Words of Wisdom - Capstone/Thesis/Applied Project

For many, the thought of completing a capstone, thesis, or an applied project is scary. GASW tries to ease these nerves by holding an informational for students where we discuss what this is and answer any questions that students have. We understand that many of you weren't able to attend the informational, so I took some tips from current students and asked alumni to provide their words of wisdom as well. I hope this helps!

Pick a topic or a population you are extremely passionate about. That is the only way to sustain you through this rigorous process.

-Brian K.

Utilize all ur resources on campus for help...and then some

- Deidre D.

* Pick a topic that is personal to you.

* Use your capstone seminar time wisely.

* Your Capstone Chair is your bestfriend.

* Get use to editing and rewriting.

* Don't take unfavorable comments badly, use them to guide you.

* ...keep your capstone chair informed you will be fine.

* It is ok to take an Incomplete in the Fall Semester to keep your sanity and use your winter break to focus on meeting your fall deadlines.

* Chapters 1-3 are the most difficult.

* Snowball Sampling is a true lifesaver!

* Talk-texting is your best for transcribing and recording ideas.

*Just DONT plagiarize!!!

*Remember you will complete this project successfully!!

Good luck luvbugs!!!

- Valencia S.

Be creative but realistic in terms of picking a population you have easy access to and know it won’t be hard to get approval for.

- Jennifer M.

...just keep pushing. You’ll get thru it! We all did. Make use of your capstone professors and colleagues.

-Josh M.

At first, all of your ideas will be very broad, but little by little, you will start to narrow it down. You will be so confused at the beginning, but after a while, you will enjoy it and start to have fun with it. You will all get approved I used secondary data and didn’t have to be gathering data. That is something you guys might consider and then used SPSS. Cite as needed.

-Sandra C.

I say think of your topic (broaden the topic) early on i.e first semester. Then write all of your papers around that topic, save the original and paraphrased quotes to excel. Start reaching out to places to conduct research early on. I’ve seen people get set back due to trying to find subjects. I also offered incentives (15$ subway gift cards)

Finally pick your chair and second reader wisely!!! I cannot stress this enough!!!!

- Arnel J.

...if you know you are going to have a hard time recruiting your population, start early...

-Carlos D.

If you are a person that likes a schedule, keep that mentality for your capstone. Even if you're not, try to do it even if its just for your capstone. It helps to write a timeline and keep yourself accountable. If you're a procrastinator it's easy to get caught up and then you'll be working with limited time.

-Summer W.

I created a folder where I kept articles that interested me. It really helped me because I was able to go back to that folder and they were accessible...

- Cecilia I.

Don't be intimidated by the process... as long as you're constantly working or doing bits and pieces you'll be fine. Even just taking 20 - 30 minutes to write a few sentences or your introduction helps.

- Korrine

We used quantitative data as opposed to qualitative data and I would suggest really paying attention to statistics and data analysis because that'll be your best friend when you analyze that.

- Javier & Karen

If you're going to do an applied project, find your sponsors or any partner organizations early. Be ambitious, don't be afraid to ask for stuff and reach out to anyone because you never know who is willing to help you - even your classmates. We also went in person to the sponsors as well as emailed them. The ones that we got the most resources from were the ones we went to in person and made that human connection. Be organized, I highly suggest using Google Docs... doing it that way allowed us to work on it at the same time and if anything changed you'll see it right away.

- Jesus P & Gina D