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6 Tips for Engaging Capstone Projects

Rather than creating a year-in-review capstone project, consider having students synthesize and personalize what they’ve learned, bringing it to a new level.

A group of young students are standing in a line on dead grass. It's overcast. There are bare-branched trees and a river nearby. They're holding black and green tablets. Their male teacher is holding antlers, letting the students take turns touching it.

It’s that time of the year, the race to the finish, only weeks until school ends for the summer (at least for many of us). With the pressures of testing behind us, we often have a bit more freedom to create curriculum and activities for students. We can try out new ideas, give students more choice in what they want to learn, and celebrate the learning that we've accomplished this year. One way that many educators like to do these things is through capstone projects, year-end culminations that often invite students to engage in choosing what they want to learn, as well as how they learn it. Capstone projects are a great tool for personalizing learning, and they're effective for creating even more student engagement. Here are some tips to create excellent capstone projects.

Ensure "Main Course, Not Dessert"

This is always a good reminder. While capstone projects often draw on the entire year's learning, it's important to pose this question to students as well as reflecting upon it ourselves as educators: What new learning will occur in this capstone project? This is key to ensuring that a capstone project isn't simply a fun activity (although that's still a good intention), and it helps in creating a project that's more challenging and truly focused on new learning and experiences. This new learning could be in a different context or topic from what the class has done so far, it might require a variety of skills that they haven't previously combined, or it could be a synthesis of sorts. Reflect on how you can ensure that there will be new learning in your capstone projects.

Take It To Another Level

Projects should focus on depth, not breadth. If you have the ability to allow students choice in what they learn, consider having them revisit a previously learned concept, topic, or skill. To ensure not only engagement but also "Main Course," create rubrics with students that focus on their going deeper into the content. Instead of "meeting standard," focus the assessment and learning on "exceeding standard." When students engage with a challenge, we should take them beyond the opportunity to review learning by pushing the learning even farther in a capstone project.

More Voice and Choice

This is nothing new, but we can always think of new ways to offer choice to our students. At the end of the year, after we've pressed through most of our required curriculum and standards, we may have some wiggle room on what students can learn. We might offer choice in one way, but not in another. Perhaps we want to spiral review a writing skill for all students, but offer them a choice in what history topic they want to learn about. Or we might need students to learn a math concept that we haven't yet covered in the curriculum, but they can choose how they want to learn it and connect that concept to the real world. Have students make personal, meaningful choices. See my previous blog about voice and choice for ideas about how to create more engagement.

Make a Difference

One of my favorite ways of taking capstone projects to another level is through service and making a difference. When students see that their work matters, they will be engaged. There are, of course, lots of opportunities to make an impact outside of the walls of the classroom, whether in the community or globally. There are also great ways for students to make a difference in their own lives once they understand the personal impact that's possible. Start by asking then how they want to make a difference in their capstone projects.

Tell the Full Story Through Assessment

Often, capstone projects involve what could be called a portfolio of student learning, which includes many steps in their yearlong journey. These assessments, graded or not, are valuable artifacts that serve as a photo album of a learning continuum, rather than simple snapshots representing individual moments of learning. Capstone projects are about growth, and both teachers and students can use assessments from the capstone project as well as earlier in the year to celebrate the growth in learning. Students, parents, and teachers deserve to see this growth in order to be proud of their learning from the entire year as well as during the capstone project.

Experiment With "No Grades"

Often we use grades as a way to get students to learn rather than addressing a root problem -- our students are not engaged. While you might want to grade students on their work, you might also try the experiment of moving students away from grades as a motivator, and instead focus on the learning. Rather grading every part of the capstone project, consider grading only the capstone component. This is also in ideal place to start the conversation with students about how they want to be and should be graded. Consider using capstone projects to start a culture shift away from grades and toward learning.

I love implementing and watching students implement capstone projects. I'm inspired by the ways that teachers structure these projects and by the amazing learning that students share. Capstone projects are truly an opportunity to create meaningful learning along with powerful engagement and impact. How do you create engaging capstone projects?

