Writing Up a Quality Contract

Download the contract from the CSS Forms and Contracts website page and fill it in. DO NOT answer the questions in a separate document and attach the answers. Put answers directly with questions. Note that the whole thing must be typed, including the first page.

For the title, make it descriptive, not too short.

For the brief description, include a summary of the material you put in question #1: It should be a stand-alone clear description, but without the kind of detail you will put in your answer to question #1.

For question #1, you're basically describing the capstone. You may repeat material you already wrote in the brief description. Everything should be self explanatory. Explain everything clearly. Assume the reader doesn't know anything.

If you are doing an industry-sponsored capstone,

Write at least two decent paragraphs for #1, at least 3/4 page long.

If you are doing research or a project,

Write enough information so that someone who knows nothing about the research or project understands what is being done.

For question #2, make a bulleted list of many (seven, eight, ...) of the competencies that apply and write a few sentences about each. You can find a list of the competencies on the CSS website: Competencies.

For question #6, list specific plans, deliverables, etc. for your faculty advisor. Talk to your advisor about what he or she would like from you.

If you know the scope of the capstone well (definitely for research and project capstones), define the scope with an expected set of milestones and deliverables. Example items include: a project timeline, hour breakdown, reports from weekly/regular meetings, project milestone reports, etc. Define the software development process (agile, waterfall, etc.) along with a timeline covering the full calendar term of the project. The answer to this question is the basis for the expected 400 hours of work.

If you are doing an industry-sponsored internship, you may not know the details of the capstone when the contract is due. You can have the deliverables be generic in the contract and then specific when turned in. Different options are common and two examples follow:

Option 1: You will have at least 4 reports in total for the 10 credits:
        Report #1, Report #2, Report #3, Final Report.
Specific due dates are not critical. You can say "Week of x" as the due date (where x is spread out over the time of your internship). Also, be sure to include the abstract and poster/presentation (due the day of the colloquium). Some faculty may want the abstract earlier or drafts of the poster / presentation.

    For example (of course, use correct current dates):
        Report #1     Due week of July 5
        Report #2     Due week of July 19
        Report #3     Due week of Aug 9
        Poster, Presentation     Due at Summer 2010 Colloquium
        Final Report, Abstract     Due week of Aug 16

    Another example (if the capstone spans more than one quarter):
        Report #1     Due week of July 19
        Report #2     Due week of Aug 19
        Report #3     Due week of Oct 25
        Poster, Presentation     Due at Autumn 2010 Colloquium
        Final Report, Abstract     Due week of Dec 6

Option 2: An alternative to the first three reports is to give weekly status reports saying what you have learned, and what you are working on.

For question #7, again, you should talk to your advisor about what he or she would like from you regarding assessment. You may want to include things such as: