complete their capstones in 4-5 weeks, while Ferris State University specifies a timeframe of 30 hours of online classes and 90 hours of applied project work. Case Western Reserve University's capstone spans 10 weeks.

Regardless of the program, most students follow a PICO format for project proposal questions of inquiry: population, intervention, comparison or condition, and outcome.

Some universities allow capstone projects to be completed in teams, in which students develop and implement the project. Capstone components may include defining the project and the team leader's role, selecting team members, and formulating the project plan.

In addition to the skills previously referenced, such as knowledge of evidence-based care, critical thinking, and effective writing, capstone courses hone leadership and management abilities These include mastering therapeutic communication, applying leadership and management concepts, and developing collaborative relationships and working on multidisciplinary teams.

Presenting Your Nursing Capstone

The capstone process culminates in a paper or presentation that measures students' skills in communication, information dissemination, and application of evidence-based practice skills. Members of the public may attend.

Utilizing the poster format, students commonly use three panels to illustrate: (1) the background, problem, and purpose; (2) methodology; and (3) 2-3 key findings and implications. Students who present using PowerPoint on a laptop or other device should pay attention to time limits, planning for one slide per minute, and verify that equipment and internet connectivity are available.

Visuals like graphs, figures, and bullet points are more effective than large blocks of text . Students should practice presenting in front of others to ensure that they thoroughly know their content and can answer questions. Backing up a copy of a PowerPoint presentation and printing out copies or transparencies guards against last-minute glitches.

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How is a nursing capstone graded.

Capstone grading methods differ between programs, with some issuing letter grades and others using a pass/no pass system. Grades typically hinge on a percentage basis of the project's written sections, the final proposal, and the presentation. Faculty evaluate how students execute the capstone course objectives, which may include the following:

Problem identification related to nursing practice, administration, policy, or education

Theoretical research and literature review, critical analysis and synthesis of literature and research findings, recommendations for evidence-based practice, discussion of implications regarding nursing roles, research, policy, and education, professional and civil collaboration and communication, use of the nursing process: assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation, compliance with the nursing code of ethics, including ethical use of technology.

Students' presentation skill evaluation criteria include exhibiting thorough preparation and knowledge of the subject matter, clear and concise communication, adherence to any time limits, ability to answer questions and cite references, and persuasiveness.

What is the Difference Between a Nursing Capstone and a Thesis?

Students complete capstones individually or in groups, while thesis projects must be done alone. Capstone project time lengths span between four and 12 weeks, while graduate students work on their thesis projects throughout their 2- to 3-year programs. Graduate thesis courses generally take place over 1-2 semesters to keep students on track.

Finally, capstone topics evaluate current issues and theories; thesis students incorporate existing case studies and literature while exploring and arguing for their own original research. Some schools require students to publish their thesis papers in a healthcare journal.

Reviewed By:

Theresa Granger

Theresa Granger, Ph.D., MN, NP-C With over two decades of teaching and clinical practice as a family nurse practitioner, Dr. Granger is an expert in nursing education and clinical practice at all levels of education (associate, baccalaureate, and graduate). She has published and lectured extensively on nursing education and clinical practice-related content. Her expertise ranges from student advising and mentoring to curricular and content design (both on ground and online) to teaching and formal course delivery. Dr. Granger is one of the founding faculty members of the University of Southern California’s first ever fully online graduate family nurse practitioner program . is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Capstone Project Proposal: What It Is And How to Write One

capstone project proposal

What would be your reaction if you spent months carrying out a school project, only for it to be thrown out on grounds of being irrelevant, inadmissible, or downright outrageous? Not very happy, I would say. To avoid such scenarios and censor the type of projects being carried out, schools require that every student taking this kind of an assignment to submit a capstone project proposal first.

Every capstone project begins with a project proposal. It is submitted to your instructor or school panel that reviews and either approves or rejects it. Thus, you can also think of a proposal as a plan or project blueprint.

Given that the capstone project proposal is integral to your success in the whole thing, we at Help for Assessment are here to show you how to do it properly.

Our expertise in all forms of academic writing includes a specialty in capstone projects, which is why we’re the perfect people to help you. We will also   do your capstone project proposal for you at very affordable prices. Visit our homepage to learn more about us and what we can do for you.

