LibGuides: Capstone & Thesis Research: Selecting & focusing your research topic (2023)

Developing your thesis statement/research question

Topic: Social media in the workplace.

Many students start with a general topic and then narrow the focus. For example, youmay beinterested in social media and decide to examine its use by employees in the workplace. You could be even more specific, limiting your scope to a particular geographical location, a specific type of company, an age group, etc.

Thesis statement (typically for research papers, critical analyses, etc.): The benefits to companies whose employees use social mediaat work outweighthe negatives.

For most standalone papers, you will want to write a thesis statement expressing the argument you want to make. The statement will guide you as you search for information. In this case, we will want to find research on the pros and cons of social media use in the workplace. Ideally, it would be great to find some studies which support the argument that the benefits outweigh the negatives.

Research question (for students conducting a research project): Does the size of a company make a significant difference in the degree to which companies benefit from social media use among their employees?

If you plan to conduct actual research, you need to establish the research question or questions that your study will attempt to answer. For example, we may ask whether the size of the company makes a difference asregards social media benefits. We could do a survey of various companies and compare the responses of large, medium and small companies. Ideally this study would cover new ground and not exactly replicate previous studies.

Always check with your instructor to make sure you understand the assignment and to get help if you are having trouble with this step.


What are the difference between capstone research and thesis? ›

A capstone project attempts to address an issue in the field by applying existing knowledge toward a real-life problem (often in the form of fieldwork). A thesis seeks to create new knowledge through student research, trying to prove or argue a hypothesis, rather than just investigate a topic.

How do I choose a topic for capstone project? ›

Choosing a topic

For a capstone or thesis topic consider: Issues that are relevant to your workplace, classroom experience, or career goals. A topic that has caught your eye in your textbook, a journal article, or an issue that you explored for previous classwork or projects and would like to pursue further.

What is an example of a capstone project? ›

Capstone project examples

Analyze soil samples from different areas or over time; study the population of a local animal; experiment with plants and seeding; run a summer camp for children to encourage science and outdoor exploration; found a community garden.

Do colleges look at capstone projects? ›

The simple answer is yes. Completing a capstone project can be a feather in the cap of any prospective college student, so long as the project doesn't interfere with any of the student's other activities or interests that may be attractive to colleges and universities.

Do colleges care about capstone? ›

The AP Capstone Diploma is increasingly recognized in admissions by higher education institutions around the world. Many colleges and universities offer credit and/or placement for a qualifying score in AP Seminar, AP Research, or both.

What are the 4 capstone project elements? ›

Capstone Resources
  • Parts of a Scientific & Scholarly Paper.
  • Title.
  • Abstract.
  • Introduction.
  • Methods.
  • Results.
  • Discussion.
Jun 20, 2023

Which is better thesis or capstone project? ›

They both follow a similar basic format and represent a scholarly effort of high quality. However, practice-based programs can use a capstone project to emphasize preparation of the student for professional practice. In contrast, a thesis is an academic-focused research project with broader applicability.

What are the 7 steps for choosing a research topic? ›

The Seven Steps of the Research Process
  • Step 1: Identify and Develop Your Topic. ...
  • Step 2: Find Background Information. ...
  • Step 3: Use Catalogs to Find Books and Media. ...
  • Step 4: Use Databases to Find Journal Articles. ...
  • Step 5: Find Internet Resources. ...
  • Step 6: Evaluate What You Find. ...
  • Step 7: Cite What You Find Using a Standard Format.

What are the 4 things you need to consider in choosing a research topic? ›

Here are some tips:
  • Choose a topic that you are interested in! ...
  • Narrow your topic to something manageable. ...
  • Review the guidelines on topic selection outlined in your assignment. ...
  • Refer to lecture notes and required texts to refresh your knowledge of the course and assignment.
  • Talk about research ideas with a friend.
Jul 30, 2021

What are the 3 criteria to consider in choosing a research topic? ›

Before choosing a research topic and a problem the young researchers should keep the following points in mind. Topic should be suitable for research. The researcher should have interest in it. Topic should not be chosen by compulsion from some one else.

What is a capstone project in simple words? ›

Capstone Project​ Definition. A Capstone Project ​is a multifaceted body of work that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students.

What is the difference between capstone project and research project? ›

Research projects focus more on developing or proposing theories, whereas capstone projects focus more on achieving tangible or intangible results through research.

What makes a good capstone project? ›

The best Capstone proposals are important but not urgent; achievable within the academic time frame and with the resources available; provide a clear definition of the problem or issue to be addressed; have a realistic scope; and specify tangible deliverables for the Capstone team to provide.

Is capstone project hard? ›

“Capstones are too easy.”

Rather, they are rigorous, well-rounded academic undertakings. Capstones require research, community input, analysis, experimentation, public speaking and a formal presentation. Many educators compare the project to a National Science Fair presentation—or better yet, a Master's dissertation.

