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What Is Capstone Project and How to Cope with Writing It?

What Is Capstone Project?

Often, students struggle when it comes to writing capstone project which is the last step prior to graduation as indicated in the degree requirements. In fact, some students would ask if it is necessary for them to embark on this project. Although this project can be a daunting task, it often turns out to be a valuable and rewarding experience to students when it is completed. The last course or class required from graduating students is known as capstone project.

Just like a capstone works in architecture, it stands as a crowning achievement for the graduating student, which is why this final course is called a capstone project. For certain graduate degree programs, writing a project, finding sample capstone paper and literature review sample MLA, and doing a presentation on the project subsequently could be what a capstone course requires.

capstone project literature review writing service

But, the project may go a different angle for some programs, for instance, an assessment examination may be required to evaluate interdisciplinary skills such as critical thinking, writing, make presentation, and math. It may also require a final research paper that explores a chosen topic in culmination emanating from your own program of study.

In the end, this type of project represents fresh ideas and work, and at the same time provides the students with the opportunity to show the knowledge as well as skills they’ve acquired in the course of a college education. The whole essence of a multifaceted capstone project is to find out if students are acquiring the necessary skills that would lead to success after graduation. That’s not all, the successful completion of this project can increase the chances of being selected during a job interview. It’s a great addition to your employment portfolio in the future.


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Popular Areas for MBA Capstone Projects

A capstone project is designed to encourage students to use their understanding and research skills developed throughout their MBA experience to fix a real-world issue or to draft a business idea as an entrepreneur. This project report for MBA may cover the final two terms or even the entire MBA experience.

Accounting

How does banking influence economic growth? Common integration strategies used in the global stock exchange.

Business

Relationships between organizational culture and innovation. Business performance and environmental issues.

Finance

Choosing investment strategies. The effectiveness of margin financing. Allocating assets between bonds and stocks.

Marketing

Advertising and consumer behavior. Cost-benefit analysis of direct marketing and creative ads.

Technology

Analysis of the best IT outsourcing locations.

Entrepreneurship

What skills do you need? What are the existing global outsourcing trends?

Human Resources

Increasing employee commitment. Employee turnover vs. organizational profitability.

Economics

Analysis of macroeconomic factors of exchange rates. Economic growth to reduce poverty in Africa.

Psychology

Antisocial personality disorder. The relationship between students’ self-esteem and grades.

Your subject will have to be authorized by your professors, usually this is done via a proposition explaining the project, your reasons for pursuing it and how you will make it work. As soon as the authorisation of MBA capstone project (or MBA dissertation topics) is obtained you can get to work!

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What Is Common Literature Format for Capstone Project?

When it comes to the format for writing a capstone, what matters most is to ensure you are consistent. This is especially important for review of literature in capstone project and documentation of sources generally. And it has to be according to the academic department’s recommendation.

Before ever you start the research, you should familiarize yourself with the right style manual. The style manual in most cases needs to meet the college studies and research’s approval.

Common Formats of a Capstone Paper Here are the frequently recommended formats or style:
  • MLA Style or Format
  • Chicago Manual of Style
  • APA Manual
Margins and placement of page number
  • Left margin – 1.5”
  • Right margin – 1 inch
  • Bottom margin – 1 inch
  • Top Margin – Place page numbers an inch from the top as well as right, ensuring that the text starts a double space beneath the page number.
Title page and endorsement page Before you start creating your capstone project outline, it’s important to first understand the different segments of the project as well as the format. Just like other dissertations and theses, your capstone project must have title page as well as an endorsement or signature page. And, the title page must have the following features:
  • Full title
  • Author
  • Identifying legend

The endorsement or signature page must have the following:

  • The approval date for the project
  • The name of the student
  • A statement of approval
  • The members of the examining committee’ signatures. The titles and names of the examining members should be written below the signature lines.
Tables and figures If these are aspects of the main text, ensure they fit within the margins. You can use slightly smaller fonts, but ensuring they are readable. You may include larger figures/tables for printed papers, especially if it is very necessary.
Abstract page The abstract is an integral part of your capstone project and should be inserted in the dissertation/thesis, preceding the table of contents immediately. This page does not need a page number and it’s not included in the number of pages for your project.

