The Second Day of the Workshop Series
On ‘Thesis and Dissertation Proposal Writing‘
March 23rd, 2013
Presented by Arif Hertanto
Significance of the study means a statement of why it is important to seek for the problem, and how the solution will improve the human condition. It is something that is useful and will have an impact, and is therefore feasible to conduct. Why workshop on this ‘significance of the study” is a need for candidates?
Significance of the study bears one important element of the thesis proposal. It is said that one aim of writing a thesis proposal is to demonstrate that the thesis topic addresses a significant environmental problem. It implies that research contribution is one purpose of the proposal itself. If this is the case, the purpose of the thesis proposal – both written and presentation components – is to convince the committee aware of two important things -- the specific research problem and proposed approach, as well as the sufficiency and feasibility of the proposed project. The statements might be interpreted that a thesis proposal must sell its contribution for the committee of the thesis and or dissertation proposal seminar. As the committee has been convinced of significance, they might let the candidate proceed.
In addition, experts agree that a feasible thesis proposal requires good judgment at all elements, among other is significance of the study. It concludes that the value of research contribution is of something great, and thesis proposal must contain of right significance. Without significant contribution, a thesis proposal will neither be appreciated nor regarded feasible to go on, let alone to be funded.
Though the discussion of thesis significance seems to make candidates convinced of its worthwhile value, the fact is that they are generally in so much trouble with this part. In almost every proposal seminar, candidates seem to encounter difficulties in stating this part right, both in printed form and in presentation.
This workshop aims at attempting to help candidates establishing their abilities of stating right the significance of the study in the part of their thesis proposal. The paper deals with three successive parts, presentation of operational points – guided practice in groups – and individual practice. The presentation of information would cover the position of the ‘significance of the study, the requirement of originality, technique of getting the significance of study, types of significance, and criteria of significance the level of significance
POINTS OF PRESENTATION
Where is the ‘significance of the study’ situated of the thesis proposal?
In general, authors and experts are in agreement of sitting this part at the end of the introduction (chapter 1), next to the hypothesis of the thesis proposal. However, the embryo should be available since at the background. This is in line with the statement: ‘sufficient background information will allow the readers to understand the -- significance of the question you are trying to address.’
The requirement of originality
Experts in general say that a contribution is worthwhile to the field if it fulfills one or more of the following:
· It provides evidence to support or disprove a concept, theory, or model;
· It contributes new data/information,
a new improved solution,
· It results in a new or improved concept, theory or model.
How to get the significance of study
On the techniques of how to result in a sound significance of the study, experts in general suggest that the candidates
· Focus on the benefits of the study not the research problem.
· Place yourself in the position of responding to someone who says “So what?”
· Provide a persuasive rationale for your argument by answering the following questions:
Why is my study important?
To whom is it important?
What can happen to society, theory, or a program if the study is done or not done?
Further suggestion is that
· Research contributions be clearly and explicitly listed;
· When presenting contributions, "I" be used instead of "we".
To avoid mentioning the subject noun or pronoun repeatedly, it is acceptable to use passive voice. The suggestion is meant that the committee will know what aspects of the work, where the contribution, and which group projects.
Types of Significance
On deciding which types of significance or contribution to be sought, the candidates should bear in their minds that thesis contribution is a technical result of both substantially novel and creating significantly new knowledge. A technical result bears a solution of a technical problem. In this case, experts are in more or less the same idea to mention four types of technical results:
a. A theory consisting of a body of theorems and their proofs from first principles.
b. An algorithm that computes certain output from a given input.
c. A performance analysis describing quantifiable behaviors of a large class of mechanisms, or characterizing optimal selection of their control parameters.
d. A design for a hardware, software or protocol mechanism capable of resolving a broad class of problems.
Criteria of Significance
As research contribution stipulates whether or not the proposal may proceed, its significance needs to be judged. Then, there must be the criteria to which the significance would be referred. To meet this demand, the following ideas might be useful. It is suggested there that each major contribution must demonstrate
·Usefulness (so, "first", "best", "only" are good adjectives here)
·Length of time along which the contribution may last
What is meant with novelty is that it is something new, something that has not been done, found, proved, or seen before. The novelty also means that the would-obtain research finding will
· Add to knowledge,
· Changes the way people think,
· Informs policy,
· Moves the field forward, or advances the state of the art.
Such objectives are often not easy for candidate to achieve. Candidates, therefore requires strategies to strive. The accepted idea of two alternatives is either to
· Develop an original insight or advance, or
· Borrow a contribution from another discipline and apply it to your field for the first time.
In case of being confused, the candidate may consult to the advisors as to ask or discuss of
· What is expected of you in terms of originality?
· Samples of exemplary completed dissertations,
· How you can most clearly display your original contribution to the reader.
