Tag Archives: thesis

Three Tips on How to Write a Thesis Statement

Are you looking for information on how to write a thesis statement? Writing the thesis statement should be effortless if you are equipped with a good knowledge of your research topic. If not, then read on. Here are three tips on how to write a thesis statement. 

Before going to the steps on how to write your thesis statement, I see it necessary to define first what a thesis statement means. A thesis statement is your proposed answer or argument concerning a given problem situation or question that needs resolution. It is your explanation of how or why a phenomenon occurs based on the limited evidence that you have observed or gathered. You are advancing a thesis to convince others that your explanation is plausible or reasonable. Thus, you need to design a research to provide evidence to central argument of your research paper. That thesis may be uniquely yours, or somebody may have thought about the same explanation. Thus, you need to undertake the following steps to ensure that your thesis is an original one.

Three Tips on How to Write a Thesis Statement

Here are the steps to follow if you have difficulty in writing your thesis statement.

Step 1. Identify your research topic

If you do not have a clear research topic in mind then you have no basis in writing your thesis statement. You may freely select your topic but if you are under some kind of funding, the agency sponsoring your work may have specific recommended topics for you to do research on. You must also mind your university’s research agenda, as there are recommended topics based on current trends and known needs of society. The United Nation’s 17-point Sustainable Development Goals is a good starting point on what research areas to explore. Select a research area relevant to your field of specialization and narrow it down to manageable bits.

For example, we will use community adaptation to climate change as our long-tail keyword. Long tail keywords are those three to four keyword phrases which are very specific to whatever you are interested in.

Step 2. Review the literature

Once you are ready with your research topic, you need to see if it is feasible enough to do research on. It is not easy to discern if indeed your topic is worth pursuing until you have done a good review of literature.

Contemporary researchers are fortunate because they can now access a vast source of scientific literature in the internet. The easy one most familiar to me is Google Scholar which I learned to use just a few months back. Before, I was using the Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ) but I had the impression that available literature in the site is limited compared to what I acquire from Google Scholar.

As a beginner, the literature available in Google Scholar serves the purpose. You can just type your keyword and in an instant, assuming a good internet connection, a list of articles is displayed just like when you surf the generic Google search box.

For our example, if we search in Google Scholar the word “community adaptation to climate change,” the search engine will return the following articles with their corresponding meta descriptions:

how to write thesis statement
Fig. 1. List of articles on community adaptation to climate change.

The top article matches the long-tail keyword thus is displayed first in the default ten articles for the page. This article is the most relevant among the articles shown but the second to fourth articles are also related. Now, the first four articles make up your first reference list. This is a good sign as this means that you will be able to see more relevant articles.

Take time to read the meta description, that brief description about the article related (or may not be related) to your chosen topic. It is here where you exercise your judgement whether to include or not include the article in your research proposal. If you find the article relevant, right click on the active link and open in a new tab.

Read the abstracts and see how the research proceeded. Reading about 30 of these articles will give you enough ideas to get your research going. See if there are gaps in knowledge in the articles you have read.

Step 3. Write your thesis statement

Once familiar with the variables that make up your research, it is time for you to write your thesis statement. In the example given above, I would advance the following thesis statement derived from reading the four abstracts on community level adaptation to climate change:

Thesis Statement:

Proactive strategies devised by both the communities and government and non-government organizations can reduce the vulnerability of communities to typhoons.

Notice that I attempt to relate two variables in this statement namely, 1) proactive strategies, and 2) vulnerability of communities to typhoons.

At this point, you are now ready to build your conceptual framework. I need not expound on it here as I have previously written an article titled “How to Build Your Conceptual Framework: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make One.”

If you want to have the whole package of articles to develop your research proposal, my newly published book titled “How to Write a Thesis in Today’s Information Age” can help you out. I provide exercises at the end of each chapter to hone your skills and hyperlinked keywords in the index facilitates navigation.

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (January 23, 2016). Three Tips on How to Write a Thesis Statement. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2016/01/23/three-tips-write-thesis-statement/

Five Tips on How to Write a Conclusion

The conclusion is an integral part of a research paper or thesis. Writing a proper conclusion, therefore, should not be taken for granted. It wraps up the major findings of a scientific investigation and serves as a springboard for future studies.

How should this essential part of a research paper be written? What good practices can you adopt for effectively writing it up?

This article provides five tips on how to write a conclusion with examples for greater clarity.