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The Best 150 Capstone Project Topic Ideas

10 May 2022

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❔What is a Capstone Project?

Capstone Project Ideas:

✅Capstone Writing: 10 Steps

The long path of research works ahead, and you can’t find any capstone project ideas that would be interesting and innovative? The task can seem even more challenging for you to feel all the responsibility of this first step. The top 150 capstone ideas presented below aim to make a choice not so effort-consuming.

With the list of the capstone project topics we've picked for you, you'll be covered in major subjects. Continue reading, and you'll get ideas for capstone projects in information technology, nursing, psychology, marketing, management, and more.

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What is a Capstone Project?

Educational institutions use the capstone project to evaluate your understanding of the course on various parameters. For the students, the work on the project gives an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their presentation, problem-solving and soft skills. Capstone projects are normally used in the curriculum of colleges and schools. Also called a senior exhibition or a culminating project, these assignments are given to finish the academic course.

This assignment has several different objectives, among which are the following:

It's not that easy to pick the right capstone paper topic. The problem intensifies as each student or separate teams have to work on a single assignment which has to be unique. The best capstone project ideas may possibly run out. However, whatever topic you opt for, you’d better start your preparation and research on the subject as early as possible.

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Amazing Capstone Project Ideas for Nursing Course

Studying nursing is challenging, as it requires a prominent theoretical foundation and is fully practical at the same time. You should have to do thorough research and provide evidence for your ideas, but what to start with? The preparation for your capstone project in nursing won’t be so overwhelming if you make use of these capstone title ideas:

Attractive Computer Science Capstone Project Ideas

Computer science is so rapidly developing that you might easily get lost in the new trends in the sphere. Gaming and internet security, machine learning and computer forensics, artificial intelligence, and database development – you first have to settle down on something. Check the topics for the capstone project examples below to pick one. Decide how deeply you will research the topic and define how wide or narrow the sphere of your investigation will be.

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Several High School Education Capstone Project Ideas for Inspiration

High school education is a transit point in professional education and the most valuable period for personal soft skills development. No wonder that the list of capstone project ideas in high school education involves rather various topics. They may range from local startup analysis and engineer’s career path to bullying problems. It’s up to you to use the chosen statement as the ready capstone project title or just an idea for future development.

Capstone Project Topics in Information Technology – Search for Your Best

Information technology is a separate area developed on the basis of computer science, and it might be challenging to capture the differences between them. If you hesitate about what to start with – use the following topics for capstone project as the starting point for your capstone research topics.

Psychology Capstone Project Ideas

Society shows increasing attention to mental health. The range of issues that influence human psychology is vast, and the choice may be difficult. You’ll find simple capstone project ideas to settle on in the following list.

Stuck with finding the right title?

Get plenty of fresh and catchy topic ideas and pick the perfect one with PapersOwl Title Generator.

Capstone Project Ideas for Management Course

Studying management means dealing with the most varied spheres of life, problem-solving in different business areas, and evaluating risks. The challenge starts when you select the appropriate topic for your capstone project. Let the following list help you come up with your ideas.

Capstone Project Ideas for Your Marketing Course

Marketing aims to make the business attractive to the customer and client-oriented. The variety of easy capstone project ideas below gives you the start for your research work.

Best Capstone Engineering Project Ideas

It’s difficult to find a more varied discipline than engineering. If you study it – you already know your specialization and occupational interest, but the list of ideas below can be helpful.

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Capstone Project Ideas for MBA

Here you might read some senior capstone project ideas to help you with your MBA assignment.

Capstone Project Ideas for an Accounting Course

Try these ideas for your Capstone Project in Accounting – and get the best result possible.

Capstone Writing: 10 Essential Steps

Be it a senior capstone project of a high school pupil or the one for college, you follow these ten steps. This will ensure you’ll create a powerful capstone paper in the outcome and get the best grade:

Preparation of a powerful capstone project involves both selection of an exciting topic and its in-depth examination. If you are interested in the topic, you'll be able to demonstrate to your professor a deep insight into the subject. The lists of ideas above will inspire you and prepare you for the successful completion of your project. Don’t hesitate to try them now!