Back to the capstone project proposal guide. This article will cover all the main aspects of how to write it including:

What is a Capstone Project Proposal? 

what is a capstone project proposal in college

A capstone project proposal is a brief document that outlines what your capstone project is about, the steps you intend to follow while doing it, the resources you will need, and an outline of the project itself. It is more or less your blueprint for the entire project.

The purpose of a capstone project proposal is to help your instructor understand what your project is about. In the case where you are seeking assistance from the school such as funding or the use of school facilities, the proposal helps to convince them of why those resources should be allocated to you.

The proposal is also a big help to you as a student. Before you commit a lot of time and resources to the project, it forces you to take a look ahead at where you're going, what you want to achieve, and the investment you will need to put in to do that.

Capstone projects vary widely from discipline to discipline, but the proposal follows a standard format. Your instructor might provide you with a template and accompanying instructions, or they may not.

In any case, there are certain qualities you need to aim for if your proposal is to be successfully approved.

Qualities of a Good Capstone Project Proposal

qualities of a good capstone project

The length of a good capstone project proposal should be between 1 and 4 pages.

Anything longer is discouraged unless your instructor says otherwise. Thus, refine it until it is concise, clear, and direct. 

2. Structured

The information flow should be clear and logical. It should be a document that a person can scan through in minutes and get what you’re talking about.

Thus, present it in an easy to understand manner.

3. Straightforward

The person reviewing your proposal wants answers to questions such as:

What is your project about? How will you do it? What resources will you need, and how will you get them? Who will be involved? 

Provide these answers simply and directly in your proposal and you stand a much better chance of impressing them. The content of the proposal should all aim toward this one goal.

4. Compelling 

The language you use should be convincing. Be confident about what you want to do, be enthusiastic, and share your enthusiasm.

Prove why you think the project will work and how relevant it is in your field.

5. Detailed

Even though the proposal should be brief, include as much detail as is needed to support your points. 

Format of a Capstone Project Proposal

capstone project outline

This will be the same title you will use in the capstone project write-up, so take your time to craft a brief, direct, all-inclusive title for the proposal.

One way to come up with a good title is to write down the research problem as a question then craft your title in response to that question.

You should also try to make the title as intriguing as possible to get your readers interested in what you have to say.

In 150-200 words, describe what the project is about. Give the rationale for the project, i.e, why you think it is important and should be carried out.

Also, describe your methodology, analysis, and expected findings.

Think of the rationale as to the social implications of the project you are about to undertake.

How will it help the organization you work for or society at large? Describe the original contributions your project will have to the target group.

Research Problem

This is the problem statement of the project proposal. Give your thesis statement in one sentence, keeping in mind that it is the same statement you will use in the actual project write-up.

In the case of a project deliverable or creative project, describe the product you will develop, and the rationale behind it.

Describe what format your deliverable will be, e.g. a video, website, software, new curriculum, health or education program, policy paper, etc.

You should   write a descriptive literature review of all the sources you have used and cited for your project proposal including books, online sources, and papers. 

You can use these same sources in the project itself or choose to go for another set.

Methodology/Project Design

Explain how you intend to do what you want to do. Start with the method of inquiry which can include textual research, scientific experimentation, statistical data collection, qualitative study, or any other method.

Describe also, in detail, how this data will be gathered, processed, analyzed, and what resources or manpower will be needed to do this.

At the same time, explain the hypotheses and theoretical academic approaches in use which form the backbone of your project.

Detail the steps of your project and state when you expect to do what. This can usually be given in the form of a table with specific dates.

Also, state when you will be meeting with your supervisor/mentor and giving progress updates.

Description of the Final Product/Expected Results

For a research project, explain what results you expect based on existing data about the same.

For creative projects, describe what the final product will be, how you expect it to look like, and how it will work. How will it help/affect the target group? How will you evaluate its efficacy and success?

Such a project will also need specific documentation, usually called a rationale report or just a report. Describe such kind of documentation format.

Resources Needed Including Expected Budget

This is a crucial part. Give a detailed record of all the resources you expect or need to use in the course of your project.

If you need funding, give a breakdown of how the money will be used and how much in total is needed.

State how you expect it to be funded, either through school funding or external sponsorship.

In the same way, state what school resources you need. Laboratory access, data access, support by school personnel, computers, or machines belonging to the school or an outside entity, and everything in between.

