ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE WITH WUNMI: P-L-A-N-N-I-N-G!!!
Yay! It’s mid-year and this is my first post for the half year. So much to be thankful for, amongst which are: the Editor (TOSIN) and the phenomenon audience of Africanism Cosmopolitan. You guys are simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Started this in January, and look where we are now. Initially, the idea seemed senseless, thought to myself “so you want to be giving tips on research/academics? In this age? Who cares? There’s a switch to entrepreneurship now not academics”…….this and many more I had running through my mind at the beginning…… but to the glory of God it can only get better. Thank you for your comments. I hope you all are basking in goodness.
Before I head on to the discussion for today, let me drop a few words of encouragement, whatever it is that God has laid in your heart to do, do it, don’t just do it, do it well! You think God ain’t watching? You think no one is seeing? You’re so wrong! People are listening, God is counting on you, just hold on to Him that has called you, get your motive right, stay inspired (staying inspired is solely your responsibility, not God or anyone else can) and say no to any spirit of defeat. The truth is if you wait on man to validate what God has told you, you might wait FOREVER. Remember, every good and perfect gift is from above. Get started from where you are and let God do His part. The vinedresser (God) is expecting our fruits, let’s not disappoint. We’re to bear fruits in different areas just as the various part of body performs different functions. Identify your area and get started!
Today’s discussion is sequel to the last post ‘Assessment: areas of focus’. Did you read the previous post and wondered what next after identifying areas of focus? Then this post is for you!
There’s this popular saying that ‘failure to plan is planning to fail’. As cliché as this may sound it is true! This series of the ‘academics with Wunmi’ would be incomplete if Planning is not discussed. This is a major area to be recognised, I recognised it and it worked for me.
I would express planning as identifying goals /objectives to be achieved and mapping out corresponding actions/strategies to aid the achievement of identified objectives. The goal is to excel as a student researcher and also produce great research quality.
Planning in this context majorly (but not limited to) encompass; Time Planning, Word Planning.
- Time Planning: Time span for completion (excluding at least 2weeks for proof reading and Technical Review)
- Word Planning: Word limit (how many words you’re required to write)
Below is an illustration of a typical research plan I used during my masters’ thesis.
P.s: a 30days span is assumed, with word limit of 3500, activities are typical chapters of a research content, the percentages allocated to each chapter might not be universal, however, it was applicable to my masters’ thesis (you could ask your supervisor to have an idea).
How do I know the maximum word to write per chapter? The percentage allocated * maximum word limit.
Introduction Chapter= 15% * 3500 = 525
Where Average words per day = 3500/30days = 120words (Approximately); 120words * 7days = 840words/week
Please also note, abstract and table of content is not included in the word count, its advisable you ask (preferably supervisor) if they are to be included in the word count. Why ask your supervisor? He/she assesses your work in the end.
You would observe that this plan encompass the major areas to be considered in writing your research work as a student. You could make your plan more enticing by creating it in an excel sheet and using colours on it (for the love of colours)
SO WHY MUST I PLAN?
- Planning your work makes you more organised, i.e. you know what’s next.
- You remain on the go because the goal for each day is set thus you stay motivated to reach atleast the set target (because its attainable) even if youre not going to exceed it.
- It gives you time to ‘chill’. Where you’re able to do more than ‘planned’ words per day, that is, you’re ahead of the words required per day, you then have some ‘extra’ time in your hands to do other things like chill without lagging behind.
- Planning prevents you from ‘last minute’ rush. This happens to a lot of people without plans but where planning is involved all possible occurrence are planned for (remember the miminum 2weeks window exluded from the time span of project submission?), it takes care of major(if not all) unforeseen circumstances. With planning you get to finish ‘Just-In-Time’ if not earlier than required.
- Planning puts you on the pathway for Success
In nut shell, to P.L.A.N is to highlight the Pathway for Progress in your work Layout with Accuracy and Non-resistance to excellence.
Please share your comments and suggestions in the box below.
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)