Is it possible to fail capstone project? ›

Yes, you can fail a capstone course. However, failing a capstone course at some universities could disqualify you from graduating from that particular major or program. Other schools could require you to revise your capstone project until it's approved or you receive a passing grade.

What are the common questions in capstone project? ›

Capstone Projects FAQ
  • What is the Capstone Project/Course? ...
  • What are some of the advantages for students? ...
  • How big are the project teams? ...
  • Where do projects come from? ...
  • What background will the students bring to the Capstone Project? ...
  • What is the process for getting a project submitted as a potential Capstone Project?

How many people fail capstone? ›

Fail rate: 87.03%.

Does a capstone project count as research? ›

As in many other university courses, the capstone is research-based; the difference being that the student chooses the topic early on, allowing them more freedom to conduct research on their own, unlike in other courses which are more guided. Capstone topics align with the specific discipline of program study.

Are capstone projects considered research? ›

The capstone project is a unique opportunity to carry out independent group research in order to devise an innovative solution for a real-world problem. While a project of this scope and scale can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding.

How long should a capstone proposal be? ›

The length of a good capstone project proposal should be between 1 and 4 pages. Anything longer is discouraged unless your instructor says otherwise. Thus, refine it until it is concise, clear, and direct.

What is a capstone essay? ›

Capstone is a culminating piece of academic writing. It's usually encountered in their final year of school or college. It requires additional intellectual and analytical skills. It is never the same and can encompass any subject. It can be presented as a multimedia project.

What is capstone format? ›

Everyone's capstone paper should contain the following elements: a title page, abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, and reference list. Click on the link below to open and make a copy of the capstone paper template.

How long does a capstone project take? ›

How Long Does a Capstone Project Usually Take to Complete? This will vary from program to program and can be as few as 10 weeks to as many as two semesters depending on the requirements of the program. It is most common for graduate programs to require a capstone project course that lasts for one semester.

What type of research is capstone project? ›

The Capstone Project is a two-semester process in which students pursue independent research on a question or problem of their choice, engage with the scholarly debates in the relevant disciplines, and - with the guidance of a faculty mentor - produce a substantial paper that reflects a deep understanding of the topic.

How do you write a capstone methodology? ›

How to write a methodology
  1. Restate your thesis or research problem. ...
  2. Explain the approach you chose. ...
  3. Explain any uncommon methodology you use. ...
  4. Describe how you collected the data you used. ...
  5. Explain the methods you used to analyze the data you collected. ...
  6. Evaluate and justify the methodological choices you made.
Aug 8, 2022

What is the best title for capstone project? ›

Management Capstone Project Ideas
  • Evaluation of free clinic process.
  • The role of project management in effective political campaigns.
  • The practice of ethical thinking in administration.
  • Modern strategies for rate of return and capital investment.
  • The importance of conflict administration for big companies.

Does everyone do a capstone project? ›

No, not all colleges require capstone research projects. Additionally, some schools and programs may only make them mandatory in certain instances, such as specific degree levels or majors. Generally, a thesis or similar research experience is more common for graduate degrees than undergraduate degrees.

Is a capstone like a dissertation? ›

Ironically, a capstone is often longer than a dissertation because it typically includes two parts: the program you've designed and implemented to address the needed change (this might be a 4-week professional development program for faculty, for example) and the final report, which includes an overview of your project ...

What are the top 5 most researched topics? ›

Top 10 Trending Research Topics to Write About
  • Energy Sources.
  • Waste Disposal.
  • Imposed Democracy.
  • Political Environment in the Middle East.
  • Religion and Globalization.
  • UN Policies on the Environment and their Impact.
  • The Influence of Marketing and Media on Teens.
  • Bar Code Implants.

What is the rules in choosing a research topic? ›

Generally, if you choose a topic that is interesting to you, then your reader will find it interesting too. If your assignment requires research, choose a topic on which you can find material. Even when you aren't writing a research paper, make sure you select a subject that you can develop with sufficient details.

What are the techniques in choosing research topic? ›

  • Start looking for sources. Brainstorm search terms. ...
  • Narrowing your topic. ...
  • Broaden your topic. ...
  • Turn your topic into a research question. ...
  • Tracking Down a Citation. ...
  • Deciphering a citation. ...
  • Reference Sources.

What are the 8 steps involved when choosing a topic for research? ›

  • Step 1: Check the requirements. ...
  • Step 2: Choose a broad field of research. ...
  • Step 3: Look for books and articles. ...
  • Step 4: Find a niche. ...
  • Step 5: Consider the type of research. ...
  • Step 6: Determine the relevance. ...
  • Step 7: Make sure it's plausible. ...
  • Step 8: Get your topic approved.
Nov 11, 2022

What are the 3 steps in choosing a topic? ›

Choosing a Topic from Scratch
  • STEP 1: QUESTION. Take a few minutes and ask yourself the following questions. ...
  • Step 3: Choosing a Topic.
Aug 24, 2022

What is the most important thing to consider in choosing a topic? ›

Appeal, Appropriateness, and Ability. These are three main factors to consider when choosing a topic. All three factors are related to one another, but by systematically focusing on each one you will help address the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen topic.