Reference list

This is a list of all the citations and sources used while writing the project proposal. 

Tips on How To Write a Capstone Project Proposal

tips for capstone project

Get Help With Your Capstone Project

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What Is A Capstone Project?

03 Mar 2022

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Common Development 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.

A Capstone project is a challenging and rewarding academic task that students undertake at the end of their academic journey. It is a kind of research-based assignment that requires a student to take the initiative and demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained throughout the academic years. To accomplish this task, many students look for an essay writing service online to get a professionally written Capstone paper. Such an approach has proven to be beneficial in terms of both time and quality of the work.

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:

How to handle this task? Below are a few examples which illustrate the general forms of work and objectives found in capstone projects:

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. 

A capstone project is a unique academic undertaking that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students. The project aims to showcase the student's ability to independently create, research, and analyze a particular issue. To accomplish this goal, students often choose to order custom essays from online platforms such as that provide writing assistance to help them with their project. These custom essays allow students to show their understanding of their topic, while also demonstrating to their instructors the level of application they achieved while completing the capstone project.

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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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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 »


Capstone Project

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:

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:

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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/ Blog / Capstone Project: How to Plan, Start, and Finish Your Project

Capstone Project: How to Plan, Start, and Finish Your Project

Capstone Project: How to Plan, Start, and Finish Your Project

Christopher Smith

10th september 2022.

If you're reading this, it's probably because you're struggling with your capstone project or you know someone who is and wants to help them out. First, let me say congratulations! This can be an extremely stressful time in your life, but it can also be rewarding and exciting if you're organized and prepared to go into it.

This guide will cover everything from picking the right capstone project to creating a detailed timeline to getting final approval from your instructor.

Let's get started!

Decide on a topic

What are you working on?

Where can I find more information about how to get started?

What resources would you recommend?

Where can I find out about more opportunities for a project like this?

These are all great questions. The first thing you should do is ensure you have selected a topic.

As always, try to avoid picking a topic used by other students. From there, start planning your project and gather as much information as possible (i.e., from academic journals). This might seem overkill, but your research's goal is to be well-rounded and original. Last but not least, it's always important to stay organized!

Narrow your scope

What is a capstone project? A capstone project can be an individual activity, such as an original research paper or a creative piece of artwork . It can also be a group activity or the culmination of other classwork. The best part about capstones is combining all your classroom knowledge into one final exam .

The planning process starts with picking a project. When you pick your topic, it's essential to have specific goals in mind, so you know when the project is complete; if you don't have any predetermined goals, it will be difficult to tell how well the project went once you finish it.

After selecting a topic for your work, map out what research is needed for the paper and review any guidelines for papers given by your teacher or professor.

Set a deadline

Doing a project from start to finish can be difficult, but here are some essential steps you should take. This will help ensure that you meet your deadline.

We've heard horror stories about high school seniors with good academic records who end up becoming dropouts or college students on financial aid that don't graduate on time .

After talking with them, it became clear what most of their downfalls were—they didn't start early enough!

Completing such an enormous task seems impossible when you first start before anything else is done.

Make an outline

Planning is the first step. Whether in a traditional public or private school, your teacher may assign a project that includes research and analysis. Plan out what needs to be done before you start your work; this includes understanding the assignment requirements.

Spend time choosing which topic you want to tackle for your project--you'll save time on things like figuring out how much research should be conducted. If specific deadlines for certain project parts need to be completed, write them down on a timeline.

So you know how much time will be allotted for each stage of the process.

After all that is done, it's time to start doing some research!

Map out the details

Choose your topic. You might have a passion project in mind or want to tackle a local problem in your community, such as air pollution or toxic waste. However you decide on your topic, make sure it is something that will make an impact.

If it's not feasible for you to implement your idea within the scope of a capstone project due to factors such as time constraints or financial limitations, consider choosing a different topic. It will be difficult for people at home to follow you online if they know that nothing changes because of this project (besides for yourself).

A capstone project is one of your most important projects in high school or college. It will show your ability to work on a project from start to finish under strict guidelines. The first step in starting your capstone project is planning.

As I mentioned before, a plan helps ensure success. Brainstorm what the topic of your cartridge should be by considering the following question: What do you know would make an excellent topic for your capstones?

