You are on page 1of 36

INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS

Research Methodology and Pre-project


(SAB 4022)
Credits: 2
Prepared by:
DR. NOORUL HASSAN ZARDARI
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Lecture Notes
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Week 5: Results and data analysia
Introduction, observation and interpretation
Error analysis and validity of results
Discussion with supervisor
Week 6: Results and data analysis
Significance of findings
Conclusions and recommendations for further work
Discussion with supervisor
Student submit pre-project title with coordinator
Week 7: Writing and presentation
Introduction. Presentation/publication of research findings
Writing of technical papers/technical reports
Discussion with supervisor
Week 8: writing and presentation
Writing of thesis/dissertation
Writing techniques/skills
Discussioon with supervisor
Week 10: Test
Test 1
Discussion with supervisor
Weekly Schedule
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
OPresentation & publication of research finding
OWriting a research paper
OWriting dissertation
OWriting skill
OSeminar presentation
Presentation Outline
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
EWhy must publish?
EWhich publication?
E EE E What to publish?
Presentation & Publication of Research Finding
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
OTo benchmark our research findings
OTo get response from others
OTo disseminate new findings / knowledge
OTo get good reputation
OTo get better promotion
OTo pass Ph.D./D.Eng./D.Sc. program
OTo satisfy academic interest
OTo develop intellectual tradition
Why You Must Publish?
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
OUnpublished research report
OSpecialized magazine
ODissertation / Thesis
OMonograph
OSeminar proceeding
ORefereed journal
OBook
Which Publication?
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
OResearch methodology
OResearch data
OResearch analysis
OResearch experience
OResearch review
OResearch proper
OResearch perspective
What to Publish?
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
OBasic considerations
OFinding a good topic
OFinding suitable literature materials
OEvaluating literature
OPresenting research methodology
OCompiling experimental data
OAnalysis & discussion
OFormatting & illustrations
OA sample of research paper
Writing a Research Paper
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Which Publication?
Format guidelines
Page allowed
Audience
Good Paper?
The paper
The publication
The publisher
Steps in Writing
Single author?
Disstribution of work
Publication Procedure
Research Paper
Before Writing Process
Basic Considerations
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
O Published in a flagship refereed journal
O Subject on frontier of knowledge
O Research findings are original
O Significant area of study
O Published at the right timing
O Minimum mistakes
O Methodologically sound
O Analytically sound
O Grammatically sound
O Clear diagram
O References are up-to-date & significant
O Correctly formatted
Criteria of a Good Research Paper
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Steps to a good topic:
O Choosing a topic that interests you
O Doing preliminary research
O Narrowing your topic
O Deciding which type of research paper
Finding a Good Topic
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Step O
Choosing a topic that interests you
Application of multi-criteria decision-
making (MCDM) methods in water
resources management
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Step O Doing preliminary research
O Ujang Z. & Buckley C. (1999) Molecular detection of nitrifying
bacteria in sludge of membrane bioreactor using Polymerase
Chain Reaction (PCR). Wat.Res. 15 (2) 245-252.
O Yamamoto K. & Urase T. (1999) Analysis of bacterial
community in membrane bioreactor by fluorescent in situ
hybridyzation (FISH). Wat.Sci.Tech. 15 (2) 245-252.
O Wagner J. & Rosenwinkel K-H. (1999) Sludge production in
membrane bioreactors under different conditions. Proc. Int.
Conf. Membrane Tech. For Environ. Mgmt., Tokyo Univ. &
IAWQ, Tokyo, 1-4 Nov. 99, pp. 294-301.
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Step O
Narrowing your topic
Watershed management as a multi-
criteria decision problem: A case study
of the Skudai River Basin
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Step O
Deciding which type of research paper
OResearch methodology
OResearch data
OResearch analysis
OResearch experience
OResearch review
OResearch proper
OResearch perspective
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Finding Sources for Research Paper
Library
- Reference section
- Reserve section
- Periodical section
- Microfilm and microfiche section
- Books
Experts on the subject matter
Reliable websites
Dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias
Online and bound collections of conference papers
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Evaluating Your Sources
Primary or secondary sources
Primary sources are generally original works and first-hand accounts of research.
Such sources include reports of research investigations, government reports, annual
reports, minutes of meetings, letters, diaries, autobiographies, theses, articles in journals,
data collected through interviews and surveys, as well as key publications by the original
authors.
Secondary sources of information include translations, commentaries on original works,
summaries of primary material, and other written material gathered from primary sources.
Encyclopaedias and guidebooks are generally regarded as secondary sources.
