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Capstone

Task 1: Getting Started


August 29, 2017

Advisor Meetings
For your meeting with your advisor, you should prepare the following information:

A summary of what youve accomplished this summer.
A schedule for the fall:
o What is your research plan and how will you execute it? How will you collect
your data? What sort of data do you expect will be useful to you?
o What additional background research do you need to do? What readings need
to be added to your bibliography?

In planning your fall schedule, you may want to come up with target dates and work back. For
example, you will need to include a lit review as part of your process paper. When do you plan
to have that section finished? In thinking about when youll be finishing your writing, you need
to have an idea of when youll be done the reading, and so on. This part of the planning is all
about working backward: figuring out where you want to end up and then setting intermediate
deadlines that will allow you to get there.

Final Deliverables
To some extent, you have latitude to decide with your capstone advisor what your final
deliverables will be. Most projects should include the following:

A presentation
A final product
A process paper, which should include
o Introduction & research question
o Lit review
o Research methodology
o Thick description
o Findings/conclusions

A few notes about these items:

1. The presentation and final product may wind up being the same thing. For example, if
the project involves some sort of performance, the performance and the presentation
could be one and the same.
2. Your lit reviews will vary widely in terms of what you include, depending upon what sort
of project youre doing. It should reflect your work to understand where to start in
terms of what youre doing. If youre doing some sort of social science research, your lit
review should explore what sort of research in your area already existsand perhaps
informs your thinking. If youre doing something more in the humanities veina
creative project, saywhat works have inspired you or provided you with useful
background information about the world or idea you plan to explore.
3. As we discussed last spring, thick description is nothing more than a detailed accounting
of a culture, usually in the form of some sort of highly specific description of a ritual,
event, or tradition. For example, you could tell a lot about the culture of ESLA through a
thick description of chapel. Who speaks and who listens? Who sings the hymns and
who does not? What else is going on besides the formal ritual?

You should take good notes in your meeting with your advisor, and be prepared to fill out a
progress report when youre done.