5 Tips on How to Write a Conclusion

1. Go back to the objectives of your research

To be systematic about it, re-read the objectives of your study or the statement of the problem. Write something about objective number 1, number 2, and so on.

After going through all those methods to answer the objectives or the statement of your problem, write your synthesis of findings in a sentence or two. The idea is to write the conclusion concisely without leaving out the important elements.

Consider this simplified example:

Objective #1. Determine the relationship between time spent by teenagers on social networking sites and time spent with friends offline.

Conclusion: There is a reason to believe that time spent on social networking sites reduces teenagers opportunities to spend time with friends offline.

That is the meat of your conclusion. You can build on that statement and offer ideas so that other researchers can investigate further on the issues you have raised.

You may ask yourself the question: “So what if the time spent by teenagers on social networking sites reduce their time spent with friends online?” You might go on to say that this is an important finding that parents and educators must look into to prevent teenagers from becoming socially handicapped adults. This weakness could lead to inability to work harmoniously with other people.

2. Review your introduction

Make sure that your conclusion addresses the issue or gap that you have identified while exploring the research subject in the introduction of your research paper.

Have you resolved the issues that you have raised or did your investigation lead to more questions?

Your conclusion should wrap up the whole paper. It is here where you integrate all your findings. Integrate means putting all of the ideas together to come up with a general idea. That general idea becomes a theory in the long run; that is if future studies converge towards or support what you are proposing as an explanation for a phenomenon. In other words, this is where you once again present your thesis.

For example, using the study on time spent by teenagers online, your introduction may have pointed out that many of the recent graduates are socially-handicapped employees. So this could be traced to their habits as “screenagers” or teenagers who spent most of their time in front of the computer in the past.

3. Raise questions for further study

Not all research results are conclusive. It is possible that the data you have gathered is not enough to draw out a sound conclusion that can help explain the issue you are looking into. There may be things that need to be added, considered, or factored in to shed better light to an unexplained phenomenon.

You can point this out in the conclusion and offer a course of action that future researchers can take. This will help researchers investigating a similar issue to use your paper as one of the foundations for another study. Your research will help unravel the mysteries of a phenomenon that baffle contemporary scientists.

For example, a medical researcher may have found evidence that immunotherapy works better than all other conventional treatments to cancer. But the samples are quite small such that the efficacy of such treatment could not be established for the general population. It is possible that immunotherapy works for only a certain group of people, but not for everyone.

4. Write from specific to general

Writing the conclusion follows an inductive approach. This means that you write it from specific to general. You have broken down the problem into manageable bits during the analysis. Now, in writing the conclusion, you build from the pieces once again to come up with a broad picture.

5. Leave out the extras

The conclusion should be without unnecessary statements that destroy the objectivity of the conclusion. Avoid statements that are

  • sentimental
  • afterthoughts
  • phrases that state the obvious such as “In conclusion,” “Summing it all up,” etc.
  • unnecessary statistics, and
  • quotations.

Give yourself ample time to practice these tips. Writing a good conclusion is a thesis writing skill that needs to be honed.

References

Literacy Education Online (n.d.) Strategies for writing a conclusion. Retrieved on May 30, 2015 from http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/conclude.html 2004

The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (n.d.). Conclusions. Retrieved on May 30, 2015 from http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/conclusions/

©2015 June 12 P. A. Regoniel

Thesis Writing: 9 Tips on How to Write the Results and Discussion

Writing the results and discussion section could be one of the difficulties that you encounter when writing your first research manuscript. There is no simple hard and fast rule in doing it but the following guide can help you start off with confidence.

The results and discussion section is also referred to as the data presentation, analysis, and interpretation section. You present the results, show the analysis, and interpret the outcome of the analysis.

As a take off point, it would help if we separate these two terms, i.e., results and discussion, into simply the results and the discussion as separate parts of the paper. In some universities and usually in scientific journals, however, these are taken as one.

Writing the Results

As the term connotes, you should write only the results of your study. What comprises the results? I describe it in detail in the following paragraphs.

1. Graphs, tables, or photographs

Observations are derived from the application of your methodology or method. These can be best presented using tables and graphs as objective representation of the measurements that you made. Numbers are more definite approximations of reality compared to just mere words. Words are more subjective and replete with misunderstanding.

Be consistent with your units of measurement. If you start off with kg, then use the same unit all throughout your paper.

Never should you manipulate the outcome of your measurements. Be honest in presenting information even if the result is unexpected. Whether the result is positive or negative, present it. This is an objective move.

