So you’re finally a senior in high school and now preparing for graduation! It must have been one heck of a long road to get here. But you’ve made it. There’s a lot of responsibility resting on your shoulders, now that you’re part of the most mature group of people in your high-school! And you’ve probably heard your professor mentioning something like a culminating project.
So what is a culminating project? Well, it’s a project that you have to take before graduating, that showcases all the skills and knowledge you have learned while you were in high-school.
Most of these projects are centered on an experimental setup; that is, you’ve got to come up with an interesting subject matter, test it, and be able to meet its objectives before the professor! Sadly a majority of high-school seniors flunk their culminating projects due to a number of reasons. We’ll analyze the 7 most common errors observed and what you can do to avoid them!
7 Things That Can Ruin Your Culminating Project
- Plagiarism: the mother of all errors! For some strange reason, most students just can’t seem to avoid this plague. In fact, in Academia, it’s an offense that sentences your culminating project to a death sentence! One of the things that students need to understand is that you cannot copy content from a published source word for word. If you see useful content that you can add to your paper, there are two things you can do:
- Paraphrase the content: you can rewrite the content in your own words while still maintaining the juice of the content.
- Cite the sources: give credit where credit is due. Therefore, ensure you cite the source to avoid any future disputes concerning your paper!
- Poor time management: oh the life of a senior can be thrilling! All of a sudden, you’re the boss. Everyone wants to give you attention. You’re suddenly the life of every party and everyone wants you around!
- Inexperience in research: research is an important feature of any successful project. In fact, it’s the backbone of the project as a whole!
But hold on a minute…Is there something that you are forgetting? Yes, your culminating project! To avoid being strapped for time, the first thing you should do is divide your project period into given time-frames. And for each time-frame, set a specific goal or objective.
For example, say you need to complete the introduction by Wednesday. Make sure you do everything in your power to have it completed by then. Even if it means missing out on a couple of parties!
Most students, especially in high school, tend to have very poor research skills. But where does this stem from? A negative attitude of course. Students view research as a boring thing to do, such a drag, and a hindrance to having fun! But they’ve been looking at research the wrong way. Think of all the awesome things you’d miss out on in life if someone didn’t break their back researching? That peanut butter you spread on your bread in the morning, the PS4 you play, all these are fruits of painstaking research!
So give a little more focus on research especially while doing your culminating project:
- Poor comprehension of academic formats: students need to have a good apprehension of academic formats such as APA and MLA in order to write a great culminating project. You should definitely take some time to go over some academic formats before starting your project.
- Lack of presentation skills: presentation skills are important in helping you successfully discuss and defend your culminating project. One of the things you should do is involve yourself in presentation practice to gain the confidence. You can even do it in front of your mirror every morning!
- Lack of creativity: the truth is that most projects presented today are a continuation of an initial idea or topic. It’s the little strong factors that you will add to your project that will make it unique. Hence a little bit of creativity goes a long way!
- Failing to consult your coordinator: your coordinator is there for a reason. He or she has knowledge of the subject topic of your culminating project and that is why the two of you were linked. Failing to regularly communicate with him or her can lead you to miss vital points and even fail your culminating project! So make sure to keep regular communication ongoing!
What Is a Culminating Project Outline?
A culminating project outline is a structure that you will use to present the thesis paper of the project. And now that you’ve known what to look out for when writing your culminating project, here is a great project outline to follow!
It is similar to a capstone project outline:
- Abstract: the abstract is a definitive summary of the most important information in your project. Make sure it’s short and simple to convey the content clearly.
- Table of contents: the TOC is a summary of the structure of your graduation project that lets the reader know where to obtain certain information.
There are three types of TOCs usually found in a project:
- A general TOC: containing chapters, sections, and sub-sections
- List of tables: a list of the relevant tables contained in your thesis.
- List of figures: a list showing the name and page of relevant pictures in your thesis
NOTE: It’s always important to hyperlink page numbers in your TOC to their respective content for ease of navigation and to avoid being penalized by your professor!
- Introduction: the introduction is an important chapter of the capstone paper format. It is used to ease the reader into the content of your subject matter, and to also introduce the objectives of your study. You can also introduce other sections of your work such as the background of the study, and the tools you will be using during your project execution.
- Literature review: this chapter is used to delve deeper into the subject matter, talking about its history, and also introducing the relation of your subject matter to real-life issues and problems.
We advise you to be extra careful here as literature reviews are the most plagiarized content in Academia. No matter how tempting it is, make sure to always paraphrase content while writing your literature review.
Alternatively, you should always cite your sources:
- Technical chapters: technical chapters are more or less the easiest sections to write because they just add more information to your subject matter. Here, you can introduce theories, issues, problems or sub-topics that are tied to your subject matter.
- Procedural process: this chapter highlights the process by which you collected information and conduct certain experiments related to the subject matter.
- Analysis: the analysis is a description of how you came to the conclusive target of your requirements. You can explain your analysis through the use of domain models, sequence diagrams, and flow charts.
- Design: this is where you explain the design model that you developed for your project. It is the core of your thesis, so ensure to include as much information as possible while at the same time making the explanation concise.
- Implementation: this is where you implement the design model that is required for testing. For example, engineering students will explain how they assembled a specific design apparatus to execute a given function.
- Testing and validation: the testing and validation section of your project is where you put your implemented design to the test. Will it meet the required goals and objectives? If so, then the design model is feasible and your project is a success!
- Conclusion: the conclusion is where you can highlight the problems you encountered during your project execution and how you successfully overcame them. You can also tie how you have successfully met all your objectives in this section.
- Appendices: these are additional features that you feel are important, but might have disrupted the flow of your thesis.
Such content includes:
- Data tables
- Design models
- Bibliography: this includes the citations and list of references. Ensure they follow a single format such as MLA, APA, ACM or IEE etc.
A List of 10 Interesting Ideas for a Culminating Project
Here’s a list of some of the best culminating project ideas that you can present to your high-school panel before graduation:
- Advertisements: you can create an advertisement campaign in order to sell a given product.
- Album covers: you can create artwork for an album depicting certain events e,g. a disaster, a political event
- Autobiographies: writing an autobiography is a great idea!
- Awards: create awards to honor great characters in history!
- Banners: informational banners on a given event are also a great idea.
- Bar graphs: you can create bar graphs that depict the stock market.
- Biographies: you can write a vivid biography of a prominent leader or historical figure
- Blogs: create informative and vivid blogs is unique and definitely worth taking a look at.
- Blueprints: you can create blueprints of floor plans you read in a novel or even a video game!
- Board games: you can create an educational board game where students answer questions based on their curriculum.
Tips on Writing a Culminating Project
So, now that you’ve gone through some of the best culminating project topics to choose from, here are a few tips to keep in mind while writing your culminating project:
- Follow the correct format when writing the dissertation
- Avoid any plagiarism. Always paraphrase content or cite your sources when borrowing intellectual property
- Be conscious of your time
- After completing the paper, make sure to edit and proofread it before submission
- Have fun while writing the paper and take pride in your work!
You can further access our expert final project writing service if you need help developing a concrete culminating project approach. We will provide you with dissertation topics, professional help in your written assignment, editing, and proofreading of content.