ACADEMICS WITH WUNMI: ASSESSMENT: KEY AREAS OF FOCUS
Hope you all are doing fine and winning in all life’s pursuit? Let me start by expressing my immense gratitude to God and the ardent readers of this blog. I acknowledge your comments and contributions so far, they have been helpful. However, I would like to know areas you would like me to talk about on this platform as regards ‘academic excellence’.
In today’s post, I would be discussing the key areas of focus during an assessment, simply put, ‘areas lecturers/supervisors look out for when assessing your work’. Stay inspired as I take you through these areas.
‘There might be nothing new under the sun of research however, your approach is what makes things new, it makes a whole lot of difference. The ‘how’ matters as much as the ‘what’. It’s easy to go round in circles when you are ignorant of the key areas your examiner wants to assess you on, it’s however easier to excel in research (as a student to be graded) when key areas of assessment are diligently worked on.
P.s This post is written strictly on my experience in my personal research works, feedbacks, and interaction with Supervisors (Lecturers). Please, also note that different strokes apply to different folks nevertheless I will be sharing what I find common so far as my work has been assessed in the past.
Follow me as I highlight these areas considered during assessment under each heading below:
- Your Abstract: This is a key selling point, the examiner can tell the quality of your work from the abstract. Therefore, your abstract should be clear, clearly set out the issue your work discusses (objectives, etc) and the key findings of the work.
- Your Objective & problem statement: Your Objective should flow from your introduction and motivation for the topic, by stating your motivation for the topic you’re recognising gap in literature thus ‘doing something new’. A clearly defined objective should point to a ‘problem’ aimed to be solved by your research.
- Your hypothesis/ research questions: Because you’re a student researcher, to show you have sufficient knowledge about what you’re hypothesizing on, its expedient to back up your hypothesis with theories from existing literature. This shows your examiner you’re not just ‘making the hypothesis up’ and that you have a proper understanding of the work been done.
- Your critical & analytical ability of literatures: The examiner expects you to juxtapose your ideas with existing literature, think outside the box of exiting literature thus raising questions that links to your identified hypotheses.
- Your methodology (why and why not): The methods used to analyse your data is an exposure of the level of depth you have about your topic. You’re expected to use the most appropriate method that carefully explains your observations in your literature review as well as robustness issues. A good understanding of your required data helps in method selection.
- Your language and Presentation: Your examiner expects you to adhere to length requirements (e.g 3000words), appropriate use of academic convention (e.g Harvard style, etc), accurate spelling (take time to proof read) and use of appropriate but unambiguous words to express your ideas.
- Originality: If there’s one thing that cannot be overemphasized in research, it is the originality of your work. They want to see you introduce something new in your work. The person assessing you has read literatures of wide range so they can perceive easily when there is a repetition, repetition bores them.
- Result explanation and linkage to existing theories or literatures: Because all chapters of your work are interrelated and interdependent on each other, the examiner wants to see you demonstrate this by not analysing your data result in isolation. In other words, as you explain your result the examiner wants to see you refer to the theories and prominent literatures of your work as identified in the literature review. This makes your work easily understandable, ‘catchy’ and makes the examiner refer to the chapter the points were explained in detail (the marker thus maintain full concentration while assessing your work).
- Recommendation and conclusion: The examiner is looking out for reasonable conclusions not ‘abstract’ that adequately summarize your work with acknowledgment to limitations in the current analysis and ‘workable’ recommendations that incorporates the highlighted limitations as strengths.
- Bibliography & Appendix: Here, the marker is concerned with your arrangements, recent articles used (not just using articles from the 90s), top journals referenced (e.g Journal of Finance). Your consistency of format used is also of great consideration, more often there’s a standard format (e.g Harvard referencing style)
A quick grouping of the above headings into chapters they fall within a typical research content
Point 1: Abstract
Points 2 & 3: Introduction
Point 4: Literature review
Point 5: Methodology
Point 6 &7: Overall content
Point 8: Results
Point 9: Conclusion
Point 10: References
I sincerely hope this platform has been helpful in several ways. I look forward to your comments.
Till I come your way again,
The Education segment of the blog is one where you can find resources as a student/prospective one to help you succeed academically. Periodic posts would be published ranging from advice to questions and resources, all of which readily available to help you. I wish you all the best in your academic endeavours- Tosin Alabi( editor)