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Strategies for a Successful Capstone Project

Dr. Benjamin Washington

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Capstone projects allow students to showcase what they have learned in a particular academic program. While exams can be a summative way to gauge a student’s knowledge of the material, a capstone project allows for showcasing expertise and applying it to solve real-world issues.

A capstone project for  action research is a primary tool used at the collegiate level, particularly in a graduate program. In order to know what makes a successful capstone project, it is essential to understand the specific intent of the project and what components the capstone project consists of.

What is a Capstone Project?  

For students in graduate education school, there are multiple forms of culmination projects. At the master’s degree level, a student may have to write a thesis or capstone. They will be writing either dissertations or capstone project for doctoral programs. It is important to know the  difference between doctoral capstone and a dissertation  for aspiring researchers and scholars.

A capstone project for graduate school is a culminating project that has students apply their knowledge, skills, and training to a real-world problem. Many graduate degrees in the field of education, liberal arts, public health, and communication utilize capstone projects for a student’s final work to graduate.

Components of a Capstone Project

Generally, there are five to six components in completing a graduate-level action research project , and the names of the components may vary depending on the degree, university, or college.

Although the terminology of capstones will differ from one university or college to another, there is a central theme to the research project which shares common components. These themes focus on research, application-based components, and expectations.

In education degree programs, the components are:


Literature review, methodology.

To understand your journey into completing a successful capstone project, let’s dive into the various components.

The abstract section is a condensed overview of the capstone project. In this section, there will be details about the project’s purpose, what specific research questions will be asked, and how the students will facilitate learning through research methods. Furthermore, this section gives a brief explanation of how the research findings were collected, validated, and what conclusions were drawn.

The introduction portion is where the researcher details the beginning parts of their project and what the intent of the project is.

This section puts together a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the research that is relevant to the research topic. Within this section is evidence found in research articles, books, and information specific to the content of the project and the vital need to find a successful methodology.

The methodology section is the section of the project where the researcher and scholar explain what  methods and materials  they will use to collect and analyze data and what specific instrumental they will be using to gather their findings.

Examples of this could be using specific data collection techniques such as:

For this section, the research findings are articulated, and the explanation of statistical and data analysis is explained. This is where the scholar speaks directly about the participants in the study, the knowledge, and experience shared with the project.

The discussion or conclusion section is where the researcher writes about future implications and recommendations for the project. This is also when the scholar or researcher emphasizes how the particular project adds to the current body of work by others and how they can apply the research findings to a real-world need.

Strategies for a Successful Capstone Project 

Completing a capstone project successfully comes from being well-prepared, setting goals, and being open to feedback and constant review. The following are strategies that will help you complete a capstone project:

Find a Topic You’ll Enjoy Researching 

Whether it is education, public health, or an MBA program, finding a topic interesting to you is vital. A capstone project has high expectations for academic research that will add value to the current career field. Be sure to consider multiple ideas to research and narrow down the specific topic of interest.

Find a topic you are passionate about at the beginning of the program. Although you may have multiple ideas, finding a topic you are passionate about early will save you time and allow you to gather more effective resources.

Find Effective Resources

When researching your capstone project, finding adequate resources adds credibility and substance to your project. The types of resources and references used in the project should be a combination of conversations with experts in the current field,  peer reviewed  articles and essays, and common researched-based studies specific to the topics. Doing this will help you formulate your thoughts and outline the tools and methods you will use for your methodology and later findings.

Time Management

A successful capstone needs to have  time management  as a priority. Consider creating a schedule of when to do work on your project. These can be long-term goals you and your professor set, but they also needs to include personal goals for weekly and daily time management.

During your project, you will get feedback from your professors, conduct interviews, and edit your materials. Protecting your time with family and friends and balancing time to research are equally important. This gives you a balance of both personal, professional goals, and wellness .

Collaborate with Others 

Colleges, universities, and research institutions are places where students collaborate with others, discover new passions, and find ways to enhance their career and professional development . While completing your capstone, be sure to collaborate with other like-minded individuals.

