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How to Write a Capstone Project in IT & Computer Science

A common question that you may have right now is – ‘what is the capstone project?’ To put it simply, this is an academic project that requires students to research a topic independently in order to get a wealth of experience and understanding of the discipline. There are many different recommendations on how to write a capstone project in IT and computer science. But in our guide, professional writing and editing experts will talk about the key moments that you should know to accomplish this significant work as well as techniques to overcome some challenges.

The main goal of the capstone project in IT and computer science is to get you engaged in different intellectual activities when you do in-depth research over a long period of time. This kind of academic project helps you learn how to search for important information and analyze it efficiently.
The capstone project in IT and computer science can be done in many different forms, such as live performance, film, multimedia presentation and a written paper. The main difference between the capstone project and a college thesis is that the first requires more activities, such as in-depth analysis, critical thinking as well as the ability to work with different kinds of media.

Common Stages of a Capstone Project Development in IT

First of all, keep in mind that the capstone project in IT and computer science can be assigned at any college level. Moreover, this task may be presented in not only IT area, but also biology, political science, literature, and so on. Therefore, the requirements that you have to follow might differ significantly from university to university and from course to course. As a guideline, we offer the following recommendations that you can take up and benefit from.

1. Choose a topic. If you’re provided with a range of topics to choose, you can skip this part. If the topic has yet to be selected, keep in mind that if you choose a good one, you’ll make the process much easier.
Your task at this stage is to find a good balance: choose the topic that has enough space for investigation but is not too narrow to research.
For IT and computer science area, we’ve got some of the topics to start your work:

  • Digital Security VS Private Information
  • The Significance of Open Source Software
  • White Hat Hackers: Does Ethical Hacking Exist?
  • Portable Gadgets and the Difficulties of Software Development for Them
  • Virtual Reality and the Way It Relates to Human Perception
  • Does Future Belong to Quantum Computers?

When you choose potential topics for your capstone project for IT and computer science, make sure you don’t go far in a completely new direction. You have to demonstrate what kind of knowledge you’ve gained. Avoid topics that represent the brand-new area you have never dealt with.

2. Do a literature review. At first, you may consider this part of extra work. However, the truth is that an in-depth literature review will serve well later when you’re in the middle of intensive work. If it’s the first time that you do a literature review, don’t worry. All you have to do is to provide a section of your written work and talk about the relevance of each of your sources, all information gaps you’ve encountered, and any background information you’ve managed to uncover. Using a literature review will help you to decide where to move next in your capstone project (just like the road maps help you when you travel). It will become a sound foundation for your work and warn you about all the areas that you have to improve yet.

3. Do the research on your topic. Taking into consideration the fact that in case with the capstone projects in computer science, you will have to do a presentation at the end, it’s time to let your creativity shine bright though the facts finding. Ideally, you could participate in some serious IT events like Hawaii Technology Conference or Cyber Security Summit in Los Angeles. Besides, you may interview some specialists in IT area in person or via email, as well as go the classic way – college library. Be sure to have in mind your target audience at every stage of your work.

4. Create a proposal. Before the writing process starts, your professor will ask you to provide him or her with a proposal. As a rule, a capstone project proposal will include 200 words or more. Here are the points that you have to include in your proposal:

  • Let your university professor know what topic you’re going to work on and why. For example, you may tell your professor that you’re going to research the topic “Issues in the design of a code generator” and let him or her know that you’ve already dealt with some of the code generators and know the subject matter from the inside.
  • Tell about your background of experience in this topic.
  • Give a full list of sources and information available. Make sure to include websites like TechCrunch.com, Mashable.com, and DigitalTrends.com on your list because they include a lot of useful information for IT and computer science research projects.
  • Discuss the research that you’re going to conduct in your capstone project, as well as the methods that will be used (analysis, observation, interview, and so on).
  • List the goals you plan to achieve with the capstone project.
    If your professor wants you to write a more extended capstone project, you may be required to give methodology and a full literature review that will be involved in the process of writing. It is crucial to include everything that will help you assure your professor that you’re passionate about the chosen or given topic and she or he will accept the proposal.

