Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Starting your FYP

Salam and good day!

I'm writing here after my meeting with Dr. Tina. I thought I should put it all here faster while it's still fresh in my mind (short-term memory lost can be very dangerous for me). But before I start, I must tell you that this is post is regarding final year project (of what we call FYP or PSM). Final year students have to do this if they want to graduate (hell yeah guess it's obvious). 

Dr. Tina advised a few things to bear in mind and to start doing it- the most important thing like if you wanna go somewhere by car, you have to fill the gas or else cycling from Klang to JB won't be enough in 4 months (what? *insert meme*). OK move on.

Thank you, Dr. Tina.
I loiiike conteng2 cenggini sebab nanti bila lupa, tengok balik mesti ingat apa details yang digebang-gebangkan.

TOPIC - READ
First thing first, to be able to do a research, you've got to have a topic. And how do you find that topic? READ -- LOTS of READING. This will be a pain in the ass for those who don't like to read or worst, allergic to it. Can't help you with that though.

LIST KEY TERMS
However, you can't read blindly or else you will go nowhere. To read efficient and effectively, list down key terms or key words that you're interested in. For example, I'm doing TESL, so my topic has got to do with language. I'm interested in literature, second language acquisition, linguistics, teaching language etc. You must have done a lot of assignments these past 3 years so try to narrow down the key terms into maybe .. formula? approach? context? Like literature in ELT or Linguistics and gender difference. 

300 ABSTRACTS - A FEW RESEARCH REPORTS
After you've listed down all the key words that interest you, now go to any database you know (Google Scholars/UTM online database-my favourite) and find at least 300 abstracts, read them. How are you going to do this? One of the best ways is to put a period range (advance search) - eg: 1990-2013. By doing this, you will know the trends and patterns of previous researches thus, be able to find gaps and your paper's contribution in the field later. These two things are actually the highlights in graduates papers. She said that for undergrad level, you are actually finding what you're interested in through a research. But of course if you've those two, it would represent the novelty in your research. Not easy, but definitely not impossible. 

FRAMEWORK - PARAMETERS
After that, select a few research reports that you think best as reference to your topic of interest to get a topic. Then, you've to set a framework to your own study to put parameters to your work. This is crucial because you only have 4 months to get 3 chapters done (trust Dr. Tina, it will be amended a few times throughout the second semester). So, whether your topic is a suitable PSM topic as in it's not too complicated or too simplified, refer to SV (supervisor), always. I guess that's all for now. 

Things to bear in mind :

- FYP is a continuous project. You have to follow through every now and then or you might not have a synchronize chapters (the major problem undergrads have as mentioned by Dr. Tina).
- Find your own way to study the research. It is a process to make you a thinker, responsible of tour own curiosity and interest. That's why you have to be interested in the topic. If you aren't, how do you expect the readers to be interested in reading it? zzzz
- These are only tips from ONE lecturer. I believe there are many other ways of starting off your research. But since she has been doing so many researches (and still on-going too), supervised a lot of students (undergrad and postgrad) previously, these tips will definitely do. 

Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. 300 abstracts!?? (>_<),baca satu pun kadang2 tak habis. hahaha. btw, thanks for the info :)

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