· Are you expected to make a significant contribution in your dissertation, or
· Are you expected to demonstrate that you are capable of making a significant contribution in later work?
In conclusion, the criteria of significance are as follows. The significance
· Offers novelty of significance;
· Results in a nontrivial genuine;
· Uses and or yields a very important breakthrough at the empirical, conceptual, theoretical, or policy level;
· Is useful and will have an impact;
· Causes those inside, and possibly those outside, the community to see things differently;
· Influences the conversation, research, and teaching;
· Has implications for and advances the field, the discipline, other disciplines, or society.
The level of significance
Experts in thesis writing are commonly in the same opinion of originality or genuine. There are degrees of significance for the committee to judge significance of the proposal contribution. They are
· At the highest level, significance is a function of the field's long-term interest in the problem,
· The second highest, the difficulty involved in solving the problem,
· The third highest, the influence of the results on further developments in the field, as well as
· And the last, the degree to which the results affect other fields, disciplines, and even society
For the committee of proposal seminar, their main concern should be on answering the question of whether or not the novelty is genuine. To answer this problem, an alternative idea might be operational, that is the novelty of substance is fulfilled if the contribution cannot be derived as a simple application or extension of known result.
A. Guided Practice
Analyze the following samples of thesis significance, locate the possible error and unworthy contribution by underlining the identified error!
1. The effectiveness of brainstorming by words guessing in reading comprehension
2. A correlational study between students’ habit in browsing English article in the internet and their vocabulary mastery
3. Improving students’ writing skill in the use of cohesive devices through students team achievement division (STAD)
Significance of the study
1. For teacher, this technique will help teacher to motivate students learning reading and as alternative technique for the teacher to apply in the classroom
English teacher know their students achievement in reading, so they can make their students active
For English students, this research having experienced in using brainstorming by words guessing, so they can increase the reading competence
2. For the lecturer, This research can be a reference for the lecturers in knowing the students’ habit in browsing the internet
Lecturers will get some information about students’ vocabulary mastery, so they can make further treatment to increase the students’ vocabulary mastery.
For the students, hopefully, this way can be useful for students to increase their English vocabulary. They can do this by browsing English article in the internet.
3. For the English teacher, teacher gets experience in teaching writing competence especially in the use of cohesive devices through STAD
The teacher can knows their students ability in using cohesive devices, so they can anticipate the students problems.
For the students, the students will know how to use STAD to improve their cohesive devices in writing
The students will know their mistakes in using devices, so they will not repeat their mistakes
Could you suggest any revision or paraphrase?
B. Free Practice
Learn this example of significance!
Title: The Use of Indonesian Language in Official Letter Written by the Students of Office Administration Program of Business Department and Secretarial Diploma Program of Social Studies Faculty of Malang Teacher Training Institute
The results of this study can be used as a study of the differences between 'error' and 'mistake.' Some of the data shows that there is the possibility that a mistake is only a 'mistake', for example, the use of fault removal in the form of a dot at the end of the sentence. In reality, having to use a dot at the end of the sentence is very generally known, even by researchers, sixth grade elementary school students were informed about it. In this case is very unlikely that the student did not / do not know this requirement. In other words, mistakes are recording did was a 'mistake.'
The results of this study can affirm the principles of the theory of writing a letter. In theory writes letter stated that the language should be clear, straightforward and appropriate. For that, there are some mistakes to avoid. In the study it was found that the errors mentioned in the theory of writing is indeed the case. In fact, in this study, it was discovered an error that has not been described in the theoretical discussion about writing a letter. Such errors are the removal of conjunctions at the beginning of the sentence so that the function of the tagged clause is unclear.
The results of this study may provide new insights in research writing skills, especially the ability to write a letter. In this study found an association between the use of certain words that are not appropriate or do not skimp on the idea of unity or coherence of the sentence is not good. This fact is reasonable because the word is the element of the sentence. Based on these findings can be observed relationship problems unity and coherence of ideas sentence paragraph unity and coherence of ideas / content of the letter. This is due to sentence a paragraph element.
The results of this study are expected to provide information on trends in Indonesian language errors in writing a formal letter. This information can be used as material to enhance the ability to write a letter to the students who will be involved in the administration or in the teaching administration.
The results can be fed back to the Indonesian teacher correspondence course so they know the extent of teaching undertaken, especially in the aspect of language use.
Through this research, the teachers of Indonesian Correspondence gained information about the linguistic aspects that need to be under pressure in preparing the course syllabus or in a broader scope, the curriculum department.
Could you write your own significance of your own study now?
Dianne Prost O'Leary. 2009. Graduate Study In The Computer And Mathematical Sciences: A Survival Manual. Maryland College Park, MD 20742 U.S.A.: Computer Science Department. University of Maryland.
Barbara von Diether, EdD. How to Write a Dissertation
Kim Kastens, et al. 2009. How to Write Your Thesis.