This part of your project should not exceed 350 words and should feature the following;

  • Title
  • Name of author
  • The degree program
  • Name/location of the university/college
  • Year
  • Procedure or methods
  • Statement of problem

There are optional non-textual components of this type of paper, particularly for printed copies;

  • DVDs/CDs – for each copy of the paper
  • Postcards and Brochures – this is usually necessary for art as well as music students
  • Photographs – If you’re including photographs, you should print them on archival-quality paper for photographs.

MBA Capstone Project Literature Review

A little like an editorial, a literature review demonstrates your opinion on your chosen piece of literature.

The capstone project literature review requires you to show skills in seeking information and analysis. They need to relate directly to your initial argument, bring together research into a summary as well as consider controversy in the piece of literature and questions brought up that need more research. Generally, they contain four parts:

  • Introduction – Grabs the reader’s attention, basic information about the piece and its author;
  • Summary – Brief synopsis of piece’s content, this only needs a couple of paragraphs and states major points but does not go further in its analysis;
  • Analysis – Strengths and weaknesses, the writer is allowed more freedom to express their opinion, academic reviews such as those in their thesis should balance criticism with positive features and avoid making decisive judgements;
  • Conclusion – Brings together the writer’s arguments and opinions on the usefulness of the piece and only needs to be very brief.

The conclusion should bring together information discussed throughout your project rather than being a summary of the information. Do not bring any new information to your conclusion, make all of your points in the main body of your project! Your argument should already have been made clear so use the conclusion to tie everything together. Once you have made your point clear do not feel the need to drag this paragraph out any longer!

capstone project writing advice

8 Innovative Project Topics for MBA Students

  • Anonymity, privacy, and ethics in big data.
  • Cloud Computing Technologies and Applications
  • Automatic vs. controlled processes in emotion
  • Resource management and sustainable development
  • Social entrepreneurship and business models for developing countries
  • Comparative experiment in consumer response to a product’s country of origin
  • The effects of the recession on advertising
  • Studies into waste management and recycling in a particular area

After choosing an interesting for your topic you need to get started as soon as possible, the minute you get authorization from your professor you can start researching. Start planning ASAP and research little and often to make the workload more bearable. Last minute rush will produce a project you will not be proud of.

The Best MBA Books

  • Essential Operations Management, A Hill & T Hill (2011)
  • Accounting and Finance for Non-Specialists, P Atrill and E McLaney.
  • Principles of Marketing 6th European edn, P Kotler, G Armstrong, V Wong and J Saunders.
  • Essentials of Strategic Management, M Pitt and D Koufopoulos, 2012.
  • The Black Swan: the Impact of the Highly Improbable, N. N Taleb, 2007.
  • Organizational Behaviour, A Huczynski and D Buchanan, 2010.
  • International Management: Managing Across Borders and Cultures, H Deresky, 2014
  • International Business, A.M Rugman and S Collinson (2012).
  • Transitional Management: Texts, Cases, and Readings in Cross-Border Management, A Bartlett Christopher and P Beamish (2011).
  • Multinational Enterprises and the Global Economy, J Dunning and S Lundan (2011)
  • The Oxford Handbook of International Business, A Rugman (2009).
  • Essentials of Information Systems for Managers, G Piccoli (2012)
  • Managing Change in Healthcare, P Parkin (2009)
  • Healthcare Management, K Walshe and J Smith (2011)
  • Airline Management, P.S Dempsey and L.E Gesell (2006)
  • Airport Planning & Management, A.T Wells and S Young (2011)
  • The Airport Business, R Doganis (1992)
  • Business Research: A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students, J Collis and R Hussey.
  • Managerial Economics, P Keat and K Philip.
  • An Introduction to Econometrics, G Koop.

