Identify the purpose of conducting this project
When undertaking a capstone or any other academic research paper, it is important to note the purpose of conducting the project.
Essentially, doing a capstone involves summarizing all that you have learned during your undergraduate studies at the university. For instance, if you want to research a topic such as cybersecurity education, you have to bring out real-world applicability for the topic to be accepted. That implies that there must be some connection between your topic and what you learned before or at least should require some general knowledge about the area of study.
Pick an appropriate methodology for your capstone essay
It is important to be deliberate when selecting the right methodology that can provide you with high-quality results for your capstone research paper. You can use several methodologies; therefore, it is crucial that beforehand, you familiarize yourself with them and how they work. One of these methods includes content analysis which would require you to read through large amounts of literature (about 200-300), summarize the contents briefly and then analyze them in relation to your topic. Essentially, this means focusing on what works best according to available past experiences or findings from earlier research studies. Besides content analysis, there is grounded theory which would require you to go through a large body of literature and choose several key themes from it. Then, you can use these ideas in conducting qualitative research on your chosen topic.
Conduct literature review
Once the methodology is decided upon, carry out an extensive literature review. This step is basically collecting information about the key aspects that are relevant to your topic of interest.
Ideally, when undertaking a capstone project, there should be some sort of pre-existing knowledge in place that can help students in their writing. This means going through various books and articles on the subject matter before starting with the research for your paper. In addition to that, you can also look at how other authors have addressed similar issues in the past and still think about alternative solutions that may work better for your particular project.
The references used during your literature search should be properly cited in your essay; therefore, make sure that you learn about the most commonly used citation styles such as APA or MLA.
Write a Capstone Project Proposal
The proposal is where you discuss the research you intend to carry out to come up with a substantial result. This means outlining all aspects of your project, including how it will be conducted and what procedures will be used.
Create an outline before writing down your capstone essay
The next step involves devising the best possible structure for your write-up in order to facilitate easy reading and comprehension by your readers. The standard way is to use an outline in which references have already been cited properly so that there is no confusion on where information has originated from or whether it was borrowed from someone else's work.
Construct research design (independent and dependent variables)
Once you have outlined your capstone project, it is up to you to decide upon the best research design for producing results that will be both valid and reliable. Essentially, this means that you should know what information must be gathered in order to establish a meaningful connection between cause and effect.
Use surveys, observations, archives or interviews as data gathering tools
In an ideal situation, you will be able to use a combination of at least two or three different data gathering tools. On the one hand, surveys and experimental studies are great for coming up with numerical results that can be easily interpreted. Case studies, observations and archives provide valuable information that can be used as supporting evidence for your main argument. They also help in adding detail to what was previously discussed and thus enhance the overall awareness of the issues under consideration.
Paper writing (presenting results, findings and drawing conclusions)
By now, you must have conducted your capstone project by gathering and analyzing data that you will then use to achieve meaningful results. However, your job is not yet done because you still need to present your findings and draw conclusions that support the main argument presented at the beginning of your capstone write-up.
For instance, if you were writing a capstone project on workplace racism, this would be the section where you may want to discuss different types of abuse that are inflicted on some employees compared to others, as well as possible ways in which this can be avoided.