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How to Write a Research Paper
Writing a research paper is a bit more difficult that a standard high school essay. You need to site sources, use academic data and show scientific examples. Before beginning, you’ll need guidelines for how to write a research paper.
Start the Research Process
Before you begin writing the research paper, you must do your research. It is important that you understand the subject matter, formulate the ideas of your paper, create your thesis statement and learn how to speak about your given topic in an authoritative manner. You’ll be looking through online databases, encyclopedias, almanacs, periodicals, books, newspapers, government publications, reports, guides and scholarly resources. Take notes as you discover new information about your given topic. Also keep track of the references you use so you can build your bibliography later and cite your resources.
Develop Your Thesis Statement
When organizing your research paper, the thesis statement is where you explain to your readers what they can expect, present your claims, answer any questions that you were asked or explain your interpretation of the subject matter you’re researching. Therefore, the thesis statement must be strong and easy to understand. Your thesis statement must also be precise. It should answer the question you were assigned, and there should be an opportunity for your position to be opposed or disputed. The body of your manuscript should support your thesis, and it should be more than a generic fact.
Create an Outline
Many professors require outlines during the research paper writing process. You’ll find that they want outlines set up with a title page, abstract, introduction, research paper body and reference section. The title page is typically made up of the student’s name, the name of the college, the name of the class and the date of the paper. The abstract is a summary of the paper. An introduction typically consists of one or two pages and comments on the subject matter of the research paper. In the body of the research paper, you’ll be breaking it down into materials and methods, results and discussions. Your references are in your bibliography. Use a research paper example to help you with your outline if necessary.
Organize Your Notes
When writing your first draft, you’re going to have to work on organizing your notes first. During this process, you’ll be deciding which references you’ll be putting in your bibliography and which will work best as in-text citations. You’ll be working on this more as you develop your working drafts and look at more white paper examples to help guide you through the process.
Write Your Final Draft
After you’ve written a first and second draft and received corrections from your professor, it’s time to write your final copy. By now, you should have seen an example of a research paper layout and know how to put your paper together. You’ll have your title page, abstract, introduction, thesis statement, in-text citations, footnotes and bibliography complete. Be sure to check with your professor to ensure if you’re writing in APA style, or if you’re using another style guide.
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Capstone & Thesis Research
Steps in doing a capstone paper or project:.
- Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines
- Academic Writing & Research - video
Watch and learn with Webster U. Library online presentations
The research cycle.
- Selecting & focusing your research topic
- Start searching
- Literature review
- Doing primary research
- Presentation skills
- Specific graduate programs
- Writing & citing
Contact a Librarian Get help finding sources, narrowing or expanding your topic, and more!
- Research Desk: (314) 968-6950
- Toll-free: (800) 985-4279
- Search the FAQs, email us or Chat with a Librarian 24/7
Step 1: Select a topic area. See the "Selecting and focusing your research topic" tab at left for suggestions on choosing a topic, narrowing your focus, and developing a thesis statement or research question.
Step 2: Do a literature review. The "Literature Review" tab will link you to helpful resources for planning a search and organizing your results. The "Start Searching" tab gives some examples for using article databases effectively.
Step 3: Conduct your research (for those students required to do so). Check the "Conducting research" tab for resources on creating surveys, finding tests, designing studies, etc.
Step 4: Present your results. The "Writing & Citing" tab brings together resources for writing the paper, citing your sources, and avoiding plagiarism. The "Presentation skills" tab will help you create effective visual aids and deliver a professional presentation.
Graduate Thesis and Dissertation General Guidelines
Here you will find everything you need to know about the purpose of a dissertation or thesis and the steps to complete and submit your work.
These guidelines were created by the Webster University Office of Academic Affairs and approved by Webster University Graduate Council. This current version is from 2017.
Academic Writing and Research: Top Tips to Transform Your Paper
- Academic Writing & Research: Top Tips to Transform Your Paper (Recorded on Apr. 3, 2019; 37 minutes) New to writing and research or just want to up your game? Join us! Learn simple and effective tips from Writing Center and Library staff to make your writing more polished and to find and integrate others’ ideas and research to strengthen your thesis and argument. Click here to watch specific parts of this video.
Watch specific topics on this video
Visit our Library Training, Tutorials & Webinars page to see tutorials that will sharpen your research skills and offer helpful guidance in doing a capstone, thesis or advanced research project. Recorded webinars may be watched at your convenience. Live webinars offer an interactive experience with Webster U. librarians present to answer your questions.