You may also add photographs whenever needed but make sure these are relevant, not just whimsical addition to your paper or a means to flaunt your good photography skills; although it would be advantageous to show such skill coupled with relevance. Pictures can speak a thousand words.

In general, give as much detail as possible in your presentation of the results. Read and reread your statements for clarity. Engage a competent friend or a colleague’s discerning eye for details.

2. Topic sentences or subheadings

It is easy to follow your presentation if you break this into meaningful subtopics based on your stated objectives. A one-to-one correspondence would be great. Say, the first subheading will be about objective one, the second subheading about objective two, and so on.

Notice that in writing this article, it is an easy read to have a subheading for every major thought. This makes for easy reading thus understanding. And the writing becomes logical.

3. Key results

Your key results should be stated clearly at the beginning of each paragraph. It should serve as the topic sentence (see the TSPU Principle). Support that statement with more detail such as presenting the results of statistical analysis.

For example:

There is a significant positive relationship between the number of hours spent by students in answering Mathematics questions and their examination score. This result is consistent across all grade levels in the three schools examined. Table 1 shows the correlation coefficients and their corresponding significance level.

Writing the Discussion

After examining several theses of previous years, I noticed that many undergraduate and even graduate students miss this part. The results were presented as well as the analysis but no discussion is in sight.

So what comprises the discussion? Here’s what should be present in the discussion part:

1. Trends and spatial differences

Trends refer to changes over time. Are your results showing an increasing, decreasing or just plain, constant direction? This should be evident in the graph that you presented.

Spatial differences refer to differences in space or location within the same time frame. Is there a significant difference between the two groups examined? Is there a difference in the morphological measurements of one group of animals obtained from one location compared to another group? These are questions that explore spatial differences.

2. Insightful interpretation of results

Insightful interpretation means well thought explanations. That means you will have to ponder deeply the results of your study and make a knowledgeable statement of your interpretation using the body of evidence at hand. This is where you cite evidences obtained by other authors. You either confirm or affirm other people’s work or refute using your own findings.

3. Generalizations

Be on guard in writing your generalizations. Make sure that the data you analyzed can be extrapolated or will allow you to predict somehow the behavior of one variable. If you have enough samples then you may make a generalization.

How enough is enough, you may ask. If your data has little variability as indicated by low variances, then it is possible that additional measurements will not change whatever trend you have.

Always match your generalization with whatever results you have. Conversely, do not generalize when you have very few samples. Don’t say 50% when you actually have only two, three, or even four samples described in your study. That’s plain absurd.

4. Exceptions to the rule

In scientific inquiry, not all things or factors are discovered. There are always unknown or unaccounted areas. This is the reason why everything is founded on probability. No one’s 100 percent sure. So you should never say “prove” as a matter of contention. Prove means 100% sure which never happens. There are always expected deviants from the norm.

5. Reasons why things happen

Things happen due to something else. Reaction arises from action. These are called determining factors.

Are there reasons why your results follow a trend? Is it evident in your study? If there is, then say it and explain why so, again based on your observations or evidence.

You may guess but make it educated, meaning, you have done your homework. You have reviewed the literature and use it as a leverage for advancing your hypothesis or inference.

Does your finding support or refute what has been done so far? Does it support previously advanced hypotheses?

Remember that there is no such thing as a simple explanation of a complex phenomenon. Find one that is most aligned to your findings.

It would be interesting to be in the controversial side as long as you have done your study systematically and bias is reduced to a minimum.

6. The contribution of your work

What the are the important things that your study has contributed so far in view of what has been laid out in the body of literature? Why is your work important and what things need to be investigated further?

From your set of questions, if many other questions arise, then your work has helped unravel other areas worthy of investigation. This is just how science works. The mysteries of the universe are uncovered yet there are still many unknowns.

No human has absolute understanding of everything. But if your work has potential to make life better, then it’s a great accomplishment.

Reference:

Kim Kastens, Stephanie Pfirman, Martin Stute, Bill Hahn, Dallas Abbott, and Chris Scholz (n.d.). How to write your thesis. Retrieved May 24, 2015 from http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~martins/sen_sem/thesis_org.html

Writing a Literature Review: Evaluating Websites as Reliable Sources of Information

Writing a literature review is a tedious task unless you apply a systematic approach to it. But first, you must get back to the very reason why you are writing the literature review to appreciate its role in completing your research paper or thesis.

