Monday, September 27, 2004

A new chapter....... PART 8


Now that the daunting and nerve-wrecking proposal defense session is over and through, this does not mean that you can already start resting on your laurel. On the contrary, your serious journey has just begun. The proposal defense session you had was intended to get you anchored on some kind of footing, but it is still far far away from being perfect. The proposal you submit is not truly foolproof yet, honestly you still needs to iron out the rough edges and fine tune it further in more detail with your appointed supervisor/s later. Catch, chase or hunt after your supervisor ASAP. You have to make the initiative, rather than waiting for them to come after you because they have many other important things to do than to worry about you.

Although you did mentioned qualitative or quantitative methods during your proposal defense, have you actually sorted out exactly who will be your sampling, and can you provide the justification for why you chose them as your sample? Do you know exactly how big a sampling you will need for your data to be really valid or representative? How do you ensure that the test instrument developed for your study is unbiased and guarantees randomness? How do you design your interview or survey questions to ensure you can get they right data needed to support your hypothesis? And most critical of all is that, have you sorted out how the data will be analyzed?

Most of the answers to the above questions have been explained clearly in many research methodology books that can be obtained in the University library, or at least, try and get hold of a copy of Dr. Sulaiman Samsuri's book on Research Methodology as a starter. Never leave this vital issue unattended until the last minute because this is the sole pillar to your research. This will be your examiner's first line of attack during your Viva Voce.

Start reading and visiting the University library ASAP and start surfing the Internet immediately. Because our memory span is very sort-lived, it is extremely important for you to record immediately the content of what you read into writing, even a bit at a time. At this early stage, worry not about the grammar or the language yet, but to keep constantly writing. Write in Malay if it helps, but make sure to run spell checking on your document, after all Bill Gates has already provided such functionality in his MSWords word processor. There is also built in grammar-checker and Thesaurus for you to use. It could be just in mere point forms, or a simple mind-mapping diagram, or a sketch, just record it to your hard disk or into your logbook. Although it might seem rubbish now, or not quite relevant... do not make judgment yet, just keep filling it into the rubbish dump. Believe me; you'd see the connection and relevance many many months later.

Open a specific folder in your hard disk for this purpose called Research. As a precaution against virus attack or corrupt of your hard disk data, regularly burn all the files to CD-ROM as a backup, and file the printed hardcopy into organized cataloging. This is something extremely valuable, which once corrupted, cannot be replaced ever again.

Your first immediate task now is to rewrite your earlier Research Proposal paper again into a full fledge pages complete with citations, for your Thesis Chapter 1 and hand it to your supervisor for reading and corrections so that both of you are set on the same path together.


Post a Comment

<< Home