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Capstone Project or Thesis? How to Make the Right Choice 1

The difference between a capstone and a thesis is that a capstone focuses on a specific topic, whereas the thesis addresses a broader issue. It can be stressful trying to decide which on would suit you best, but once you understand the concept behind the two, you will be able to make a more informed decision.

Capstone Project

If you are trying to figure out how to write a capstone project, you are not the only one. You will be tested on core concepts focused on your field of study. First, you have to choose a topic and it is important to make sure you already have a clear understanding on this topic. You will be required to do a lot of writing and if you do not remember the basics, it may seem like an unachievable task. There are many types of capstone project topics you can choose from. You will be required to submit a capstone project proposal to the board for approval. Your proposal will be about 40 pages long and might be rejected. Once your capstone proposal is rejected, you will be given alternative ideas on what to base your project on.
It seems like a lot of work, just on the proposal, but there is no way around it. By the time you reach postgraduate, tasks become more challenging and seeing as this is your final project, you have to give it your all. If your proposal is accepted, you can start your researching process. If you are doing a business capstone project, make sure you cover as much information on business as you can within the given timeframe. You would need as much literature on the subject and come to a conclusion. Write down your findings and protect your notes like gold. After the research process, you can start your capstone project.
Even though a capstone project shows your academic knowledge, your professors are more interested in how you apply critical thinking when given a challenge. You spent a lot of time in grad school and now they have to make sure you would be able to apply your knowledge. There will be a requirement to show the exact steps you took to come to your conclusion which is a skill in itself.

Chanakya IAS Academy - Essay writing based on Thesis

 

Thesis

Many students think that a capstone paper and a thesis are one and the same, but there is a distinct difference. With a capstone paper, you focus on knowledge and research. A thesis requires you to come up with new knowledge. You do this by developing a hypothesis. After that, you will have to assess your results, find conclusions and compare various sets of results.

Even an IAS aspirant needs to have sound knowledge about Capstone and thesis, as it helps him/her in essay writing. For more essay writing tips for your Mains examination and to get the right resource for self-preparation, click here.

Moving further, A thesis is usually done only by grad students and not undergrads. If you are planning to enter a Ph.D. program after grad school, a thesis might be a more suitable option for you. You will be required to do your thesis as an individual project and not as part of a group. A thesis project does take up more time than a capstone paper, but you will also be receiving more credits when doing a thesis. The bright side to a thesis is that you will be given several semesters to complete it, whereas, with the capstone paper, you will only have one semester to work on your project.

Writing a strong thesis requires a lot of proof. You cannot simply state facts or your opinion. In order for those two points to be accepted you need to provide strong evidence of your findings. When choosing your topic, make sure you are familiar with it or want to learn about it. Once you find a passion for something, the task becomes easier. It is already a difficult task and would be more difficult if you know nothing about the topic. Instead of starting at the beginning and getting to know the basics, you can use your own knowledge and build from there. Even though a thesis focuses on a broader topic, do not make it too broad. A thesis requires a lot of writing and if your topic is too broad, you will be required to write more. By keeping it a little focused on a narrow scope, you have a better chance of giving valid information.

 

Conclusion

We are all different and what works for some, might not work for everyone. Now that you have a clear understanding of what is required for a capstone paper and a thesis, you can make an informative decision. Do not pay attention to what the rest of your class chose to do, but instead focus on your own abilities and knowledge. Even though a thesis gives you more credits, you have to decide if you are up for the task and have it within you to see it through. Both options will test you and make for a challenge, but nothing is beyond you and whichever way you go, I’m sure you’ll do just fine.

Contributed by:

Linda Jellison

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