Senior Capstone

What is the capstone?

The capstone is a 1-credit requirement to be taken during your senior year. The project addresses a topic in writing studies related to a WRIT 3xxx or 4xxx level course that you are taking or have recently taken. You will work with a Writing Studies instructor to complete the project. The nature of the capstone project is flexible. It can be a research paper on a proposed topic related to coursework, a project that involves empirical research and creation of a document (such as a usability report, a technical report, a design, a website, etc.), or it can be a portolio. You should discuss the nature of your project with your instructor. There is a suggested three-student limit per faculty member each semester, so it's a good idea to plan ahead.

Options for completing the TWC capstone requirement:

Project Option

For this option, you will work closely with your WRIT 4995 faculty instructor to create a multimodal design or research project (website redesign, editing, usability, style guide) that incorporates technical communication. This project might be new or build upon a previous course project and its components include: 

  1. A project that entails technical writing, design, and usability skills in order to create a deliverable or artifact that addresses a communication need or problem. For example, students have designed or redesigned websites, have created style guides for various organizations (including CLA), usability report/analysis, a set of organizational/informational/marketing materials such as pamphlets or brochures, video, or podcast.
  2. A reflection paper citing 2-3 sources (potentially including a course textbook) that analyzes your process, your technical writing skills, and an understanding of your rhetorical choices (approx 1000-1500 words). 
    • Reflect rhetorically on your project. Explain how your understanding of audience impacted your document selection, curation, and revision. What specific choices did you make for your intended audience, and why? 
    • Talk about your design choices for your deliverable or artifact and analyze what impacted those choices. 
Paper Option

For this option, you will submit a traditional research paper, in consultation with your WRIT 4995 faculty instructor. This option includes: 

  1. A new or expanded research paper that you create by either: 
    • Expanding a research paper by 7-10 pages and by adding at least 5-7 sources, OR
    • Creating a new research paper of roughly 15-20 pages at least 10 sources. 
  2. A 500 word reflection that analyzes the rhetorical choices you made when creating or expanding your paper. Consider how audience, goal, purpose, context, and any principles that you learned during your coursework impacted your writing and revision choices. 
Portfolio Option

For this final option, you will work closely with your WRIT 4995 faculty instructor to create a portfolio that includes 3-5 projects or papers you’ve already completed, showcasing the work you’ve done during your undergraduate studies. The portfolio option includes: 

  1. Three to five significantly revised projects or papers. These documents can be created in a previous course and then redeveloped (revised) for an online portfolio using Wordpress, Google Sites, etc. Along with these revised components of your online portfolio, you will develop an introduction or home page that introduces your work, as a collection, to your audience. 
  2. A reflection paper, citing 2-3 sources (potentially including a course textbook) that analyzes your process, your technical writing skills, and an understanding of your rhetorical choices (approx 1000-1500 words). Your reflection should address the following questions: 
    • How do your pieces fit together to show something cohesive about your technical writing skills or about your approach to technical writing? Are these pieces tied together based on style, content, or because each demonstrates a particular piece of your technical writing skills? 
    • How did your understanding of audience impact your document selection, curation, and revision? What specific choices did you make for your intended audience, and why?
    • What choices did you make about document design, and what things (audience, purpose, context, goal) impacted those choices?  

 

Steps to Register for Writ 4995:

  1. Choose the class you plan to use for your capstone project from an upcoming or previous semester, and brainstorm a potential paper, project, or portfolio that you might complete in conjunction with the class.
  2. Identify the instructor of your chosen class, set a time to meet with the instructor to discuss your proposed capstone project, and get approval from the instructor.
  3. Complete the Capstone Contract: Download the contract, add information briefly describing your capstone project (along with a timeline for completion), and obtain signature of overseeing instructor. [Sample Capstone Project Timeline]
  4. Submit your completed form to Shannon Klug in 218 Nolte Center, who will give you a permission number to register for WRIT 4995.
Please register within the first FOUR weeks of a given semester. 

    Writ 4995H for Honors Students:

    Honors students should register for Writ 4995H to satisfy their TWC capstone requirement. One credit fulfills the TWC requirement, but Writ 4995H may be repeated, for up to two credits. Please work with your honors advisor for direction on fulfilling the honors requirements.