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 examples of capstone papers 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?
Once you have sorted out which topic you will use after brainstorming some culminating project ideas, you will have to write an outline for your project. A culminating project outline is a written form of communication that will state your project thesis. It will mention your scope, research method, and references that you will use. Think of it as the skeleton of your project.
The culminating project outline needs to include specific information about your project. This is a simple structure you can follow:
- As mentioned before, you will have to add in your outline an abstract of your project. The abstract should be brief and straight to the point. It has to help the reader get an idea of what your project is all about. It will include one of the culminating project topics you had to pick for your essay.
- Another important trait of the outline is that it has to have a table of contents (TOC). The TOC is like the index for your project. It will help the reader locate specific parts of your project, saving them time. Depending on the type of project you had to write, you will need to include a table of contents, or a list of figures, or a list of tables.
- Continue writing your outline by dedicating a few sentences to the introduction. The intro will give the reader an idea of what they are about to read.
- The literature review should follow the outline. Here is where you will include all the relevant sources you have used in your paper.
- The main body is the strongest part of your outline. You will have to divide it into sections, where each part is supported by one or two relevant sources. In this part, you will also have to include the methodology you have used on your project.
- Finish your outline with a brief conclusion where you summarize your culminating project.
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!
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