Evaluating your sources
- Relevant?
- Reliable?
Taking notes
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Taking notes
Some useful tips:
1. Do not make notes from the whole article.
2. Try to find out what the author's main argument.
3. Examine the views of authors who have a different opinion on the subject
and find out why.
4. 4. Critique each article by asking the questions:
a) Does the author use logically sound arguments?
b) Do I agree with them? If not, why not?
c) Does the author omit aspects of the argument which I regard as
essential? Why do I think he/she did this?
Answering these questions will help you formulate your own stance on the
issues under discussion.
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Presenting Research Methodology
Precise.
Normally not more than1 page.
Refer to other articles or books for details.
E.g. Water quality analysis in this study is based on the
Standard Methods (1999).
Describe:
- How to do it (method)
- Equipment & materials
- Process & flow chart
- Duration
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Compiling Experimental Data
Data can be presented in various forms:
OGraph
OTable
OPhoto
Oetc.
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Analysis & Discussion
- -- - Should be 50% of the paper
- -- - Relate to the theoretical part
- -- - Supported by graphs, tables, photo etc.
- -- - Formula can be written
- -- - But no calculation be shown
- -- -Analysis on experimental data:
Compare with theory
Compare with numerical results
Compare with other works
- -- - State the importance of the findings
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Formatting & Illustrations
Follow the guideline prepared by the
publisher
Principles:
- -- - To help to clarify your written explanation
- -- - Simple presentation
- -- - Easy to understand
- -- - Related to the theoretical derivation
- -- - < 10 (graph + table etc.)
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
SAMPLE
Example of a research paper
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Writing A Dissertation
OLevel of dissertations
ODissertation vs Research paper
OFormatting
OExamples of a good and a bad dissertation
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Level of Dissertations
OUndergraduate dissertation
OMasters dissertation
ODoctoral dissertation
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Undergraduate Dissertation
OTraining basis
ONo significant academic contribution
OEvaluation on:
- Writing skill
- Presentation
- Sequence and formatting
- Data analysis
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Dissertation vs Research Paper
Items Dissertation Research Paper
Size 200 pp 8 pp
Scope Whole research Portion of research
1 Ph.D. = 4 research papers
1 M.Sc. = 2 research papers
1 B.Sc. = 1 research paper
Writer Amateur Professional
Writing Relatively easy Difficult
Presentation Full research data Simplified & selected
Format University-based Journal-based
Publication Unpublished Published
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Formatting & Illustration
OFollow the universitys guideline
OSequence of chapters
OFont, size, spacing, etc.
OFigure head
OTable head
OReferences
OAppendix
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Sequence of Chapters
Model A Model B
Introduction Introduction
Literature review Aim & Objectives
Aim & objectives Literature review
Methodology Methods & Materials
Results Results & Discussion
Analysis & Discussion Conclusion
Conclusion & Recommendation
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Referencing
1. The Harvard Referencing System
2. The Referencing System of the American Psychological Association (APA).
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Thesis Checklist
Cautionary Comments from Examiners Questions to Ask Yourself
Signposts
There is a mismatch between the title and the content. The candidate is
strongly recommended to change the title.
1. Does the title reflect the content?
2. Do chapter/section titles match
chapter/section content?
3. Does the table of contents match the titles in
the text?
4. Is formatting consistent? For example, are you
consistent in the way you set out your headings
or use numbering systems
throughout the thesis?
Use of English
This thesis contains quite a lot of Chinese-English that can hardly be
comprehended. The grammatical errors and writing style should be polished
before submission.
The introduction in Chapter 1 often uses the present tense where the past
tense should have been used
Careless and imprecise writing is perhaps the root cause of the deficiency
of this thesis.
There are simply too many ill-constructed sentences, wrong choices of words
and grammatical errors throughout the thesis.
Spell check and grammar check the whole document.
5. Is English used accurately so that the
meaning is clear?
6. Is the writing grammatically correct?
7. Are the tenses appropriate?
8. Is the punctuation correct?
9. Is common vocabulary used accurately?
10. Is the spelling correct?
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Writing for Understanding
There are no strong links between the two parts of the study.
The thesis is too long with many redundant and irrelevant
descriptions.
Smaller paragraphs would improve clarity.
The experimental setup and conditions are not presented in sufficient
detail.
Many terms or phrases are repeatedly used in the earlier chapters as
though they are generally accepted or understood. In fact they are given
meaning only in later chapters.
The main impression one gets when reading this thesis is that it is
incredibly repetitive.
