I started my day by attending a 2-hour seminar organized by the Learning Development Centre from 10.30am-12.30pm today. It is a free course listed in the Higher Degree Research (HDR) Student Seminar Series for Spring Session 2010. The seminar is mainly about thesis writing process and the idea is to provide further details on what a thesis is all about? Sounds boring huh?? Tapi seminar ni sangat-sangat la berguna untuk student yang sedang buat PhD atau Master (by research) or sape2 je yang tengah tulis thesis.
I'm not gonna elaborate more on the whole contents of the seminar. But I found one part of it to be very very useful so it triggers me to share this with anybody who's currently doing research or has future plan in conducting a research. Senang cerita, sape2 yang sedang buat atau ade plan nak buat PhD or Master(by research), this might be an important information for you..
We were given a list of criterion and we need to state whether all the items in the list represent originality or not. Maybe you can try your own answer while reading through these.
IS THIS "ORIGINALITY"??
- Presenting a major piece of new information in writing for the first time
- Extending, qualifying or elaborating on existing piece of work
- Undertaking an original piece of work designed by someone else
- Developing a new product or improving an existing one
- Reinterprating an existing theory, maybe in different context
- Demonstrating originality by testing someone else's idea
- Carrying out empirical work that has not been done before
- Using a different methodological approach to address a problem
- Synthesising information in a new different way
- Providing a new interpretation using existing/ known information
- Repeating research in other contexts, for example in a different country
- Applying existing ideas to new areas of study
- Taking a particular technique and applying it in a new area
- Developing a new research tool or technique
- Taking a different approach, for example a cross-disciplinary perspective
- Developing a portfolio of work based on research
- Adding to knowledge in a way that has not been done before
- Conducting a study on a previously unresearched area or topic
- Producing a critical analysis of something not previously examined
Much to my surprise that all the answers are YES. They are all representing originality in their own way. So, look at your topic, if it fits any of the above criterion, meaning that you are doing well. Owh, just another little information for me to share, doing a PhD is not necessarily to come out with something TOTALLY NEW. That is not the whole idea. What we are doing is, find a topic, give a little bit of extension to it, solve the problem in our own context, get the result, compare it with others or previous works, if everything comes in good agreement, tadaaaaa!! the PhD is all yours!! =))
p/s: Ha, cakap memang senang kan, cuba buat dulu, baru tau langit tinggi ke rendah. It looks simple in here, but the process normally takes you years of entangle commitment. Remember, you are not doing something that is gonna change the whole world!! It is just one little tiny original and significant contribution to knowledge". Hmm, sedap sikit hati bila fikir macam tu.. So, goodluck in cruising through all your hard times yea..=))