These could be students in your current graduate program, professionals in the career field that add knowledge and value to your project, and can also include students from other specialties and degree programs. This will give you the perspectives of others while completing your work, while also developing the necessary communication, technical, and academic skills to be successful.

A capstone project is a comprehensive way to do action-based research and give the student the skills they need to be successful in their career field. Finding the right project for you, a consistent support system, and a network of scholars and professionals will ensure your success and a project that will positively influence others.

Are you interested in taking the next step in your career and pursuing a graduate degree? Check out our available graduate education programs and get started today!

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How to Write a Capstone Project With Ease

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 write a capstone project

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:

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:

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 pay for essay writing online and check out other capstone paper examples.

Click the images to see their full size.

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Tips to Write a Capstone Paper

Mistakes to Avoid in a 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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Capstone Project for IT Student (Complete Guide 2022)

To help our dear students in creating a Capstone Projects , the ITSOURCECODE team has made this definitive guide. It is a complete guide and steps in creating a capstone project from scratch. It contains the essential parts on how to create or write a Capstone Project and the full discussion to make it.

The program requirements for the student to complete a capstone project in a long term. A capstone project is designed to require students for there final year.  The senior project and the culminating project capstone experience is the knowledge and skills we’ve learned in the real world of liberal arts.

What is a Capstone Project?

Capstone project is an academic paper that serves as a summary of a student’s experience. This type of paper is typically produced during the senior year of high school or as part of a college or university course. It can be used in nursing, engineering, information technology, business, and other product based project courses.

How to Create a Capstone Project in Step by Step?

Capstone Project for IT Student Step by step guide

Capstone Project Ideas

Before you achieve a project to develop, you must have first a proposal. This proposal serves as first step before you make a capstone project example and here’s how to write it.

Time needed:  10 minutes.

Here are the complete steps on how to create a Capstone Project Proposal. These methods will help you create a flawless capstone projects document. Following the appropriate processes while preparing a capstone project proposal will save time.

First, choose a capstone topic. It will help you choose suitable themes. This boosts critical thinking and decision-making. Consider your skills, talents, and intelligence when choosing a topic. You and your organization must take responsibility for your decisions to foster cooperation. Consider what you wish to develop while choosing a topic. Consider your environment’s demands. Choose a focused topic to develop as a group. You chose Sports, then you ask how to make it more productive. From there, you may create a subject or title.

In order for you to become knowledgeable on the topic that you choose, you need to do a lot of research. This will help you to have deeper understanding about your topic. You will know then the common issues and difficulties that your topic has.

Now that you’re confident in your topic, create a proposal. You merely need to finalize the topic’s title and concerns you identified throughout research. Problem Statement identifies issues. Capstone Project Proposal needs a topic introduction. Then identify the concerns and solutions your team determines. After that, you must create solutions.

Title Defense will tell you if the topic you choose meets your skills and team’s needs. This will show if you studied well. At your Title Defense, you’ll be asked about the topic, its problem, and its solutions. These must be defended well and with solid proof. Review all the relevant material to support your topic.

How to write Capstone Project Chapter 1?

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Here’s how to start writing your Capstone Project Chapter 1( Introduction ).

The Capstone Project Chapter 1 has its parts and are very important in developing your project. It is a continuation from your capstone project proposal but more specific. Its structure is composed of:

The composition of your capstone project chapter 1 will always vary from your school or instructors. But the given details here are all essential to create a Capstone Project Chapter 1.

How to write Capstone Project Chapter 2 ?

Chapter 2 RRL (Review of Related Literature) is the third step in writing a Capstone project document (Review of Related Literature). It includes project-related articles and systems. These concepts can be used in your planned study. You must only reproduce valuable ideas from an article, book, or topic.

How to write Capstone Project Chapter 3 ?

The third step in creating a capstone is completing its Methodology . It must contain all the methods and procedures used for project development. You will also present the illustrations, diagrams and figures to explain the process of creating the project.

Here’s the structure on how to write your Capstone Project Chapter 3:

How to create a Capstone Project Chapter 4 ?