Since the internet is a great source of information and is nowadays a common destination for researchers who want to access the latest information as quickly as possible, care must be exerted in selecting research papers that will help you build your thesis.

This article gets back to the definition of the literature review as a take-off point towards being choosy in using easily accessible websites as sources of information in developing a thesis.

Literature Review Defined

A literature review is a critical description of the literature pertaining to the research topic that you as a researcher chose to work on as part of your thesis proposal or research paper. Emphasis is given to the word “critical.” This implies that you have read a great deal of literature such that you are able to see clearly the issue at hand and make an informed assessment.

Reading a great deal does not mean that you will just read any literature that comes your way. This means that you have read literature that are backed up by evidence, meaning, scientific papers or articles that are found in peer-reviewed journals or reliable sources. Reliable sources ensure that you have a good foundation in making a thoughtful position embodied in your thesis statement.

Selecting Literature from Websites

You must be careful in selecting the literature from websites that will be part of your review because of the preponderance of “scientific” journals that take advantage of unsuspecting researchers looking for a platform to publish their findings in open access journals. To prevent being victimized, evaluate your sources for reliability.

internet sources
Source: http://xkcd.com/386/

Jeffrey Beal, a librarian at the University of Colorado, took time to list questionable open-access journals. If you have been invited to publish in these journals or serve as editor or member of the board, think twice. Browse the site and evaluate the quality of the articles posted. Poor grammar, wrong spelling, or garbled information are tell-tale signs of predatory journals.

It is easy to be misled as everybody can easily access a large body of literature using the internet. You must therefore adopt a prudent attitude in selecting literature from websites that will help you develop a good thesis statement. As open-access journals become popular sources of scientific literature, a good researcher must develop a keen eye in selecting the wheat from the chaff.

©2015 January 30 P. A. Regoniel

A Sample of Conceptual Framework with Statement of the Problem

This article shows how a conceptual framework, along with the corresponding statement of the problem, is organized and written in a dissertation. Take a look at the example on how it is done and try to make one for your paper. You may also use this in your thesis.

You may be thinking about too many theories to base your study on. However, a conceptual framework in built on a theory that serves as the basis for your study. Once you have decided which theory to adopt, try to figure it out if the phenomenon, with all the associated variables in your study, can be best explained by that theory. The example below illustrates how this works.

Example of a Conceptual Framework

This study zeroes in on the professional development activities for teachers by espousing the idea that the classroom performance of teachers is a critical factor for student academic performance. The researcher based her assumption from Weiner’s Attribution Theory that external and internal factors can improve performance.

For example, students may attribute their academic performance to their teachers (external factor) while the teachers may attribute their teaching performance to in-service trainings (external factor) and perhaps, to their teaching efficacy, job satisfaction, and attitude towards the teaching profession (internal factors). These relationships are illustrated in Figure 1.

conceptual framework
Figure 1. Paradigm showing the relationships among the variables in this study.

Statement of the Problem

The purpose of this study is to provide baseline data on in-service training for English, Mathematics, and Science Fourth Year High School teachers from School Year 2006 up to 2010. Also, a professional development model for teachers is proposed.

Specifically, this study sought answers to the following questions:

1. What are the most familiar in-service training activities among teachers? And what are their insights about these activities as to: (a) applicability in the classroom, (b) importance in the teaching profession, and (c) impact on student performance?

2. What feedback do teachers have of the in-service training programs attended in terms of (a) perception, and (b) satisfaction?

3. What are the teachers’ level of teaching efficacy, job satisfaction, and attitude towards the teaching profession?

4. What is the performance of the fourth year high school students in their Subject Achievement Tests in three subject areas: English, Mathematics, and Science during the first semester of SY 2010-2011?

5. Are the teachers’ perception and satisfaction regarding the in-service training programs predictors of their levels of teaching efficacy, job satisfaction, and attitude towards the teaching profession?

6. Are the teachers’ levels of teaching efficacy, job satisfaction, and attitude towards the teaching profession predictors of their student performance in the Subject Achievement Tests?

7. What enhanced professional development model for teachers can be developed on the basis of the results of this study?

Now, you have learned how a theory is used, and how the questions in the statement of the problem are formulated. Take note that the questions in the statement of the problem are arranged according to the flow of conceptual framework. First, it has questions on inventory of in-service training activities, followed by the feedback. The next question is about teacher factors, then results of student performance. The last question relates to the development of the enhanced professional development model.

Can you make it? Yes, you can!