CMST 101: Introduction to Communications, Marian Lyles: Intro to Research. Seattle Central College Library. Seattle Central College. 10 Feb. 2016. Web. 16 Jun 2016.
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- Capstone Resources
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Parts of a Scientific & Scholarly Paper
- Tracking and Citing References
- Books on Effective Writing
- Where to Publish?
- Examples of Projects
- Resources by Topic Area
Different sections are needed in different types of scientific papers (lab reports, literature reviews, systematic reviews, methods papers, research papers, etc.). Projects that overlap with the social sciences or humanities may have different requirements. Generally, however, you'll need to include:
METHODS SECTION (Materials and Methods)
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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 like an Expert
This guide describes all the steps needed to create a capstone project, including choosing a topic, structuring the paper, and writing in a scholarly manner.
A capstone project is a research assignment that many students must complete as part of their undergraduate or master’s degree. It differs from other types of final papers such as a thesis or dissertation because it has a practical nature. Capstone projects call for a student to review a certain problem, often specific to the writer’s interests or experience, and conduct research to evaluate or resolve the detected issues. The goal of such assignments is to involve students in their future professional sphere (Weaver 2). Moreover, capstone projects assess how students use critical thinking skills and the knowledge they have acquired during a course.
Choosing a Topic
It is clear that your selection must be connected to your sphere of education. For example, if you are a medical student, your capstone project will likely be focused on health-care interventions. For future biologists and chemists, chosen topics will reflect their field of expertise. Nevertheless, these assignments can be made more personal as follows:
- Search for a topic that interests you. Selecting a theme that does not spark your interest can negatively affect your attention and the quality of your writing. You may neither be able to concentrate on your paper nor conduct in-depth research. Think about your experience, both educational and professional. Has there been a problem or issue that you noticed and wanted to solve? This capstone project may be your chance to do that.
- Consider the format of the assignment. What does your instructor ask you to include in the project? Anticipate the composition of the future paper and the various components it should contain. Do you have to conduct research, and do the results have to be measurable? Adjust your topic to reflect the instructions. Since in most cases students have to confirm the topic with their advisors before writing, you will be able to get some help if you are struggling to find suitable subject matter.
- Take into account the project’s length. Depending on the number of requested pages, you may need to broaden or narrow your topic. Try to estimate how much space each part of the project will take up, and choose a research area that has enough information.
- Research existing literature on the topic. If your topic is too narrow or too recent, you may not find enough academic literature to support your research. In contrast, if the topic is too broad, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of available information.
Capstone projects usually follow a specific structure:
- Abstract. Although it is located at the beginning of the written project, the abstract should be written last. It is a summary of the entire study; you can approach it as soon as you are sure that every other part is complete. Do not confuse the abstract with the introduction of the paper—abstracts contain enough information to interest the reader in the entire project. Thus, they must capture the essence and relay main concepts, hypotheses, research methods, and findings.
- Introduction. In this section, you will acquaint your readers with the topic you have selected. Sometimes, an introduction is split into multiple smaller categories such as “Purpose of the Paper” or “Research Questions,” but they can be located in this part since they present the topic. Here, you should introduce the issue and connect it to your sphere of academic knowledge or course. In addition, you may discuss why this research problem is significant. Next, list the formulated research questions or hypotheses that will guide the investigation. State the objectives that you wish to achieve with the help of this project. Finally, if it is required, include a thesis that succinctly describes the aims and beliefs of the capstone project.
- Literature Review. A review of the existing literature is a vital component of any research endeavor. Here, you will search for academic and other reliable sources that are connected to your topic. These articles, books, trials, and studies will be used as a foundation for the research. Sources can contain pertinent findings, discuss well-examined methodologies, present new ideas, and confirm or refute earlier findings. Document the results of your search and analyze them; look for gaps in knowledge. What themes are not explored well or missing altogether? What should or can be researched in more detail? You can attempt to fill in these gaps with your findings.
- Methodology. In this section of the project, you will talk about how your research is to be conducted.
- First, describe your research design; it can be qualitative, quantitative, or mixed (a combination of the two). Each type also has many subcategories. Choose one, and explain why it works the best for your topic.
- Next, state your independent and dependent variables if needed for your selected design. Independent variables are what you choose to investigate (for example, different training programs for employees). Dependent variables are affected by independent ones (for example, employee performance after training).
