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What is the difference between a thesis and a capstone project?

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The thesis and capstone project serve the same purpose. They allow a student to demonstrate his or her mastery of subject matter, as well as analytical and interpretive skills. They differ in the way they serve this purpose. A thesis is a written work stating a claim or interpretation and supporting it with data and argument. For example, a thesis might claim that a certain type of protestant theology is responsible for political reform movements in the United States and support that claim by examining, in one of a number of different ways, the civil rights movement of the 1960s. A capstone project combines different kinds of practical experience (e.g., as a docent or historical re-enactor) or other written work (e.g., historical fiction) with analytical and interpretive writing in the form of one or more essays. Capstone projects might include: • Selection of materials (e.g., primary documents) to enhance a curriculum, with essays providing justification of the selections and ... more
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