academics Category

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE WITH WUNMI: P-L-A-N-N-I-N-G!!!

Hello Fam! 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 […]

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ACADEMICS WITH WUNMI: ASSESSMENT: KEY AREAS OF FOCUS

Hello there! 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 […]

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ACADEMICS WITH WUNMI: 5 COMMON RESEARCH MISTAKES

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Hello Good People!

Let me start by appreciating you for being a committed audience to this blog also embracing the growth that comes with it, one of which is this platform of ‘Helping Others To Excel in Academics’. I appreciate all your constructive comments towards the “academics with wunmi segment” and all suggestions so far, however it would be more awesome if you also dropped a comment in the box below. Like Sisi Yemmie says ‘your comments are like delicious grains of Jollof rice to me’ LOL. You can also suggest areas you would further like me to discuss.

To the ‘topic’ of the day, in this post I will be considering the common research mistakes we make as researchers.

‘Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war’- Donald Trump.

So stop hating on yourself for not getting it right in the past!

  1. DATA MANIPULATION: I was once a victim here, ‘adjusting’ your data and result to make it look like what you want or think it should be. It’s data remember not information, it’s still in its raw form, it’s to be used just the way it is and whatever result gotten after processing is the true representation of data. In research, there’s no right or wrong answer, the answer is not to be predetermined. The reason you’re ‘researching’ is because you don’t know the answer, if the answer is known beforehand then it’s not research. Don’t be ‘afraid’ to present your true result, just explain whatever result you’ve got critically and advisably support with existing literature.
  2. HIRING SOMEONE TO DO IT FOR YOU INSTEAD OF DIY: A lot of students are quite familiar with this. One of the major things you need to excel in research is to engage ‘smart-work’. ‘Smart work’ not only applies to research but all academic endeavours. This is what these ‘research helpers’ know. It’s not their field but yet they present you with a ‘good’ project at the end of the day. Note that not doing your academic research work yourself makes you incapable of defending the result thus not suitable for maximizing the benefits that is embedded in research.
  3. PLAGIARISM (PUBLISHED OR CO-STUDENTS WORKS): Plagiarism is copying someone’s work or idea without acknowledgement and presenting it as your work/idea. Plagiarism comes with negative consequences more often than not. The thought that some past researchers are better than us is not totally true. These past researchers have documented their ideas and opinions, dare to document your own ideas too. Until you make those ideas plain in writing, they may seem ‘lame’ in the head. To be honest we all have excellence in us, all we need do is to release it. Someone once said how to overcome fear is to do that thing you fear.
  4. LACK OF ORIGINALITY: It’s not that students don’t actually have the ideas, but quite a lot are not optimistic with their ideas nor are they willing to dare to be different. More often, in the process of trying to refine original ideas to soothe the trend or your supervisor, you lose the originality of the work as a whole. What most students don’t know is, supervisors actually want you to you sell your ideas to them, that is, make them see through your ‘lenses’. It’s no crime for your work to have its limitations, it’s part of the originality.
  5. POOR EXPRESSION: Grammatical blunders, inability to express oneself without ambiguity or bias to existing literature. Poor expression could also imply ‘moving in circles about your opinion’ rather than ‘hitting the nail on the head’. What this does is to erode the originality of your idea and aim of study. Don’t be apologetic about your opinion. I remember this was an area I had to consciously work on while writing my masters’ thesis. I was trying to hide ‘behind a finger’ in expressing my opinion. A colleague of mine went through my work and observed this, the review was indeed helpful.

SO HOW CAN THESE BE MINIMIZED?

  1. Engage research (academic endeavour) with the right mind-set, this eases out a lot of mental stress. Check the post for mind-set HERE.
  2. Learn to express yourself and opinion in your own words without ambiguity.
  3. Write down your ideas, writing makes things plain and easy to relate with. Thinking is good, writing your thoughts is better!
  4. Develop your own idea. Be Original with your thoughts.
  5. Acknowledge any other person’s idea used in your work.
  6. Give trusted and intelligent individuals your work to review.
  7. Be honest with your data results and presentation.
  8. Get more familiar with academic literatures, this helps in critical reasoning and gets you more acquainted with the style of academic writing.
  9. Check out references acknowledged in selected materials you’ve chosen to read, this gives better understanding of the subject matter.
  10. Be sure about the data you require for your study, getting your data right gives you confidence in your result.

Till I Come your way again,

Let’s stay Winning,
Wunmi Kayode

Please leave your comments, suggestions, or questions in the comment box below or mail me at wunmi.kayode@gmail.com

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)

 

 

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ACADEMICS WITH WUNMI : MINDSET

IMG_8941 copyHello there!
Trust you all are doing just fine! Well I thought by the time this post is published the Nigerian election would be have been conducted. Unfortunately, its been postponed. Quite frankly, I thought the postponement wasn’t called for, reason been that; the election date has been predetermined for over a year now, more so, this insecurity issue has been there for a while now (need for more pro-activeness in Nigeria), I don’t think the six weeks would make any major difference (hopeful though). Also, I believe so many economic and managerial decisions are on hold till the election is done, outsiders/investors will perceive Nigerians as politically unstable (My Opinion). Nigerian stocks for instance is experiencing one of its greatest falls since the postponement announcement (the market reacts to such news negatively). Nigeria shall get to the promise land by the grace of God. I salute all our non-Nigerian readers.