Executive Summary of MBA Project Report

This is the first thing your ‘investor’ will see and should get you a meeting (ideally!). It should bring your project to life, encouraging an investor to become a part of your idea. Your executive summary should be no longer than two pages of A4 and contain 10 sections:

Company name and executive summary

Elevator pitch – 100-150 words that introduce your company. It must be interesting and draw the investor in.

Customer pain – 150 words describing how you can solve a customer’s problem. Statistics such as performance improvement and customer savings help support your ideas. Market jargon should only be used where appropriate – not as an effort to look like you know what you’re talking about!

Market – 100-150 words to define your target market. Tables are helpful here to define and consider sub-markets.

Product offering – 100 words explaining your product.

Competitors – 100 words to describe any threats that are already or may in future be present. How will you beat those competitors?

Customers and partners – 100-150 words summarising your main customers and partnerships. List any signed agreements and focus on your best two or so of each.

Management – 150-200 words giving short descriptions of your executive team. Keep each paragraph brief but be sure to include their recent accomplishments and what they bring to your company.

Schedules and milestones – 150-200 words showing capital raised to date and how it was obtained. Explain how the funds you gained were used and then your future plans for capital raised. Details of milestones and their dates show forward thinking.

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Additional Tips on Capstone Project Writing

Follow our tips to complete a convincing and exciting project that will wow your professors! A capstone project can appear an insurmountable hurdle in your MBA experience but using our help you will have it finished with no trouble at all.

  • Select a topic: The topic should match the degree course you’re pursuing. While the coverage of the topic should be broad, you should manage it in such way that you can sufficiently explain the different components. Research your chosen topic both online and offline, taking notes and keeping track of your references and sources while you research.
  • Obtain the professor’s approval: Before even starting your paper, ensure you seek approval from the professor. This is quite necessary.
  • Consider your research methods. The age-old quantitative vs. qualitative argument is very relevant when it comes to your MBA capstone project. Whichever you choose make sure you explain why you picked that method. Quantitative research is useful for overviews and trend prediction while qualitative will help you look into employee satisfaction or considering one enterprise in more depth.
  • Create your thesis statement: It is the thesis statement that explains the main point or theme of the capstone paper you’re writing. Use one sentence to summarize and capture your thesis statement. It is part of your introduction. Endeavor to create the statement as early as possible, so that you can research and write based on the statement.
  • Segment the content: Capstone papers feature sub-sections just like other research papers. This may be three to four subsections. So, Sort the information from your sources and separate them to suit each subsection.
  • Write your introduction and body: It should be as descriptive as possible. In essence, it should thoroughly explain what your paper is all about. However, try not to unveil too many details of your theme or topic. The body must contain well-documented factual pieces of information. Also, it should feature some of your own interpretations as well as thoughts or opinions.
  • Documentation of all interpretations is necessary: To enable you tell the examining board how you arrived at the conclusions in your paper.
  • Create the conclusion: This should be very strong and should tie the thesis statement and the rest of the paper together. A reader should not be lost regarding any aspect of the paper when reading your conclusion. In essence, a reader should have a thorough grasp of your paper when reading through the conclusion.
  • Proofread: There is nothing more frustrating than dropping marks on a project you have poured time and energy into for grammatical and spelling mistakes. Take the time to go back through and edit your writing, even get a friend as a fresh pair of eyes to read through if possible. This will ensure your ideas make sense to an outside eye as well as double checking for errors.

Don’t forget to cite your references and sources. Ensure you follow the recommended literature format for capstone project when making your citation. Review of literature in capstone project is essential and should be accomplished accordingly, just like when you are doing lab report writing or any other paper.

What is capstone project? Get to know how to get an outstanding paper and save your time!