© 2015 January 19 M. G. Alvior

Conceptual Framework: A Step by Step Guide on How to Make One

What is a conceptual framework? How do you prepare one? This article defines the meaning of conceptual framework and lists the steps on how to prepare it. A simplified example is added to strengthen the reader’s understanding.

In the course of preparing your research paper as one of the requirements for your course as an undergraduate or graduate student, you will need to write the conceptual framework of your study. The conceptual framework steers the whole research activity. The conceptual framework serves as a “map” or “rudder” that will guide you towards realizing the objectives or intent of your study.

What then is a conceptual framework in the context of empirical research? The next section defines and explains the term.

Definition of Conceptual Framework

A conceptual framework represents the researcher’s synthesis of literature on how to explain a phenomenon. It maps out the actions required in the course of the study given his previous knowledge of other researchers’ point of view and his observations on the subject of research.

In other words, the conceptual framework is the researcher’s understanding of how the particular variables in his study connect with each other. Thus, it identifies the variables required in the research investigation. It is the researcher’s “map” in pursuing the investigation.

As McGaghie et al. (2001) put it: The conceptual framework “sets the stage” for the presentation of the particular research question that drives the investigation being reported based on the problem statement. The problem statement of a thesis presents the context and the issues that caused the researcher to conduct the study.

The conceptual framework lies within a much broader framework called theoretical framework. The latter draws support from time-tested theories that embody the findings of many researchers on why and how a particular phenomenon occurs.

Step by Step Guide on How to Make the Conceptual Framework

Before you prepare your conceptual framework, you need to do the following things:

  1. Choose your topic. Decide on what will be your research topic. The topic should be within your field of specialization.
  2. Do a literature review. Review relevant and updated research on the theme that you decide to work on after scrutiny of the issue at hand. Preferably use peer-reviewed and well-known scientific journals as these are reliable sources of information.
  3. Isolate the important variables. Identify the specific variables described in the literature and figure out how these are related. Some abstracts contain the variables and the salient findings thus may serve the purpose. If these are not available, find the research paper’s summary. If the variables are not explicit in the summary, get back to the methodology or the results and discussion section and quickly identify the variables of the study and the significant findings. Read the TSPU Technique on how to skim efficiently articles and get to the important points without much fuss.
  4. Generate the conceptual framework. Build your conceptual framework using your mix of the variables from the scientific articles you have read. Your problem statement serves as a reference in constructing the conceptual framework. In effect, your study will attempt to answer a question that other researchers have not explained yet. Your research should address a knowledge gap.

Example of a Conceptual Framework

Statement number 5 introduced in an earlier post titled How to Write a Thesis Statement will serve as the basis of the illustrated conceptual framework in the following examples.

Thesis statement: Chronic exposure to blue light from LED screens (of computer monitors and television) deplete melatonin levels thus reduce the number of sleeping hours among middle-aged adults.

The study claims that blue light from the light emitting diodes (LED) inhibit the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles. Those affected experience insomnia; they sleep less than required (usually less than six hours), and this happens when they spend too much time working on their laptops or viewing the television at night.

conceptual framework
Fig. 1 The research paradigm illustrating the researcher’s conceptual framework.

Notice that the variables of the study are explicit in the paradigm presented in Figure 1. In the illustration, the two variables are 1) number of hours devoted in front of the computer, and 2) number of hours slept at night. The former is the independent variable while the latter is the dependent variable. Both of these variables are easy to measure. It is just counting the number of hours spent in front of the computer and the number of hours slept by the subjects of the study.

Assuming that other things are constant during the performance of the study, it will be possible to relate these two variables and confirm that indeed, blue light emanated from computer screens can affect one’s sleeping patterns. (Please read the article titled “Do you know that the computer can disturb your sleeping patterns?” to find out more about this phenomenon) A correlation analysis will show whether the relationship is significant or not.

e-Book on Conceptual Framework Development

Due to the popularity of this article, I wrote an e-Book designed to suit the needs of beginning researchers. This e-Book answers the many questions and comments regarding the preparation of the conceptual framework. I provide five practical examples based on existing literature to demonstrate the procedure.

So, do you want a more detailed explanation with five practical, real-life examples? Get the 52-page e-Book NOW!




