What is a Capstone Project?
"What is a capstone project?" is a popular question among graduates. If it is your final year at college or university, you will ask this question very soon. Students should write a lot of different academic papers and essays during their education, but not a capstone paper. Why? Capstone projects are much more complicated than other types of written assignments. Furthermore, few know a capstone meaning. The capstone research project is the paper you should write during your last year at college or university to obtain your Bachelor or Master degree. This easy capstone project definition requires you to have a wide range of professional soft and hard skills, find out and analyze a lot of information, make critical and attractive presentation of findings.
Many students face a lot of difficulties to write it; even they realize a capstone definition. Moreover, they claim that it is much harder than a thesis paper. What makes it different and more complicated? The capstone project is the independent student’s research with some peculiarities.
Topic: students should choose a highly actual topic or issue that concerns the study subject and social problems.
Form: students pick up the best format of presenting their results and findings. They may use a wide range of options: a PowerPoint Presentation, short film, advertisements, podcast, performance, or, finally, paper. It requires the knowledge of different media and audio instruments, which you rarely use for your thesis paper.
Methodology: similar to the forms, a capstone paper may include various methods to conduct the capstone research project properly. Usually, you should be good mostly at traditional methodology while you are writing your thesis paper. However, a capstone project requires also the knowledge of non-classic methods: interviews, questionnaires, social interaction, discussion, etc.
Personal abilities: finding and analyzing different sort of information, making sharp and vivid arguments, various and creative presentation of findings and results require from students to improve their critical thinking, data parsing, communicational skills, oral and written performance.
Therefore, many professors believe that a capstone experience allows students to reopen or discover their hidden abilities much better than a thesis paper that is more academic and leaves less space for creativity.
Capstone Project: Pros and Cons
The only minus of a capstone project is that it seems too much complicated for students, and they are just scared of it. However, the whole idea of a capstone paper is to teach students a lot of useful things, which they even may not have learned during years of studying.
Many students argue that a capstone project helped them to prepare for their further studying, for example, to get a Master degree at university. Running a capstone project research allows you to learn in-depth about what you want to study later. Furthermore, it is easier to choose the way you want to improve your skills and the area you desire to develop yourself as an individual. Thus, many students year by year become more and more self-oriented and highly-motivated.
Often, a capstone paper is a project, which you conduct with other highly-motivated and successful students on a particular issue. Therefore, you get a great chance to become a team player, which is so important nowadays if you work in a big company with a lot of different professionals. Besides, it is an excellent opportunity to make new friends, some of them may become your life long mates.
Therefore, we should claim that there are more advantages than disadvantages. Some of pros you may use far further than just during your final year at college or university.
Capstone Project Ideas
There are different capstone project ideas, which we may use right now. Here are some capstone project examples:
- Longtime research: many students like to observe ecological and environmental changes around us on a particular local territory. Such a capstone project may take from half a year to a whole year of researching in order to be reliable and representable.
- App project: a capstone project may be represented as a useful technique device that solves some particular issues, for example, an app that helps people with disabilities at the supermarkets. The app may be created by programmers who use collected data and analysis provided by you in your capstone paper. Therefore, a capstone project may have different stages and final appearance.
- NGO: a non-governmental organization can also be a final result of your capstone project. Through the interviews, questionnaires, and polls you may create a core of the future non-governmental organization dealing with such particular problems as homeless people and animals, hunger, poverty, moral and physical effects of war.
- Business: there are a lot of examples when a capstone project is transformed into the local industry. Many entrepreneurs use students' capstone paper as a business plan. Usually, it allows them to realize much better the customers' needs and make a perfect client profile.
- Media: there is always a lack of well-investigated and filmed media materials on a particular small issue. A capstone project is a perfect opportunity to make a short podcast on a topical issue, broadcast it via TV, YouTube, and other social networks to broaden people's knowledge about the problem and make an effort to solve it.
Finally, we highly recommend you to follow these capstone tips that will make capstone project writing much easier:
- Do not research something you do not understand or like. Choose the topic or issue you are highly interested in.
- Do not use too complicated or empty phrases. Make a clear central thesis and vivid arguments. Use a draft to follow your ideas and goals.
- Do not make your conclusion too long. Depending on the particular issue, you may use different presentation forms but never make it longer than it is necessary.
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