After completing Project Evaluation, you’ll test its usefulness. For project testing, utilize a survey. This questionnaire will show if the project fits consumers’ needs. The comments or ratings will justify project performance.

You must add the project evaluation to Chapter 4 to notify readers and panels. It’ll show if the project was enough. It must include the evaluation’s discussion and result.

Structure of the Capstone Chapter 4 to write and complete:

How to write a Capstone Project Chapter 5?

Capstone Project Chapter 5 includes a summary, conclusions, and recommendations. You must summarize and explain your outputs. This chapter informs readers and panels of the Project’s result and assessors’ opinions.

To start creating your Capstone Project Chapter 5, you must save all the collected information from the former chapter.

Capstone Chapter Structure Here are the important parts that your should consider before you write a Capstone Project Chapter 5.

That completes our discussion about How to make Capstone Project: A Definitive Guide Itsourcecoders.

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With the Capstone discussion presented above, you can get the ideas on how to create and write it for your own documentation or paper.

If you have questions concerning the Capstone chapters, contact us or leave a comment below.

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How to Make Capstone Projects in a Digital Portfolio

how to make capstone project

Many capstone projects culminate with a presentation. Let’s face it, not everyone is comfortable standing up in front of the room to present to classmates and peers. However, it’s an important life skill we all need. Here are some tips to ease the pain and help students build professional presentation building skills for life.

Reflect on presentation material.

Are your students taking time to document, reflect and understand the processes they used to construct their presentation? Documenting the process and reflecting on the project can help students prepare the script or talking points.  And when student go back through the project, teachers gain insights into the process and progress. Here are some reflection questions to help your students organize their thoughts, ponder what they learned and how to present their findings.

Use powerful and effective presentation tools.

What tools are students using to communicate their ideas? How can students use several different tools to share their work and ideas that will last beyond presentation day?

We recommend these.

Visual, interactive presentations are just better. We know the one-size-fits-all learning method doesn’t work anymore. Your students can be presenting information in more than one way, whether it means an image, video, audio file or more.

automotive designer

This student documents her process of creating a final art project. She introduces her passion for cars, the object of her piece, to lay a foundation for the project. She builds out the history of car art and how she became interested in them. Then she brings us step by step through her art process — from drafting to adding color and texture, and editing.

Dallas zoo

This group of students  researched, identified and tackled the issue of endangered elephants in Africa by creating a kinetic elephant model and presenting it to the Dallas Zoo. See how the project evolved, from start to finish.

student design

This design student  builds out every step of the ideation process behind a brand’s logo.

See how she moves through the process herself to create a logo for her own make belief company.

generations logo

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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:

Capstone projects usually follow a specific structure:

Writing Process

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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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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How to Write a Capstone Project

The process of studying in college is associated with writing various papers . This is necessary for the development of critical thinking, improving the skills of analysis and information retrieval. But some projects are global in nature and are a kind of culmination of learning. One of the striking examples is the capstone project. Many students perceive it as the most difficult stage in their life. But don't panic, and let’s find out what is a capstone project in college.

Capstone project definition cannot be put into multiple words. First of all, the capstone is a big two-semester project. If you are a student, then you have to choose a specific topic for research . As a rule, you have to prepare a paper and speech to tell about your research's most important aspects and results. The main goal of this project is to develop skills in searching and analyzing information. More often than not, you will need to write a paper. But there are other forms of this project as well. But what is a capstone? This is a mix of tasks. You might be making a multimedia presentation, a set of slides, or even making a video to showcase your research.

In the future, this project can become a part of your portfolio. The main prerequisite for this is the amount of profile data that you have analyzed and specified in the project.

What Is Involved in a Capstone?

After you have learned about the capstone college definition, you should proceed to the most important part. The first thing that awaits you is the choice of topic. Since capstone is a fairly large project, you need to approach this stage responsibly. A topic that is too narrow and specialized will not allow you to collect enough corroborated data from reliable sources .

After you inform your consultant about your chosen subject, you will receive recommendations on the research methodology or alternative suggestions. Next, you have to start research.