- Describe the sample for your project. Who are the participants, and how many of them are involved? What are the inclusion and exclusion criteria for research?
- List the materials and tools you used in conducting research. Here, you can introduce questionnaires, online tests, and other media created for this project.
- Write about the process of conducting research, discussing all the major elements of the procedure. What were the participants asked to perform? How were the results collected?
- Discuss how you analyzed the results, listing measurements, tests, and calculations. Explain why you chose each method, and support your selections with previous research.
- Results. This is a significant part of the project, where you show the results of the conducted research. Refrain from making any assumptions or conclusions here—state the results without interpretation. You can use graphs, tables, and images to illustrate findings. Remember to present data that will answer all the research questions and hypotheses you introduced earlier. Check the findings’ validity and significance if required by the chosen research style.
- Discussion. Here, you should analyze the revealed results—be critical and attentive. Try to find patterns or show correlations in the findings. Talk about the context. What does previous academic literature tell you about this study? Does it contradict or align with your findings? Think about the importance and implications of your results. Does this study add something new to the sphere of knowledge? Do not forget to consider the limitations of your project—what could make the research more reliable? Finally, introduce some questions for future research and encourage additional investigation.
- Conclusion. Some papers include a conclusion in addition to the discussion. Restate all major information from the study here, presenting it concisely. Do not propose any new ideas or data in this part. The function of a conclusion is to wrap up the project and talk about all important judgments.
In addition to adhering to the structure described above, you should also remember to pay attention to your writing process. Do not be afraid of making drafts before writing the final version; they will help you structure your arguments and findings. After completing the paper, be sure to proofread it as mistakes and inconsistencies can make the written project difficult to read, confusing, or even incorrect. If you think you need someone else’s opinion, ask for it—turn to your instructor, writing center, or other knowledgeable persons that will help you revise the text if necessary. Check all tables and graphs, and make sure that a reader can understand them as well as you do.
Capstone projects give students an opportunity to apply their knowledge in practice. They are designed around a narrow topic that investigates a real problem, using a specific structure that is followed in the majority of cases: an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, and discussion are essential elements of every capstone project. These assignments use a scholarly voice and require in-depth knowledge of previous scholarly literature. Like all academic papers, they need to be substantiated with evidence and be clear and unbiased. Lastly, proofreading is an important part of scholarly writing as well. This paper shows the writer’s level of preparedness after completing a course. Follow the provided guidelines and remember to be attentive—these rules should help you complete a high-quality capstone project.
Weaver, K. F., et al. “The Benefits of Peer Review and a Multisemester Capstone Writing Series on Inquiry and Analysis Skills in an Undergraduate Thesis.” CBE—Life Sciences Education, vol. 15, no. ar51, 2016, 1-9.
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Here’s a sample research paper from a past OHS student. It’s longer than I expect for the Capstone (~15 page) but it should give you an idea of what I am looking for. Ideally the abstract would be a little longer, the main body a little shorter.
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Capstone Project | Explained step by step with examples
Help with your capstone project.
Taking on a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree with a Capstone Project means switching to an entirely different writing style than you may have used in the past. While you may be used to academic writing and parsing through scholarly journals, writing a thesis or dissertation is an entirely different process.
At some colleges and universities, there is no difference between the words “thesis” and “Capstone Project”, but generally these are five-chapter papers that explore a new and original research topic. Nonetheless, both types of papers amount to the same writing process.
Chapter 1 is the introduction:
The purpose for the research should not be a mystery: begin the section with a one-sentence research problem statement that includes the variables studied. Follow the purpose of the research with a description of the background and the significance of the problem. Include the impact of the problem at the location where the research will be taking place and three or four research questions.
Chapter 2, the literature review:
This describes the history of the topic and key literature sources, illustrates major issues and refines focus to indicate research questions. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a broad picture of the literature, including analysis of any studies encompassing the scope of the entire applied research project.
Chapter 3 is the methodology:
Can be either qualitative or quantitative. Provide a rationale for using the particular methodology—either for the entire applied research project or for each specific research question. For a thesis, this will require outlining your step-by-step means of gathering data. For a dissertation, this may involve showing how you have found your data in the literature or from government records.
In Chapter 4, your findings are outlined:
You need to explain every piece of information you have collected in detail, and if there were any problems in the data.