REFERENCE

McGaghie, W. C.; Bordage, G.; and J. A. Shea (2001). Problem Statement, Conceptual Framework, and Research Question. Retrieved on January 5, 2015 from http://goo.gl/qLIUFg

©2015 January 5 P. A. Regoniel

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (January 5, 2015). Conceptual Framework: A Step by Step Guide on How to Make One. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/01/05/conceptual-framework-guide/

How to Write a Thesis Statement

Once you have made observations, conferred with experts, discussed issues and concerns with friends and read a great deal of literature on your chosen research topic, you should be ready to write your thesis statement. But do you already understand well enough the meaning of a thesis statement? Or are you one of those who find these two words difficult to comprehend?

If the thesis statement concept is quite vague to you, then this should be defined clearly first to foster understanding. Once this is done, then you can proceed to the process of writing those statements. Thus, this article will define thesis statement then provide you with detailed tips on how to write one. Examples are also given.

What is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement is essentially a synthesis of what you have read and observed regarding the phenomenon that you are trying to explain. It is a statement that serves as your anchor in advancing your argument about say, the causality of things. Among other things, the thesis statement serves as the focus of your discussion.

The statement that you make is not just a random position but a well-thought one, based on objective judgment and empirical evidence. Empirical means verifiable by observation or experience. It is your “educated” point of view. It is your proposed explanation of the phenomenon after a critical examination of evidence at hand. Are there convincing evidences that can support your contention?

Based on the definition given above, it is therefore necessary that you read a great deal of literature to understand how other people viewed, explored, tested and verified the phenomenon that you are trying to understand. Reading a lot not only broadens your horizon but also helps you pinpoint exactly the problem areas you need to address or look into, in the process, narrowing down your research topic.

If someone wrote a review of literature on the subject, then that’s the ideal starting point. A good thesis statement arises from how well you have familiarized yourself about the research topic. You should aim towards becoming an authority in the research area you have decided to focus on.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

Before you present your thesis statement, you should describe first the setting or situation which served as basis or foundation of your statement. This is called contextualization. You may refer to the article How to Write a Good Thesis Introduction on details on how to do this. You should be able to present your thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph of your exposition. State your point of view in a sentence or a few sentences.

In the ensuing paragraphs, provide examples and existing evidences to support your argument. Your research paper will supply the needed method or methodology to test your point of view or thesis. Your conceptual framework will serve as your map in conducting the investigation.

Examples of Thesis Statement

The following are examples of thesis statement in different fields of specialization.

  1. Overfishing continues to occur due to a generally poor understanding among fishers on the link between fishing intensity and the reproductive capacity of target fishes.
  2. Adolescents and young adults devoting at least six hours a day in front of their computer screen become obese in their adult years.
  3. Urban dwellers are better off using conventional over-the-counter drugs than herbal remedies due to problems of accessibility.
  4. Employees walking at least 30 minutes a day are able to accomplish their tasks on time compared to their sedentary colleagues.
  5. Chronic exposure to blue light from LED screens (of computer monitors and television) deplete melatonin levels thus reduce the number of sleeping hours among middle aged adults.

Notice in the above examples that the specific variables of the study are described. This defines the scope of the study and makes analysis easy, focused, and doable.

Further, the thesis statement is not carved in stone. While more information is gathered along the way, the thesis statement may be revised or rewritten for better treatise of the subject. This is where your thesis adviser’s suggestions, assuming he or she has a better grasp of the subject, come in handy.

©2015 January 1 P A Regoniel

A Research on In-service Training Activities, Teaching Efficacy, Job Satisfaction and Attitude

This article briefly discusses the methodology used by Dr. Mary Alvior in the preparation of her dissertation focusing on the benefits of in-service training activities to teachers. She expounds on the results of the study specifically providing descriptive statistics on satisfaction of in-service training to them and how this affected teaching efficacy, job satisfaction, and attitude in public school in the City of Puerto Princesa in the Philippines.

Methodology

This study utilized the research and development method (R&D) which has two phases. During the first phase, the researcher conducted a survey and a focus group interview in order to triangulate the data gathered from the questionnaires. Then, the researcher administered achievement tests in English, Mathematics and Science. The results found in the research component were used as bases for the design and development of a model. The model was then fully structured and improved in the second phase.

The participants were randomly taken from 19 public high schools in the Division of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. A total of fifty-three (53) teachers participated in the study and 2,084 fourth year high school students took the achievement tests.

The researcher used three sets of instruments which underwent face and content validity. These are

  1. Survey Questionnaires for Teacher Participants,
  2. Guide Questions for Focus Group Interview, and
  3. Teacher-Made Achievement Tests for English, Mathematics, and Science.