5. Structure your capstone project. The structure of this paper may vary from course to course. Having a strong and clear structure at hand will enable you to imagine the logical flow of your project and keep it in mind until the moment you finish the last sentence.
Take a look at the typical structure for a capstone project in IT and computer science:

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?
  • Title page
  • The introductory part
  • Literature review
  • The methods
  • Results of the research and discussion
  • The concluding part and recommendations
  • References

6. Get to the capstone project writing. The strong foundation of your capstone project in IT is the thesis statement. It is important to write a well-focused thesis statement that is narrow and specific enough. If you make it too broad, it will be nearly impossible to write about all the details.
You are free to write the capstone project from any point that you prefer. However, keep in mind that you should write an introduction last. The point is that it’s impossible to come up with a hooking introduction when you have no idea what you’re going to discuss in the body. Ensure to also mention the major issue that your research is based on together with the limitations that your study stumbled on at the point.

When writing the literature review section, you have to sum up all of your findings on the given or chosen topic. Make a brief analysis and general conclusions of every source that you think is important for your capstone project research. It is important to remain critical about every source and catch all the information gaps. Include quotes. This will add more significance to your work. However, you should be careful and never overuse quotes.

When it’s time for the methods part, make certain to analyze the course of your research. It is important that the readers understand what steps you have taken, why and how: evaluation, collecting data, doing analysis, and so on. Don’t just enumerate the methods you have used. You have to also justify them and talk about the negative and positive issues that made you choose a certain method.

The results part is used in the capstone project writing to discuss the data that you have uncovered in the process of research. If you have some statistics or any other important materials, you can demonstrate them in charts and tables. Give some interpretation and descriptions of the data you’ve collected. When you conclude, make sure to summarize your findings and provide some recommendations for the researchers who may work on the same topic in the future. Find out how the initial issue is connected with the results that you have obtained.

7. Proofread. When the first draft is done, it’s time to read and correct it. First of all, check every part of the capstone project and ensure that each is logically constructed and complete. Erase every sentence that has no meaning, and add important details to guarantee 100% completeness. When the context is alright, make sure to check typos, grammar, and all the other errors. It is also important to ensure that the style and the voice of your capstone project is academic and the format complies with the existing requirements. If there’s anyone experienced in capstone project writing among your acquaintances, ask him or her to check your paper and provide you with professional feedback.

8. Be ready to defend. We hope that it is not a secret for you that most college and university projects are defended in front of the committee. The point is that the way you present your project will influence the final evaluation of it. At first, you will have to reveal the message of your capstone project topic, talk about the research and uncover your findings. When you’re in the middle of your presentation, be ready to get many questions from the committee board. It means you will have to know your findings from A to Z to be able to give clear-cut answers. As a rule, the representatives of the committee board are well-familiar with your text because they usually check every proposal before the defense.

The Importance of a Timetable

As we have already mentioned, a capstone project in IT and computer science is a really voluminous and complex paper. For that reason, you have to turn on your time-management and planning skills. We recommend you to create a calendar and mark all the deadlines and assignments on it. From time to time, you will have to correct the dates because you may finish some of the parts faster than you thought, while the other stages may require more time than you could even imagine. It is better to download some free organizing apps to your phone or laptop to keep your time and progress on the radar.

Use Capstone Project Samples

When you work on a capstone project in IT, it is recommended to study as many samples as you can to get more information on your topic. You will be able to see how the other author approaches your topic, what kind of methods and techniques they apply to investigate the given issue, as well as how they format their paper to make it readable. It is a well-known fact that samples are easier to understand than any academic requirements that your professor wants you to follow. What is more, you can even find some interesting ideas in one of the loads of samples that you examine.