Finally, Chapter 5 is where you draw your conclusions.
Provide your reader with deep analysis of what your data means in the real world, and how it might lead to change.
Developing your first draft
Using your outline, work through the paper from beginning to end. Normally, the opening paragraph should ‘hook’ the reader, contain your thesis statement, and explain what you are going to do in the paper so that the reader knows what to expect.
Be careful to link your subsequent sections to your main argument, make them substantive and persuasive. Importantly, however, avoid exaggeration. Do not overstate your points in ways that are clearly not supported by evidence. Be clear about what is known and what is not known. Recognize complexity but always stay with your main argument.
A paragraph is a means of developing and framing an idea or impression. As a general rule, you should address only one major idea per paragraph. Keep in mind that the divisions between paragraphs aren’t random, but indicate a shift in focus. In other words, you must carefully and clearly organize the order of your paragraphs so that they are logically positioned throughout your paper.
If you are having trouble coming up with arguments for your Capstone Project, let us help you by doing the research for you.
The closing should pull the whole discussion together, reinforcing your main Capstone Project points, and perhaps provoke further thought. It is often best to prepare the research and outline well, then to sit down and write the first draft all at once, and worry about refining it later. The simplest and most basic conclusion is one that restates the thesis in different words and then discusses its implications.
Writing your paper with originality
Many students make the mistake of thinking that the content of their paper is all that matters. Although the content is vitally important, it will not mean much if the reader cannot understand what you are trying to say. You may have some great ideas in your paper but if you cannot effectively communicate them you will not receive a very good grade.
Diction is the style of how you write. This refers to the way in which you create and communicate your ideas. How you construct and deliver your message is just as important as all of the facts within your term paper. This means that you need to write for clarity as well as accuracy. The challenge seems to be that many students think that they need to be able to utilize ten-dollar words and imagery in order to really impress their professors. To the contrary, your professor will be impressed if you can get your message across quickly and effectively. You will be penalized if you use words incorrectly or for no reason except to pad your Capstone Project.
Writing in an original fashion means that you need to think and plan ahead. Writing your paper at the last minute will not give you the time you need to be able to do the research you need to make your term paper stand out from the crowd. Make sure that you begin your research right away when you are assigned your paper so that you can get ahead of the game.
Editing your paper
Be sure to leave enough time for editing: editing should take about 20 percent of the time allotted. While writing varies, it takes about 20 hours of research, eight hours to write, and seven hours to edit and proof a ten-page paper properly and thoroughly, and longer for Capstone Projects that are expected to be 25 pages or more.
To edit your Capstone Project, reread each page out loud to ensure a logical flow of information and clarity. Ensure you explain yourself well and that every paragraph, in some way, serves to support the thesis and draw the reader towards your conclusions.
We’re here to help. If you need assistance in getting through all of these steps, we can help you succeed on your Capstone Project. Contact us!
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Community Service, The Plight of the Amazon Rainforest and The History of the Foster Care System are all examples of capstone topics. A capstone project should be specific to a student’s personal education experience.
Writing a research paper is a bit more difficult that a standard high school essay. You need to site sources, use academic data and show scientific examples. Before beginning, you’ll need guidelines for how to write a research paper.
To make an acknowledgement in a research paper, a writer should express thanks by using the full or professional names of the people being thanked and should specify exactly how the people being acknowledged helped.
this research, only hunter education graduates who registered online and were
This study took place in a high school mathematics class during the 2010-2011 school year, in South Central Wisconsin. The study involved data gathered from
D. Purpose statement / research question(s) ... Available on Capstone Project Master's Paper webpage.
Steps in doing a capstone paper or project: ... Step 1: Select a topic area. See the "Selecting and focusing your research topic" tab at left for
Limitations and strengths of your project. • Directions for future research. A good discussion section should read very differently than the
Goals Of A Capstone Paper ... Upon completing your project you'll demonstrate that you can engage in serious research work. And if you get a good
A capstone project is a research assignment that many students must complete as part of their undergraduate or master's degree.
required: (1) research paper, (2) field work (project collaboration with a
Information in this document was gathered by researching other project guides and interviewing students and faculty in the MSPWTC program. Please note that this
Sample Capstone. Here's a sample research paper from a past OHS student. It's longer than I expect for the Capstone (~15 page) but it should give you an
... between the words “thesis” and “Capstone Project”, but generally these are five-chapter papers that explore a new and original research topic.