The topics in the achievement tests were in consonance with the Philippine Secondary Schools Learning Competencies (PSSLC) while the test items’ levels of difficulty was in accordance with Department of Education (DepEd) Order 79, series of 2003, dated October 10, 2003.

Results of Descriptive Statistics

Teachers’ insights on in-service training activities

Seminar was perceived to be the most familiar professional development activity among teachers but the teachers never considered it very important in their professional practice. They also viewed it applicable in the classroom but it had no impact on student performance.

Aside from seminar, the teachers also included conference, demo lesson, workshop and personal research as the most familiar professional development activities among them.

Nonetheless, teachers had different insights as to which professional development activities were applicable in the classroom. Science teachers considered team teaching, demo lesson, and personal research, but the English and Mathematics teachers considered demo lesson and workshop, respectively.

With regard to the professional development activities that were viewed very important in their professional practice and had great impact on student performance, all subject area teachers answered personal research. However, the Mathematics teachers added lesson study for these two categories while the teachers in Science included team teaching as a professional activity that had great impact on student performance.

Moreover, teachers had high regard for the INSET programs they attended and perceived them effective because they were able to learn and developed themselves professionally. They were also highly satisfied with the training they have attended as indicated in the mean (M=3.03, SD=.34). Particularly, they were highly satisfied with the content, design, and delivery of in-service training (INSET) programs, and with the development of their communication skills, instruction, planning, and organization.

Teachers’ teaching efficacy, job satisfaction and attitude

Teachers had high level of teaching efficacy (M=3.14, SD=.27) particularly on student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management but not in Information Communication and Technology (ICT). It seems that they were not given opportunities to hone their skills in ICT or they were not able to use these skills in the classrooms. Likewise, they had an average level of job satisfaction (M=2.91, SD=.27) and had positive attitude towards their teaching profession (M=2.88, SD=.44).

In conclusion, there are professional activities that are viewed very important in teaching and there are also which have great impact on students’ academic performance.  In addition, the study found the inclusion of ICT in teaching and for professional development.

To know more about the model derived from this study, please read 2 Plus 1 Emerging Model of Professional Development for Teachers.

© 2014 December 29 M. G. Alvior

Thesis Writing: What to Write in Chapter 5

This article simply tells what a budding researcher must include in Chapter 5-the Summary. It also includes the tense of the verb and the semantic markers which are predominantly used in writing the summary, conclusions and recommendations.

For others, writing the Chapter 5 is the easiest part in thesis writing, but there are groups of students who would like to know more about it. If you are one of them, this article is purposely written for you.

A. Writing the Summary

Your summary may include the following: (1) objectives of the study; (2) statement of the problem; (3) respondents; (4) sampling procedures; (5) method/s of research employed; (6) statistical treatment/s applied or hypotheses tested, if there is any; (7); and results.

If you notice, all the parts mentioned above are already included in your Chapters 1- 4. So, the challenge is on how you are going to briefly write and present it.

First, you must go direct to the point in highlighting the main points. There is no need to thoroughly explain the details. You must avoid copying and pasting what you have written in the previous chapters. Just KISS (keep it short and simple)!

Then, write sentences in simple past and use always the passive voice construction rather than the active voice. You must also be familiar with the different semantic markers.

When I was enrolled in Academic Writing in my masters degree, I learned that there are semantic markers which can be used in order not to repeat the same words or phrases such as additionally, also, further, in addition to, moreover, contrary to, with regard to, as regards, however, finally, during the past ___ years, from 1996 to 2006, after 10 years, as shown in, as presented in, consequently, nevertheless, in fact, on the other hand, subsequently and nonetheless..

Next, you may use the following guide questions to check that you have not missed anything in writing the summary:

  1. What is the objective of the study?;
  2. Who/what is the focus of the study?;
  3. Where and when was the investigation conducted?;
  4. What method of research was used?;
  5. How were the research data gathered?;
  6. How were the respondents chosen?;
  7. What statistical tools were applied to treat the gathered data? ; and
  8. Based on the data presented and analyzed, what findings can you summarize?

Finally, organize the summary of the results of your study according to the way the questions are sequenced in the statement of the problem.

B. Writing the Conclusions

Once you have written the summary, draw out a conclusion from each finding or result. It can be done per question or you may arrange the questions per topic or sub-topic, if there is any. But if your research is quantitative in nature, answer directly the research question and tell if the hypothesis is rejected or accepted based on the findings.

