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Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation
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Thesis Writing and Examiner's Expectation

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This presentation discusses about understanding examiner's expectation of a good thesis.

This presentation discusses about understanding examiner's expectation of a good thesis.

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  • 1. THESIS WRITING & EXAMINER’S EXPECTATION Abd Karim Alias akarim@usm.my Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 2. WHAT IS ATHESIS? A product of scholarly and professional study of a subject. Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 3. ROLE OF EXAMINERS To carefully assess whether the study has fulfilled what it has intended to achieve and what it intends to contribute. The scientific merits The significance & impact The new contribution to the research field The research has been communicated clearly Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 4. COMMON EXAMINER’S REMARK •“The presentation of the thesis falls short...substantial proof reading” •“The literature review...lack of critical assessment...just a simple compilation... incomplete...” •“The experimental design was not appropriate...” •“Many vague statements...” Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 5. WHAT MAKES AN OUTSTANDINGTHESIS? “The outstanding PhDs have beautifully conceived ideas that open up a new area or really answer an important question, and are critical of previous work in the area or make a critical assessment of their own work” Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 6. WHAT MAKES AN OUTSTANDINGTHESIS? •Novelty/originality •Clear & specific objectives •Cohesiveness - where it all fits together •Clarity - clear line of thought & presentation •Elegance of design, synthesis & execution Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 7. WHAT MAKES AN OUTSTANDINGTHESIS? •Creativity •Overall a well sculpted piece of work •A thesis is not an end in itself - rather it will open up a new vista. Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 8. POORTHESIS •Lack of novelty/originality •Lack of coherence •Lack of understanding of the theory •Lack of confidence •Lack of substantive data •Lack of well-structured argument •Researching the wrong problem! Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 9. IN THEVERY BEGINNING Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 10. FIRST IMPRESSION COUNTS! •Overall presentation •No spelling & grammatical errors in the title, abstract, table of content, summary/conclusion (because examiners will read these parts first!) •Substantive both in quantity + quality •The thesis tells a story - takes the reader through a journey. Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 11. DON’T LET EXAMINERS GUESS •Structure (examiner will look at the TOC) •Chapter introduction & summary/ conclusion (clear prologue & epilogue) •Rational of research approach •Appropriate data analysis & presentation •References Make it easy for them to read and follow... Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 12. RESEARCH PROBLEM Why did you undertake the research in the first place? How does your thesis advance the knowledge of the subject? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 13. RESEARCH PROBLEM •Sufficient background - so that examiner appreciates the research problem •Highlight the deficiencies in current knowledge - put the work in proper context or perspective. •Specific research objectives: achievable, measurable. Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 14. RESEARCH PROBLEM Do not leave the examiner thinking... WHY BOTHER? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 15. SCOPE OFTHETHESIS Have the author defined & articulated the scope of the current work clearly? Important to avoid mismatch in the examiner’s expectation and what is actually delivered. Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 16. LITERATURE REVIEW •Comprehensive but concise •Include KEY references (seminal papers) •Critical appraisal - summarize & synthesize the current state of knowledge •Identify gaps in knowledge •Need to address conflict or controversial issues Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 17. MATERIALS & METHOD Examiners will scrutinize very carefully & meticulously! Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 18. MATERIALS & METHOD Are M&M detailed enough to ensure the work is reproducible? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 19. MATERIALS & METHOD Are M&M detailed enough to ensure the work is reproducible? MATERIAL: sample size, sample population, sampling technique, sample storage/treatment Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 20. MATERIALS & METHOD Are M&M detailed enough to ensure the work is reproducible? MATERIAL: sample size, sample population, sampling technique, sample storage/treatment INSTRUMENTATION: specifications, calibration Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 21. MATERIALS & METHOD Are M&M detailed enough to ensure the work is reproducible? MATERIAL: sample size, sample population, sampling technique, sample storage/treatment INSTRUMENTATION: specifications, calibration INSTRUMENT: how questionnaire developed? validity/reliability check; proposed data analysis Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 22. MATERIALS & METHOD Commonly asked questions: Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 23. MATERIALS & METHOD Commonly asked questions: Is experimental design appropriate to achieve the objectives? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 24. MATERIALS & METHOD Commonly asked questions: Is experimental design appropriate to achieve the objectives? What precautions were taken against likely sources of bias? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 25. MATERIALS & METHOD Commonly asked questions: Is experimental design appropriate to achieve the objectives? What precautions were taken against likely sources of bias? What are the limitations of the methodology? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 26. MATERIALS & METHOD Commonly asked questions: Is experimental design appropriate to achieve the objectives? What precautions were taken against likely sources of bias? What are the limitations of the methodology? Is the methodology for analysis and data collection appropriate? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 27. MATERIALS & METHOD Commonly asked questions: Is experimental design appropriate to achieve the objectives? What precautions were taken against likely sources of bias? What are the limitations of the methodology? Is the methodology for analysis and data collection appropriate? Under given circumstances, has the best methodology been chosen? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 28. DATA ANALYSIS & PRESENTATION Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 29. DATA ANALYSIS & PRESENTATION •What is the basis of choosing certain set of data to include in the thesis? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 30. DATA ANALYSIS & PRESENTATION •What is the basis of choosing certain set of data to include in the thesis? •Have the hypothesis been tested? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 31. DATA ANALYSIS & PRESENTATION •What is the basis of choosing certain set of data to include in the thesis? •Have the hypothesis been tested? •Do the solutions obtained relate to the questions posed? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 32. DATA ANALYSIS & PRESENTATION •What is the basis of choosing certain set of data to include in the thesis? •Have the hypothesis been tested? •Do the solutions obtained relate to the questions posed? •Is the level and form of analysis appropriate for the data? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 33. DATA ANALYSIS & PRESENTATION Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 34. DATA ANALYSIS & PRESENTATION •Could the presentation of results made clearer? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 35. DATA ANALYSIS & PRESENTATION •Could the presentation of results made clearer? •Are the pattern in the results clearly identified and summarized Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 36. DISCUSSION & INTERPRETATION Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 37. DISCUSSION & INTERPRETATION •Logical progression of ideas & arguments Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 38. DISCUSSION & INTERPRETATION •Logical progression of ideas & arguments •Ability to recognize & appreciate the significance of the data Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 39. DISCUSSION & INTERPRETATION •Logical progression of ideas & arguments •Ability to recognize & appreciate the significance of the data •Demonstrate higher level of thinking & analysis Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 40. DISCUSSION & INTERPRETATION •Logical progression of ideas & arguments •Ability to recognize & appreciate the significance of the data •Demonstrate higher level of thinking & analysis •Ability to recognize & deal with contradiction Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 41. DISCUSSION & INTERPRETATION Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 42. DISCUSSION & INTERPRETATION •Is the significance of results fully explored in the context of current literature? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 43. DISCUSSION & INTERPRETATION •Is the significance of results fully explored in the context of current literature? •Reflection - ability of the author to make a critical assessment of their own work Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 44. DISCUSSION & INTERPRETATION •Is the significance of results fully explored in the context of current literature? •Reflection - ability of the author to make a critical assessment of their own work •Succinct writing without excessive speculation Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 45. THE END PART Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 46. THE END PART •Succinct conclusion Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 47. THE END PART •Succinct conclusion •Have all the conclusions linked to the results (i.e., based on available data)? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 48. THE END PART •Succinct conclusion •Have all the conclusions linked to the results (i.e., based on available data)? •Have all the stated objectives of the thesis been addressed, regardless of the outcome? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 49. THE END PART •Succinct conclusion •Have all the conclusions linked to the results (i.e., based on available data)? •Have all the stated objectives of the thesis been addressed, regardless of the outcome? •Have the avenues for future work opened up by the thesis been articulated clearly? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 50. FINAL ANALYSIS Has the thesis made a substantive original contribution to our knowledge & understanding? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 51. FINAL ANALYSIS Has the thesis made a substantive original contribution to our knowledge & understanding? Development of new theory or methodology? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 52. FINAL ANALYSIS Has the thesis made a substantive original contribution to our knowledge & understanding? Development of new theory or methodology? Generation of new body of knowledge? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 53. FINAL ANALYSIS Has the thesis made a substantive original contribution to our knowledge & understanding? Development of new theory or methodology? Generation of new body of knowledge? Knowledge about or understanding of an issue or problem? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 54. FINAL ANALYSIS Has the thesis made a substantive original contribution to our knowledge & understanding? Development of new theory or methodology? Generation of new body of knowledge? Knowledge about or understanding of an issue or problem? Proposal of new policy or practice in a particular area? Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 55. FURTHER READING Mullins, G and Kiley, M. (2002) “It’s a PhD, not a Nobel Prize”: how experienced examiners assess research theses, Studies in Higher Education, 27, 4, 369-386 Thursday, December 22, 2011
  • 56. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! Thursday, December 22, 2011

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