The capstone project is the final piece of the puzzle in your academic program! It’s normally taken in the final year of the student’s curriculum when he or she has acquired the necessary skills to handle pertinent information in real-life settings. Now, capstone writing is no monkey business! It requires a lot of time allocation, dedication, and focus. So sorry mate, you’ll need to cut down on those weekend parties!
So how do you go about your capstone project? The first thing you need to do is come up with an effective capstone project outline. This will save you loads of time! And even make the project writing process fun and easy. You might even be able to sneak in one or two raves over the weekend! So sit back and absorb the best guide to writing capstone paper around!
What Is My Capstone Project Outline?
This is the structure of your project and it’s pretty important. In fact, many a professor has penalized students on how they present their projects! It’s as if they are out to hunt you for every part of the structure that you miss! So to be on the safe side, you’ll need to have a great project outline.
Here’s one awesome structure on how to write a capstone paper:
- 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 topics 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.
Top Formats to Use for Your Capstone Project Outline
Once you’ve got your project outline clear, you can have a great start to writing your thesis! But you’re not out of the woods yet! You still need to select a permissible capstone project format to go together with the outline. This could either have been mentioned as a guideline by your professor or depends on the project you’re undertaking.
Here are some of the most recommended formats on how to write a capstone project:
- MLA: this stands for Modern Language Association and is used to complete papers tied to the liberal arts and humanities.
Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Use an 8.5 x 11-inch paper
- The entire paper should be double-spaced
- Margins should be set to 1 inch on all sides
- Indentation should be on the 1st line of the paragraph, half an inch from the left margin
- APA: APA stands for the American Psychological Association.
Some of its guidelines include:
- The entire paper should be double-spaced
- Utilize white 8 ½ x 11 paper
- You should make 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, and also on the other sides
- The first word in every paragraph should have a half an inch indentation.
- Use Times New Roman font, with size 12
5 Tips on Writing a Capstone Project Guideline
Here are some writing tips and instructions to keep in mind in order to write a capstone project with ease:
- Do extensive research: do great independent research to obtain pertinent information on your subject matter!
- Budget your time: divide your project into specific time-frames and make sure you meet them!
- Collaborate with your project coordinator: for additional assistance; you can organize regular meetings with your project coordinator to guide you through your capstone project.
- Be creative: a little creativity goes a long way. You can add additional info-graphics, or even a video highlighting the objectives!
- Prepare a stellar presentation: prepare a stellar presentation for your professor or the panel to impress them with your project!
We further provide high-quality assistance on how to write a strong thesis, editing and proofreading and choosing the best graduate project ideas as well to ensure that you deliver an excellent project to your professor. This is done through our team of certified professional writers, proofreaders, and editors who have years of experience in a wide variety of fields!