Once you have this idea down, it's time to start researching topics related to it so that when you get into the later stages of research, it will make it easier for you to come up with new ideas instead of falling back on ones from past research.

Writing your project down helps you stay on track

I have done a few capstone projects before in school, so I wanted to share my insights on how to plan, start the project, and finish it up. It might be helpful for high school students who are at their wit's end and unable to figure out where to start.

First of all, you have to find a topic that interests you. I recommend doing something interesting because it will help you stay motivated while working on your project.


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Students engage community on spokane river vision plan.

An aerial view of the Spokane River and Gonzaga's campus

When environmental studies majors Abby Dodd, Christiana Schmer and Grant Plotner took on the Spokane River Vision Plan as their senior capstone project, they found people had some common questions: What is a river vision? Why is it important? What’s our role?

“We realized that for stakeholder meetings to be successful we needed a stronger foundation,” Abby says, “so we changed the trajectory of our project towards a communication tool. Our goal was to provide information to the public and get them oriented on why we need a river vision plan.”

One year later they’ve launched a website and video that does just that.

“A river vision is a guiding document that outlines the community’s vision of the river into an actionable plan,” the website explains. With a comprehensive plan in place, communities can better address topics like river pollution, recreation opportunities, park development and cultural heritage. Cities like Boise and Indianapolis have successfully applied river vision plans, but Spokane's never had a plan that encompasses the entirety of the river .

“The idea is to try to get as many stakeholders and involve the public as much as possible to assess what people really want,” says Greg Gordon, the professor who led the senior capstone course.

Each year, Gordon lists the river vision plan as one of several capstone projects students can choose from. He’s now worked with several groups of students who’ve worked to advance the plan. Eventually, with the help of local leadership and some funding, the aim is that Spokane will enact a river vision plan the reflects the community's desires and helps guide the next 50 years.

In April, Abby and Christiana shared their work at the Spokane River Forum Conference , a two-day event that brought together 280 people, representing local government, tribes, nonprofits, universities and the private sector, to discuss issues affecting the Spokane River.

Abby Dodd and Christiana Schmer stand beside the Spokane River Vision Plan poster board.

At the conference, they introduced the website, which includes an online forum where community members can add their river vision . Their goal is to gather as much feedback as possible. In addition, the website features a host of information and resources about the Spokane River and river vision plans.

They also played the video for conference attendees. Available on the website’s homepage and on YouTube, the six-minute film captures the human side of the project through interviews with diverse river champions who share childhood memories, historical perspectives and dreams for the future.

For the students, a highlight of the video was interviewing attorney, professor and Spokane Tribal member Margo Hill.

As the seniors move on to the next chapter of their lives, they’re excited to pass the baton to a new group of students.

“We put together a list of 16 stakeholders, and we want the next group to start meeting with them beginning in August,” Abby says. Their hope is that next year’s students will integrate community feedback collected through the website and work with stakeholders to draft an initial outline of the river vision plan.

Each student plans to take lessons learned from the project into their futures endeavors.

Grant, who also works as a Gonzaga Climate Literacy Fellow , is interested in working in environmental education, ideally in the Spokane area. Abby, who plans to become an environmental attorney, is heading to law school at Lewis & Clark University. And Christiana is going to spend the summer at the Wenatchee River Institute, where she’ll help with education and outreach. Her long-term goal is to attend graduate school for ecological research.

“I’ve learned that it’s important to give people the chance to contribute,” Christiana says. “To move a community-based project forward, it’s all about building those relationships.”

“It’s been cool to apply the idea of finding common ground around the Spokane River,” Grant continues. “I’ve loved the opportunity to create a platform that gives people a voice.”

Abby, too, was struck by how people got behind the idea of a river vision plan when they were included in the process.

“I was astonished by how many people walked up to our poster and said, ‘Hey, I have a vision.’”

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capstone project planning


What Is a Capstone Project & How to Write It: Definition, Outline, Steps

Joe Eckel

Table of contents

A capstone project is a culminating academic project. It typically requires students to apply the skills they have gained during the course to a real-world problem. Capstone projects are common in undergraduate and graduate programs across a range of disciplines, including business, engineering, healthcare, and education.

