Your educational final year project would be a demanding, but an exciting learning experience especially for graduating students. However, it is not without problems which, if not identified and addressed, could seriously affect the final result and ultimately reduce your marks. There are three categories of challenges that impacts on the way students carry out their research projects. These are tutor-related, student-related and institution-related. Here we mentioned some of these problems and how to avoid them.
The “Overachiever” Problem: A common problem in selecting a project topic that is far too ambitious for the required time frame. Remember that you have only a few weeks to finish and defend your project work. One has to be careful not to select project topics that are unrealistically large to achieve or a topic whose materials are difficult to source. This can lead to frustration as well as errors caused by “cutting corners” and hurrying through to meet up with time. Discuss with your project supervisor the scale of what you are planning.
The “Do It Tomorrow” Problem: The time allotted for completion and defence of an educational project sounds like a long time, but it goes by very quickly especially when you have to manage going to classes and writing your final year examinations. You need an implementation schedule that allocates reasonable amounts of work throughout the entire semester. Then you must stick to that schedule. Don’t be tempted to postpone work on the research work because your due date seems so far off. All that happens is that during the final few weeks you rush madly to get your educational research done which in most cases rarely works correctly!
Quantity of Literature Review: It can be difficult to deal with the quantity of literature that you might have accessed, and your search for the elusive literature elixir will persist throughout the year until you hand over your work in. Your literature review is iterative and never stops. This involves managing your literature, accessing data that support the framework of your research work, identifying keywords and alternative keywords, as well as constantly looking for new and fruitful literature sources. With any source, do not forget to look at the references at the back of the source and compare them with your sources.
Improving the quality of writing within the literature review: A literature review of a final year project work has to go beyond being a series of references and citations, you need to interpret the literature and be able to position it within the context of your research topic. This requires careful and measured interpretation and writing in which you synthesis and bring together the materials that you have read. There also needs to be a logical approach and progression. Get your project supervisor to look at a sample of your literature review so they can check your project writing style and provide you with feedback about how you are constructing your review.
Referencing: This can be a perennial problem for graduating students. Most university libraries will have an online guide designed to support you with the process of referencing during your educational project writing. Unlike writing a letter, project writing can be slow, time-consuming and even tedious as it requires a lot of thought and a considerable amount of piecing together.
Concern that your scope is either still too broad or too narrow: This concern is inevitable. Be prepared to adapt your research as you look through the literature. This might mean either increasing its focus or narrowing it down so that it is manageable. A broad focus for research works might be narrowed down by adding an appropriate context or age group, looking for another variable within the research question or by focusing upon a theoretical viewpoint.