While it is good to remind the reader of technical terms, it is
unnecessary to repeat explanations over and over again in some cases
even in essentially the same words.
The abbreviations on p.vii should be listed in alphabetical order. On
p.62, it seems that [ABCD] is not in the list of abbreviations at the
beginning of the thesis.
Abbreviations of different versions should be introduced early on and
be used consistently. It is now very confusing and inconsistent.
On p.1, symbols are presented in different styles.
11. Does each paragraph contain a single idea and does
the first sentence introduce that idea?
12. Are paragraphs, sections and chapters logically
ordered and linked?
13. Are the paragraphs too long? Too short?
14. Are there sufficient examples?
15. Are explanations or descriptions sufficient?
Necessary? Relevant?
16. When terms are first used are they sufficiently
explained?
17. Is the writing unduly repetitive?
18. Are abbreviations expanded early and are they used
consistently?
19. Are all abbreviations used included in the
abbreviation list?
20. Are the full names of symbols given?
21. Are symbols used correctly? If, for example, f is
different from F, do you ever get confused?
22. When two terms are used to denote the same thing or
idea, is this clear?
Thesis Checklist
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Substantiation and claims
Generally, its good to not beg questions in the research; when the
text says not much work has been done then say something about
that work.
23. Are diagrams, flowcharts, etc., sufficiently explained in
the text?
24. Are claims sufficiently explained? For example, if you
say that one position has been discredited, have you
explained who has discredited it and how?
25. Does the work go beyond description? Do you explain
the significance or meaning of information you describe?
Diagrams, tables, results
Some Figures are not referenced. Some Figures are referred to in a
disordered way.
Figure 3.8 (b) is referred to for the first time in the text after 3.9,
while Figure 3.8 (a) is not mentioned at all.
In Essay 2, starting from p.97, many table numbers are wrong,
making reading a problem and so I had to go back to re-read it
again.
The presentation is unnecessarily lengthy and repetitive. The
student should make better use of appendices and charts, as the
procedures are tedious.
26. Are diagrams, flowcharts, etc., sufficiently explained in
the text?
27. Are diagrams of good quality?
28. Does the information that is presented in tables cohere
with what is written in the text?
29. Is the labelling of graphs and tables unambiguous? Can
labels be interpreted in only one way?
30. Are results presented in the best form? For example,
would text be better as a table, or a table better as text?
Thesis Checklist
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Thesis Checklist
Referencing
On page 22, line 3, a reference Decho, 1990 is
quoted. However no reference can be found in the
reference list. In line 6 of the second paragraph, a
reference Sutherland, 1990 is quoted. No such
reference is found in the reference list
The work is weak on recent references. For example,
I list below four references which I have found during
a brief scan of the literature which are highly relevant
to the project but have not been cited
The reference list has a number of irritating errors of
a typographical nature, an inconsistency of presenting
journal names, and occasionally inadequate
information to locate a reference without inside
knowledge.
31. Is the appropriate referencing convention used?
32. Are works cited in the text included in the
bibliography and vice versa?
33. Are citation and reference styles consistent?
34. Are references related to the work, or are they so
tangential that the reader will wonder about their
inclusion?
35. Were references updated as the work proceeded?
Have important developments since the initial
literature review been considered and referenced?
36. If you have referred to any work arising From this
research that you have already published, have you
included the publications in your reference section?
General
Page 129 is missing from my copy. 37. Are the pages all there?
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Common Knowledge, Plagiarism, Copyright and Ethics
OWe can assume that all our ideas are informed from many sources. However,
in academic writing we distinguish between common knowledge that is available
from sources such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, books etc. and specific
knowledge that came from an identifiable source such as a report.
OIn some cases a writer needs to make a judgment about whether to reference
a source of common knowledge or not. The rule generally is: if you are in doubt,
reference the source!
OBut you MUST acknowledge distinctive ideas, sources of specific information,
verbatim phrases, sources of original terms and sources of statistics you use in
your writing.
OUsing the ideas and information generated by another person in your own work
without acknowledging that usage is generally regarded as plagiarism.
OIn academia, plagiarism is a serious issue.
INSPIRING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE MINDS
Copyright generally refers to ownership of products, ideas or
knowledge.
The ethical issues in human subjects research have received
increasing attention over the last 50 years.
-The primary concern of the investigator should be the safety of
the research participant.
-The scientific investigator must obtain informed consent from
each research participant.
-The investigator must enumerate how privacy and confidentiality
concerns will be approached.
Common Knowledge, Plagiarism, Copyright and Ethics