Main Stages of Capstone Project Development

You have to understand how to do a capstone project if you want to write a top-tier outline that will help you write a perfect paper. In most cases, tutors foresee the opportunity for students to pick a topic by themselves. By choosing a subject, a learner can research a topic that is interesting for them.

When a topic keeps learners engaged, the quality of work increases. A student has to submit a 200-word pitch to a tutor. They need to describe a chosen topic briefly and tell why they need to pick it. If the proposal is approved, learners go to the next stage.

Research is a crucial part as it is responsible for information gathering. Using the accumulated data, students come up with certain decisions that they present in their papers. The writing process implies a lot of different stages that have to be noted in an outline. Undergraduates need to analyze all the gathered information and present their findings in the capstone project. Learners also need to mention all the literature used for conducted analysis. In most cases, they also need to prepare a presentation to share their findings professionally.

Understanding how to write a capstone research paper will discover how your project has to look like when is completed. Having a strong understanding of what types of work should be done, you will create a top-notch outline .

How to Create a Capstone Project Outline

If you know nothing about creating a capstone outline, it's recommended to spend some time surfing the Internet to discover how to write papers' structures. Don't be shy to review the samples to understand how a perfect outline should look like . Also, you can find a template. It will help you create a top-notch structure by updating the pre-built structure.

Note, a structure can be different, depending on the provided instructions. Therefore, you have to read and understand all the requirements for your paper, as they may affect the outline of your assignment. If there are no specific instructions provided, follow the structure below.

The first heading that you have to write after the title page is abstract. It's a summary of your paper that doesn't exceed the 300-word limit. With the help of the abstract section, people can read a brief description of your research. They can discover a reviewed problem, learn more about analysis conducted, read about findings and outcomes. It's recommended to write it after finishing a paper. Writing the abstract last, you will be able to create a perfect summary of your research.


In the first chapter of a capstone project, you have to hook a readers' attention and present a received question. Feel free to write about the main topic in more detail and tell why it is important to research it. Also, you can specify the question on what you want to find an answer to. In this block, you have to write a thesis statement. The introduction should also imply the literature review to tell readers about already conducted studies on the reviewed problem.

The body section has to imply three major elements that are methods, results, and discussion. In the methods chapter, you will be required to describe how you conducted your study in more detail. You can write about the ways of data collection. The result chapter should present your findings. They also can include charts, diagrams, and graphs. If the information obtained can be inaccurate due to any possible limitations, you ought to keep readers informed.

In conclusion, you need to restate the reviewed problem and tell readers about the outcomes briefly. Also, you need to explain what the obtained results mean and how they affect the industry. It's vital to tell about all the findings, even if some of them don't match your overall capstone project's outcome. If there are any further studies required, don't forget to notice this.

Capstone Project Outline Format

There are no multipurpose capstone format rules that can be applied to any project. You have to check the instructions provided by your instructor to create a paper that matches all the requirements. In case you didn't receive any directions on how to write a capstone, format your assignment following the standard rules.

For starters, you need to pick the proper page properties. You should pick a single-sided page with the size of 8.5 inches x 11 inches. Write using the 12pt. Times New Roman font. The entire text has to be double-spaced. All chapters in your outline should be arranged in the hierarchical structure using the numbered list. The main headings need to be marked by roman numbers. First-level sub-headings need to be marked by letters:

In case you have already gathered a lot of information about your research question, you need to create a detailed outline that will help you write a comprehensive project by following the roadmap. Down below, you will find a thorough sample capstone paper outline that you can use as a base for your project creation. Don't forget to update it according to your needs:

Concluding Words

You should consider a capstone as the final milestone in your education. You will have to study a lot of data and confirm your knowledge. One of the main advantages is creative freedom and the ability to choose between standard paper, video, or presentation. Most students will have to make a speech, so it’s necessary to prepare a script or slide comments in advance.

If you don't know how to write a capstone project, you must start gaining your skills by creating an outline . It's a base that can help write a well-thought-out paper and not exceed the word limit. The information from the post above will help you discover how to create a professional capstone structure, even if you're a freshman who does it for the first time. Having no experience writing this type of academic work, you need to show your project outline to an instructor and get it approved first.