Interesting fact, the first documented capstone project was completed in 1937 by Edgar F. Batten, who proposed to build an airport. It was considered a novel idea at that time, but it led to the development of Cleveland Municipal Airport. Today, they have come a long way, allowing students to showcase their creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. In this guide, we will define a capstone project and state its purpose in academics. We will also delve into its significance and provide an outline of how to do a capstone project. So, get ready for an exciting journey to become a capstone pro! Remember that you can always buy a capstone project from our academic gurus if you strive for maximum output.

What Is a Capstone Project: Definition

Capstone projects are vital in every school. Then, what is a capstone project ? Generally, it is research designed to showcase students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities in specific fields of study. This task is challenging and time-consuming, but once completed, it is rewarding. Capstone project is interdisciplinary in nature and can be completed in various formats, such as a written report, research paper , term paper , or presentation. It often involves independent research and analysis by an individual college or university student or group. For example, you could be asked to explore one topic or social problem that interests you, do extensive research about it, assess findings, and propose a solution. Based on the definition of capstone project, it is a culminating academic experience that typically takes place at the end of students' college education. Other basics include:

What Is the Capstone Project Purpose?

The main purpose of a capstone project is to assess your ability to integrate and apply knowledge acquired throughout your academic program. It gives you a chance to demonstrate mastery of a particular field of study, showcasing critical thinking, research, and communication skills. Capstone project serves several key goals:

Importance of Capstone Projects

The importance of capstone projects cannot be overstated. They supplement your academic journey, providing opportunities for you to demonstrate mastery of skills and knowledge, build real-world experience, and showcase your abilities to potential employers. Writing capstone paper can serve several important reasons, including:

Senior Capstone Project Structure

A capstone project structure plays a crucial role in helping you write a successful paper. It provides a clear, organized framework for the capstone project, helping you ensure that you include all necessary parts. It will also guide you in the right direction, helping you find the best approach to complete your paper. Before you begin writing a capstone project paper, it is important to carefully review all guidelines provided by your academic program to ensure that it meets all requirements and is structured clearly and effectively. Here is a general structure of senior capstone project:

Capstone Project Outline

A sample capstone project outline is a visual representation of the paper structure and organization. It acts as a roadmap for writing, helping ensure that the project stays on track. The purpose of the capstone project outline is to provide an overview of all main elements and order in which they will be presented. Here is a template example of an outline for a capstone project:

How to Write a Capstone Project Paper?

A capstone project requires careful planning to show that you have a grasp of a particular discipline or subject. As such, it is important to understand the steps involved in the process and have a well-defined plan in place. The following subsections will guide you in writing a capstone project paper, from start to finish, giving you the roadmap to ensure a successful outcome. Each part is carefully detailed to help you understand what’s expected of you. Follow these steps to learn how to write a capstone paper:

1. Choose a Topic

Choosing a topic is an important step in writing a capstone project. It sets the foundation for your paper, determining how successful the final product will be. Always go for capstone project ideas that have not been extensively researched, allowing you to add new insights. Here are some steps to follow when choosing research topics :

Choosing a topic that is relevant, manageable, and of personal interest to you will help you stay motivated throughout your capstone writing process.

2. Research Existing Literature

Conducting a thorough literature review is crucial in helping you understand the current state of knowledge on the topic, identifying gaps your capstone senior project can fill. Here's how to go about it:

By conducting a thorough literature review, you will write a capstone paper that is well-informed, grounded in latest research, and makes a meaningful contribution.

3. Define a Problem

Based on research, define the problem statement you aim to address in your capstone research paper. It should be well-defined and specific. The problem statement should be clear, concise, and align with the research question. It should also be justified, explaining why the problem is important, including how it relates to current literature. Here are some steps to follow when defining a problem for a capstone project:

Defining a problem is important because it provides focus and direction for research. A well-defined problem will ensure that your capstone project writing is of high quality.

4. Introduce Your Research Methods

This section should describe methods you will use to collect and analyze data, as well as the rationale behind your choice. They should be appropriate, accurate, and reliable for the capstone project. You should also explain any final capstone project limitations, including how you plan to address them. Here are some steps to follow when introducing graduate capstone research methods:

Introducing research methods is important because it sets a foundation for your research. It will provide readers with a clear understanding of your methods, including rationale behind them.

