Writing first draft thesis Part 2

Posted by sazali


As promised.  Insyallah and Alhamdulilah.

I better start with BISMILLAH HI RAH MA NIR RAHIM.  In the name of God most beneficient and most merciful.

More  on staying focus to writing a thesis  PART 2

When you aimed to write the first draft of your thesis… don’t edit it at the same time while writing the draft.  This will slow you down a lot.  (Meriwether, 1997).

Just keep on writing.
Chapter 3  Methodology

You begin with the Research Question.  Say

RQ 1

Then you admit the followings.

In order to answer RQ1 , I used this method called quasi experimental method.  With Pre Test à  Experiment  à  Post Test
Put this as  3.1.1  PRE TEST – EXPERIMENT  --POST TEST
Now you explain the terms used.
Put the why?
Is that your original idea?  If not .. say so ..I am adapting some one’s work  like Wan Fatimah (2005)  UKM.
Why did you adapt Wan Fatimah ..  so you have a series of answers.
After 2 pages ..  out of the blue , you got some answers/ results.
Why courseware?  How  was it designed using Hermann Brain Dominance Model as the theory?  What application was used in building the courseware? why?  How?  When?  What?  Where?  Any Flowcharts to support this ?  Ghannt Charts ?  Process , process, and more processes of getting the work done/

Any results?
Put that results in Chapter 4.

Start with  RQ1/
Method 1

So the result section begins from here.

In this section just paste the result.
Follow the Research Questions.
Follow the Methods used
Now put your results down.

You can comment few sentences on the graphs displayed on any page of your draft.  Just explain the trend of the graph.  Just explain.  Don’t worry.  Nobody is going to shoot you down if your explanation was rubbish.  No police in Malaysia will bomb you either like the Mongolian beauty.
Thus you have 
Sub section 4.2

And so on.

After 60 hours … say 10 days .. you begin you explain the why and the hows.

In Chapter 5 now
5.1  Discuss on RESULTS 4.1
The low achievers did not improve a lot from this courseware because they lack 2 things.  First notation problem in algebra and the other one ..is the language employed by the courseware and the researcher.
Discuss what you saw.

The low achieving students were weak in many things especially the symbols of algebra.  More over they got easily confused with the maths jargon that was put across in English.
This reduced the efficiency of the algebra courseware among the polytechnic students MOHE in 2006.
Why was that happening in this polytechnic MOHE?
Is this trend happening  in other countries using English as the medium of instruction?
YES/ NO.  Malaysia was among the countries trying to use English as the medium of instruction for mathematics and sciences in South East Asia.  India tried but they were successful since the medium of instruction for the whole institutions of higher learning is English.  Proof?  India because she is the hub for many software developments for USA and Europe big computer industries.  Singapore was successful too because they employ English as the medium of instruction since independence.

This did not happen so successfully in Malaysia.  WE tried few things.  1957 – 1978  we have English schools.
In 1978 – 2000 we used malay as the medium of instruction at schools
Then Year 2002 – 2011  we tried PPSMI ….after spending 1.2 billion ringgit ..  training teachers and upgrading expert teachers DG48, DG52 and DG54 ..  we quit/  may be political pressures etc etc.  In short it all went to waste. But I think, the school environment did not support the students to interact with each other using English.  Imagine 1, 2 periods of English followed by 6 other periods in BM.  The after effect of English  disappeared fast within hours , a day/ two days ..  and many more days. 

By then ..

Your Chapter3, 4 and 5 will get thicker and thicker.  Some parts are good and some parts may be rubbish .  Don’t worry.  Jewels are also found in the rubbish trucks you know?  Ha..ha..

Soon when you ran out of ideas .. 
You can sit now to edit some of your writings.
Please remember to include some references – link the references found in your Chapter 2 Literature Review – with your Chapter 5 please.
By then ..your writing got links, connections between Chapter 2, 3, 4 and 5 and .. so .. everything that starts will surely  come to an end.  Improve your Chapter 1 now.  Try to build a bridge between Chapter 2 and Chapter 1.  If you got a problem with this .. try and get help from your supervisor.  That’s where you need the touch of your great shifu.

Yes  just 6 hours a day. That played the trick.  2 hours early in the morning and 4 more hours in the late evening.  Yes daily.
Try it for 30 ; 60 days.  I am sure you can complete 1 thesis  - first draft of your thesis.

When you are in this condition , don’t worry. Be happy.
Update your references according to APA format  or according to the place that will award your Ph.D.

Doing this is not easy .. especially if you did not organize your database of journal readings, books, articles found in conferences etc etc.  If you failed organizing your reading materials in your early stages of PhD ..  then there is nobody ..  that is to be blamed except you my poor friend.  In 2006, I got a big flood in my university.  Everything went with the currents.  The water did not have any eyes .. differentiating who is doing PhD or what.  When it came .. it brought away all my papers except if I  park my references in Yahoo/ Hotmail/ Clouds.  He..he.. do that new comers please.  You won’t regret. 
This is where you used your lazy time for.  Make use of this time to upgrade your referencing.  And why not you try to write a paper for a local  conference etc etc.  Anything is possible.

Once your first draft was done with, you can make an appointment with your first supervisor.
Once you got that ..hand over your first draft to him/ her.  BE PROUD OLD MAN!
Take time.  It will take 2 weeks to 2 months ..  before you get any feedback from your supervisor.

It   took me quite fast .. but unfortunately .. s/he managed to read 1 page of my first draft 100 +.  Hard luck , right?
But don’t worry.   Take that -   S/ he admitted he is too busy with meetings etc etc …
Well .. you cannot blame them.  BTW,  Go home and read the comments  that your supervisor had made in your earlier draft(s).

Resubmit .
May be s/he he will read more ..next time.
Pray that s/he will read all your writings and get ready to get all kinds of comments …
I have 3 supervisors … but I stick to the main supervisor all the way.
Be prepared!
It took me many rounds ..  submit, resubmit, submit, resubmit ..before .. every body says ..  it could be send to the externals.
Soon VIVA…  I survived ..  and of course I edit many more ..  according to the hard comments made by  the 2 external examiners  UTM and UNI SABAH MALAYSIA.

To be honest .. if they failed me that day ..  I think it is also good for every body.  Why? I can just forget this wonderful journey where everything ..  I saw ..  I always see the alphabets  including the period Ph.D    printed in the clouds out on the horizon.  Even .. when my children ..were massaging me in the day bright  .. my brain  was still  thinking about this horrible 3 alphabets Ph.D      pressure   heart.  depression.  (laugh)

With that .. I wish you good luck mate .

Wallahu aklam bis sawabbb.   (GOD KNOWS BEST).


Meriwether, N.W.(1997).  Successful Research Papers in 12 easy steps.   Illinois:  NTCpromised.


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