As to grammar, make sure that you use the present tense of the verb because it consists of general statement of the theory or the principle newly derived from the present study. So, don’t be confused because in your summary, you use past tense while in conclusion, you use present tense.

C. Writing the Recommendations

The recommendations must contain practical suggestions that will improve the situation or solve the problem investigated in the study. First, it must be logical, specific, attainable and relevant. Second, it should be addressed to persons, organizations, or agencies directly concerned with the issues or to those who can immediately implement the recommended solutions. Third, present another topic which is very relevant to the present study that can be further investigated by future researchers. But never recommend anything that is not part of your study or not being mentioned in your findings.

After organizing your thoughts as to what would- be the contents of your recommendations, you should write it using the imperative mood of the verb. Imperative mood is to express a request or a command. So, the tense is also simple present tense.

However, there are universities especially in the Philippines that require a specific thesis format to be followed by students. Thus, as a student, you must conform to the prescribed format of your college or university.

Reference

Nordquist, R. n.d. Imperative Mood. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://grammar.about.com/od/il/g/impermood.htm

© 2014 July 29 M. G. Alvior

Cite this article as: Alvior, Mary G. (July 29, 2014). Thesis Writing: What to Write in Chapter 5. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2014/07/29/thesis-writing-what-to-write-in-chapter-5/

Research Goal: Its Importance in Designing a Study

Why is there a need to have a clear-cut research goal? Why is a goal important and how can it influence the research process? This article provides answers to these questions.

Have you found a research topic worthy of investigation? What studies have been done so far about it? What questions have not been answered by those studies?

These are just some of the basic questions you will have to ask yourself while contemplating and narrowing down your research topic. It is a must that the issue or concern is clear enough in your head such that you are able to figure out specific questions for your own study. Ultimately, you need to ask yourself the question:

“What is the goal of my research?”

The Importance of the Research Goal

You will be facing a very tedious task of doing a lot of unnecessary things, or find that your research results are unusable unless the research goal is well-defined. All efforts boil down to a particular purpose, i.e., towards fulfilling a desired effect. A clear picture of your research goal will help you steer your research work towards satisfactory completion.

Once the research goal is clear enough, the rest of the things you need to do will fall into place. Having a clear goal in mind, you can work backwards and design your study with greater confidence.

How the Goal Relates to the Research Process

The following fish bone diagram created using X-Mind, a mind mapping software, shows how the goal relates to the other components of the research process.

mind map to reach research goal
Fish bone diagram to realize a research goal.

The above diagram shows that to arrive at your research goal, you should list down a set of specific objectives to fully realize it. You also need to write specific research questions to reach that goal. Here is an example of a research goal and its set of objectives.

Second, to fulfill the objectives, appropriate research methods should be employed. There should be a one-to-one correspondence between objectives and method. For objective 1, method one will have to be employed; for objective 2, method two will be employed; for objective 3, method three will be employed, and so on, and so forth.

In coming up with the method, you may ask yourself the following questions:

  • What should I do to reach objective one (two, three, …)?
  • What things do I need to meet objective one (two, three, …)?

Third, designing the method entails defining the specific activities to be done and the time-frame to perform those activities. For example, a focus group discussion will require the participation of different sectors in the village. Thus, this will need coordination with the local leaders, identifying the participants of the discussion, looking for a conducive place to hold a meeting, preparing refreshments, and so on.

How long will all these preparations take? A GANTT chart will be helpful to achieve this end.

The following questions will prove handy in preparing your GANTT chart:

  • Will your study require travel? Who will travel and how frequent will this be?
  • Do you need to conduct meetings? Who will be involved in the meetings?
  • Will you be getting the response of a significant number of people in the study area?
  • How long will each of the activities take?

Fourth, you will need to identify those people who will help you do those activities. Applying the power of delegation is a must so you will be able to finish your research project within a reasonable time. You cannot do all the interviewing yourself especially if your random sampling estimate for the population requires at least 200 respondents. Also, you will need to find out how much all your transactions will cost.

Finally, you will have to identify the specific equipment or materials required to carry out your field work. Do you need a camera, recorder, measuring scale, LED projector, among others.

You might be tempted to request a lot of things for your research project especially if you have a generous funding source. But it’s good practice to purchase only those which you must really use. Your sponsoring funding agency will truly appreciate your management of scarce resources.

© 2014 April 24 P. A. Regoniel