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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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  1. LibGuides: Capstone & Thesis Research: Getting started

    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.

  2. Guiudlines for Writing A Capstone Project Outline

    Set up the structure for the headings and subheadings in the sample capstone project outline template. The number of titles and subheadings will depend on the nature of your paper. Split the headings and subheadings further. However, remember that you can make changes later on.

  3. Expert Guide on How to Do a Capstone Project Successfully

    Create a capstone project proposal Armed with this general and background information, formulate a project proposal. You will present this to your instructor and wait for it to be approved before you can proceed. We have a guide to capstone project proposal here. Create a schedule

  4. 6 Tips for Engaging Capstone Projects

    Teaching Strategies 6 Tips for Engaging Capstone Projects Rather than creating a year-in-review capstone project, consider having students synthesize and personalize what they've learned, bringing it to a new level. By Andrew Miller May 17, 2016 Photo credit: Chesapeake Bay Program via flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

  5. How to Write Capstone Project: Capstone Project Ideas

    How to make a capstone project? The work has to be built according to a particular structure. The main components of the structure of the work are: title page; theses; content; a list of symbols, symbols, abbreviations, terms (if necessary), Introduction; the main part; conclusions; list of sources used; annexes (of mandatory).

  6. Capstone Project: Definition, Types, Structure, and Examples

    A capstone project in college is a final independent project undertaken in a program of study designed to assess the skills, knowledge, and expertise acquired by the student. As the name suggests, it is the capstone or crowning achievement of academic life and the last class taken before graduation.

  7. What is a capstone project? And why is it important?

    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.

  8. The Best 150 Capstone Project Topic Ideas

    Capstone Writing: 10 Steps The long path of research works ahead, and you can't find any capstone project ideas that would be interesting and innovative? The task can seem even more challenging for you to feel all the responsibility of this first step. The top 150 capstone ideas presented below aim to make a choice not so effort-consuming.

  9. Strategies for a Successful Capstone Project

    The following are strategies that will help you complete a capstone project: Find a Topic You'll Enjoy Researching Whether it is education, public health, or an MBA program, finding a topic interesting to you is vital. A capstone project has high expectations for academic research that will add value to the current career field.

  10. How to Write a Capstone Project: 8 Steps to Success

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    How to Create a Capstone Project in Step by Step? Capstone Project Ideas Before you achieve a project to develop, you must have first a proposal. This proposal serves as first step before you make a capstone project example and here's how to write it. Time needed: 10 minutes. Here are the complete steps on how to create a Capstone Project Proposal.

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    Here are the main steps you should take to choose great topic ideas: Brainstorm to generate some interesting ideas or look for some examples online; Study relevant literature to see what researches were already conducted on your ideas and what information is available; Choose the most engaging idea to narrow your focus; Consult with your adviser.

  13. How to Make Capstone Projects in a Digital Portfolio

    Video and audio clips to capture a student's actual voice. A student might find that they communicate more effectively through the spoken word, more so than the written word. Have them record a voice clip on their iPad or phone and upload it to a bulb page. Create an infographic.

  14. How to Write a Capstone Project like an Expert

    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.

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

    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.

  16. How to Align Your Portfolio or Capstone Project with Your

    3) Create a capstone project that allows you to explore a specific contribution to the challenge you care about. Document the skills, knowledge and experiences with you acquired along the way.

  17. What Is a Capstone Project: Definition & How to Do It

    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 ...

  18. How to Write a Capstone Project Outline: Format and Template

    In case you didn't receive any directions on how to write a capstone, format your assignment following the standard rules. For starters, you need to pick the proper page properties. You should pick a single-sided page with the size of 8.5 inches x 11 inches. Write using the 12pt. Times New Roman font.

  19. Capstone Project Plan Template

    A Capstone project plan template can help you create a detailed, step-by-step plan for completing your capstone project. Here are some of the benefits to using a Capstone project plan template: Helps ensure that your capstone project is completed on time and within budget;

  20. Capstone Project Definition

    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.