5. Discuss Your Key Findings

This step involves presenting findings of the study and analyzing all data. When writing a capstone paper, provide a clear presentation of the results in addition to how they relate to the problem they aim to address. They should be presented in a logical, organized manner, and supported by evidence. In your capstone work, discuss their implications, including how they contribute to the existing body of knowledge. Here are some steps to follow when discussing key findings:

6. Present a Capstone Project

In this final step, you should present your capstone project in a clear, organized manner, highlighting key findings and significance of research conducted. This should be a well-structured, well-written paper or oral presentation that showcases your knowledge of how to do a capstone project on a specific subject. Capstone in college or university should be written in an academic style, following the guidelines set by the institution. The paper should also include an abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, results section, discussion, and conclusion. For oral presentation, you may also be required to answer questions from the audience. So, it is important to be well-prepared and familiar with the paper content. It should effectively communicate your research findings to them. To make a successful presentation, here are a few suggestions:

Capstone Paper Format

A capstone project format can vary depending on the discipline or requirements set forth by your instructor or program. Most times, you may encounter the following common formats used in most capstone papers.

Regardless of the chosen format, ensure that your capstone paper is well-organized, has proper grammar, and is easy to read.

Capstone Project Writing Tips

To ensure success in writing your capstone project, it is important to keep in mind some key practices. In this section, we will introduce you to common tips that can help you effectively plan, research, and write the paper. From choosing a suitable topic to proofreading the final draft, these tips on how to write a good capstone project will help you produce a successful paper that meets academic standards:

Bottom Line on Capstone Project

In this guide, you have learned what’s a capstone project definition, its benefits in education, purpose, and structure. Before you embark on writing your paper, make sure you fully understand the meaning of a capstone project paper and what it entails. This means taking the time to carefully research a topic, identify a clear problem to address, and develop a research plan that will help you find answers. Remember that the final product should be well-written, well-organized, and effectively communicate your key research findings. Once you begin to write your capstone, keep in mind the following tips:

Feel free to check out our capstone project writing services and see how else we can assist you with this program! Our writers can always get you well-written texts before the deadline!

FAQ About Capstone Projects

1. what is a capstone project in college.

A capstone project in college is the final piece of stone needed to complete a degree program. It often involves significant research proposal, presentation, or practical application of skills and knowledge acquired during their program. By definition, it is a requirement for graduation and may be evaluated for grades or other forms of academic recognition.

2. What is capstone project significance?

Capstone projects are significant because:

3. How long should a capstone paper be?

The length of a capstone project paper varies depending on set guidelines by the academic institution or instructor. On average, they can be between 20-25 pages long, sometimes 35, including any supporting materials, such as appendices or references. However, check specific requirements from your institution as they can cap the number of pages.

4. What is the difference between a capstone project and a thesis?

A capstone project and thesis are both academic works, but they carry significant differences between them. A thesis is typically longer, and more in-depth than a capstone project. It is often required for graduate students and is based on original research. Its focus is narrower and more specialized. A capstone project is often required for undergraduate students, mostly based on research or practical application. It is more interdisciplinary in nature, involving solving world problems.


Joe Eckel is an expert on Dissertations writing. He makes sure that each student gets precious insights on composing A-grade academic writing.

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Propose a Capstone Project

Students need your help identifying projects to complete their degree and gain critical professional experience. If you have a project that you think would provide an excellent capstone learning opportunity for either one or a small group of students, please fill out this web form: .

Poster of recent capstone project

What is a Capstone Project?

The Capstone Project is a culminating project that provides MUP students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned to a specific planning problem or issue. Projects are structured as year-long consulting agreements that pair second-year MUP students with client partners to tackle a planning question. The students work with the client to define the problem, design and conduct data collection, analyze and contextualize the information, and prepare a written and oral report for their client organization. Students gain experience working as consultants, and clients receive professional-level analysis and recommendations to inform planning processes.

A pair or small group of students may pursue a Capstone Project jointly in the case that the project has sufficient scope to warrant a team approach. A single faculty member will normally serve as the Capstone Advisor for the group, and a capstone proposal may be submitted jointly. Take a look at recent MUP Capstone Projects.

Timeline To allow enough time for coordination between students, advisor, and the organization, we ask that proposals are submitted by July 15 for projects starting in the fall.

Submit a Capstone Proposal


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