Saturday, April 13, 2024

Finding Your Reason for Research Season

By Keisiah Dawn T. Tiaoson | September 15, 2023

Thickly bound, colored green, and seemingly hard to comprehend—it is surely intimidating to look through previously written undergraduate theses often displayed on library shelves. Those books are not there, however, for mere display. They are there to serve as a manifestation of devotion to seeking answers. This search for answers is often seen to be weighty, even toppling over the smartest and most diligent of students—when that should not be the case.  

Thus, put simply, the easiest way to survive your thesis is ensuring that it must be engaging to the author in all its angles.  

Thesis writing, like all forms of writing, is a process. Late nights at McDonald’s, eight long hours thinking about how to analyse data, and two hours of sleep may sometimes be the price to pay. The brain must really do its work during the process. It must think, read, and comprehend. 

The brain, however, must not only tire itself with tons of labor. It must also be in love with the topic it is exposed to, for thesis does not necessarily require a genius. Research is friendly to people who find it interesting—especially people who have a will to take immediate action to get the work done.

There are, in fact, a large portion of students in Silliman University who encounter thesis writing. In the areas of agriculture, social Science, and economics among others, research is a necessity. It advances these fields, especially in coping with the global demand. 

Ang thesis gyud (This thesis) [is] the biggest giant in my college journey. I have to secure permits, related journals, and money… but bearable ra man (but it is  bearable),” said Kawthar Khayat, a senior student from the Chemistry Department.

Like Khayat, thesis writing could surely be demanding. There are a lot of documents to process, tons of journals to read, and a few thousands of pesos to be spent. It requires analysis, organization, and effective time management. As a result, writing an undergraduate research paper is seen—and justifiably so—as a daunting task. 

However, when one is genuinely interested in the subject matter, the entire process becomes significantly easier. Coping with the pressure of deadlines and revisions won’t be too heavy when one is truly engaged with the work. When the researcher is deeply invested in a topic, the natural curiosity and enthusiasm serve as powerful driving forces to finish the work. 

Choose something that you really love. A topic that you are really interested in. Read more about it, and ask yourself: Hmmm… Why? What else can I do?Dr. Flora Yrad, chairperson of the Chemistry Department, would always tell her undergraduate students. 

She believes that interest is what propels oneself to continue the pursuit of knowledge. Breakthroughs can arise by being curious about a specific mechanism of things, people, and animals. Questions on why it happened, how it happened, and what will happen next are what make up the map that guides the researchers through their entire journey to discovery.  

When a person is truly focused on where things are heading and its origin, these questions start to multiply and grow. Don’t be afraid to see where those questions lead you—even if they take you far from what you initially had in mind. When one is passionate about a subject, the mind becomes a wellspring of ideas, approaches, and fresh perspectives. The imagination flourishes, allowing for the exploration of unique angles. This curiosity manifests in various ways, from creating new methods, discovering something new, or answering riddles. 

Every finding benefits people in one way or another. No one is alone as he or she seeks for answers. Each department is full of experts who are willing to help students out.  That is why it is crucial to find an adviser with a similar field of interest as your chosen topic and work closely with him. There are advisers who guide young researchers and will help in securing what they need.

The shared enthusiasm between the adviser and the advisee is one of the most significant ways in which interest facilitates the entire process of writing. This shared enthusiasm helps to overcome potential obstacles such as procrastination. The desire to convey their joined thoughts and ideas about a subject of personal interest pushes them forward. It turns what might have been a chore into an enjoyable endeavor.

A willing and devoted mind is a powerful catalyst that transforms academic writing into something less stressful. It facilitates the natural flow of ideas and the establishment of clear goals. 

In order to put your hardbound thesis on that shelf, you must first ask yourself: “What is interesting for me?” After answering, grab your pen, logbook, and journals—it is time to win over the uneasy feeling towards thesis writing.

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