What are three 3 key basic research methods? ›

The three common approaches to conducting research are quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. The researcher anticipates the type of data needed to respond to the research question.

What is another word for capstone project? ›

What is another word for capstone?
upper limitbest part
crowning momentutmost extent
136 more rows

What is the goal of the capstone project? ›

What is the Purpose of a Capstone Project? The capstone project is designed to consolidate last year's students learning with significant hands-on experience to assist with forming them into well-ready and well-rounded graduates.

What are the goals of capstone? ›

The meaning of capstone project itself is to encourage students to be more productive in the final stage of their studies. It promotes a more stimulating learning experience and creates an opportunity to do in-depth research on a student's interest topic.

Which is harder capstone or thesis? ›

Thesis and capstone projects synthesize your overall learning, taking the knowledge you've gained throughout your program and applying it to your own research. A thesis, which often requires more intensive research than a capstone, may span multiple years depending on the level of the psychology program.

Why is a project called capstone? ›

The term derives from the final decorative coping or "cap-stone" used to complete a building or monument. In higher education, the term has been in common use in the USA since the mid-twentieth century, although there is evidence that it was in use as early as the late 1800s.

What is the problem statement in a capstone project? ›

The problem statement clearly defines the scope and expected content of the project. It addresses novelty, customer needs, specifications, constraints, evaluation criteria, market, goals, and any other specific relevant issue of the project.

What are the two required components of the capstone project? ›

The Capstone Project consists of two components: (1) a written portion and (2) a presentation of the research in a public academic, professional, or creative forum.

How long should a capstone presentation be? ›

1. Time: The presentation should be 5 to 7 minutes in length. 2. Multimedia: A PowerPoint or Prezi may be used to help structure the Capstone Experience Oral Presentation.

What should a capstone proposal include? ›

Recommended Capstone Project Proposal Format
  • Cover page with: Title. ...
  • Project Summary. A brief summary of the overall goal of the project and the final outcomes to be developed from. ...
  • Literature Review or Annotated Work to Support the Project. ...
  • Methods of Project. ...
  • Timeline. ...
  • Final Product. ...
  • Dissemination. ...
  • References.

What is the difference between thesis and research? ›

A thesis is concerned with the central question or statement of a scientific hypothesis that results in further investigation, while a research paper is concerned with proving that central argument.

What does capstone research mean? ›

Capstone Project​ Definition. A Capstone Project ​is a multifaceted body of work that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students.

What is the difference between research thesis and research project? ›

A project involves curriculum or program development and applies theory to practice, while a thesis is a traditional research capstone where a candidate for an advanced degree gathers data, analyzes that data, and presents the results along with their interpretations.

Is a capstone considered research? ›

As in many other university courses, the capstone is research-based; the difference being that the student chooses the topic early on, allowing them more freedom to conduct research on their own, unlike in other courses which are more guided. Capstone topics align with the specific discipline of program study.

Do all research papers need a thesis? ›

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons: It gives your writing direction and focus. It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

What is an example of a thesis? ›

A persuasive thesis usually contains an opinion and the reason why your opinion is true. Example: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the best type of sandwich because they are versatile, easy to make, and taste good.

Can I do my thesis alone? ›

The pros of writing a thesis alone

If a particular thesis topic fascinates you, there is no need to agree on someone else's topic. You can simply go with the flow and choose the topic you truly want to write about. Because thesis and passion should go hand in hand.

What is the main goal of capstone research for the students? ›

The capstone project is designed to consolidate final-year students' learning with valuable hands-on experience to help develop them into well-prepared and well-rounded graduates.

What is capstone good for? ›

AP Capstone is a powerful indicator of college readiness on a student's transcript and helps students stand out to colleges in the application process. Research has found that students who take AP Capstone courses are more likely to persist in college and earn higher first-year college GPAs.

What are the three types of research project? ›

Most research can be divided into three different categories: exploratory, descriptive and causal.

How to write a thesis? ›

Your Thesis:
  1. State your topic. Your topic is the essential idea of your paper. ...
  2. State your main idea about this topic. ...
  3. Give a reason that supports your main idea. ...
  4. Give another reason that supports your main idea. ...
  5. Give one more reason that supports your main idea. ...
  6. Include an opposing viewpoint to your main idea, if applicable.

What type of research is capstone? ›

The Capstone Project is a two-semester process in which students pursue independent research on a question or problem of their choice, engage with the scholarly debates in the relevant disciplines, and - with the guidance of a faculty mentor - produce a substantial paper that reflects a deep understanding of the topic.

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