In today’s post, the emphasis is on ‘mind-set’ expedient to possess to excel in research as a student.
I describe ‘mind-set’ simply as the way an individual programs his/her reasoning (mental) abilities which is capable of influencing his attitude or behaviour towards something or someone.
Before I continue on the mind-set subject, I would like to give an example of my past research projects as well as the mind-set I had alongside. Here are the research works I have carried out till date;
• Adoption Of IFRS in Nigeria: the Idiosyncrasies (2010)
• Opportunities and Challenges Of IFRS Adoption In Nigeria: Nigerian Banking Sector (2011)
• Challenges SMEs face in Nigeria (2012/2013)
• Why Firms Mimic Each Other’s Capital Structure: Explanations from Product Market Competition (2014)

The first three projects basically express the problems perceived in my environment per time thus using my findings to make constructive recommendations. While working on the last project, the aim was to identify practical underlying principle in firm’s financial policies, critically examine and analyse the results of past literatures as well as provide explanations for conclusions reached by recent researchers on the subject matter.
From the example above

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RESEARCH WITH WUNMI: THE SOLUTION PILL

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Hello A.C Fam!

Good to be on this platform again to discuss one of the things I’m very passionate about, am I an education/research enthusiast (you ask)? I think I am.

The aim of this post is to highlight one out of the many advantages that research has thus emphasizing the need for better quality research work as students that would hopefully be of great relevance to the government amongst other sectors. Before laying emphasis on research as a solution pill, let’s talk briefly on the utilization of research in past years.

A quick comparism, World Bank data for year 2010-2014 shows that United Kingdom has 4,024 researchers in R&D (per million people) in contrast to 95 researchers Zimbabwe has in R&D. This shows that developed nation maximize research maybe not optimally but at least it’s not under-utilized in contrast to most developing countries which Nigeria is not an exception

Note: population is a great influencing factor of the figure above however the margin between these two countries is very wide nonetheless the industrial growth of each country drives the point home better. Some developing countries like Nigeria has no data on the table (link here: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.SCIE.RD.P6/countries)

Also, UNESCO recognise that high level research and development within a government fuels industrial growth. The figure above include PHD researchers, this highlights importance of research with better quality from student platform.

Not all student got it right the first time, Its ok to have made some mistakes in the past as a student researcher one of the reasons this platform exist is to reduce the occurrence of these mistakes in future. (Expect a post on common mistakes students make in research and how they can be minimised).

‘Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future’ – Swami Sivananda

Looking into the future, I see research birthing solutions to national problems, although not currently maximized. Research as a ‘solution-pill’ is currently not maximized for (I believe) the following reasons;

  • Most research works carried out by students in Nigeria Universities (especially undergraduates) are ‘dumped’ on the shelf with no further action. Thus affecting the perception and enthusiasm students have towards research. I believe the grass-root of research is at undergraduate level.

P.S I’m more familiar with the Nigerian education system thus indulge me, however, I would like to know whether readers from other countries share same observations.

  • Ignorance to the solution power research carries. I remember one of my Lecturers during my postgraduate (missed my intro post? Read here) cited an example of the research he conducted to help give advice to top government officials to make relevant decision as it relates to the economy. Is research that essential? OH YES! Most developed nations thrive on the wings of research.

Just recently, I was watching TV and I saw an advert asking viewers to donate to ‘cancer research’ in the UK. Now, can you beat that?! I honestly think we need awareness of research potential. Australia for instance has a Financial Integrity Research Network (FIRN)-a platform for identifying and solving financial problems such as Hedge Funds, Asset Pricing and so on.

Research might not give a precise solution as it were but at least it puts you on the solution path. Take for instance the Ebola outbreak, various research was carried out in the US to identify the cause and the cure (solution-pill). Yes the result of the various research wasn’t a precise solution however it gave a solution path which with further developments can be precise.

I see research solving private/public financial challenges across the globe not just medical (clinical) issues. Do you?

What problem has research solved you ask?

  1. Financial Management Problems: According to Financial Engineering Research at McCormick http://www.fe.mccormick.northwestern.edu/research.html in this link are lists of financial engineering problems solved by renowned researchers. For instance, ‘Prof Mehrotra developed stochastic nonlinear models and algorithms for asset-liability management problems’.
  2. Algebra Learning Problem: According to Press Trust of India (05/05/2014), researchers establish that there is a computer system that provides automatic solutions to ‘beginners’ problems encountered at algebra classes. This for instance is so cool! Growing up an area of struggle in mathematics was algebra.
  3. Social Media Insecurity: Did you know that some researchers in June 2014 solved ‘a big security problem with android apps on google play’? Here’s the link for further read http://www.businessinsider.com/android-apps-give-away-secret-keys-2014-6

I encourage students out there to engage in research when opportune to, it’s an amazing platform that has solution potentials asides knowledge potentials.

Let’s all put our thinking, critical and analytical caps as I stimulate you on this research journey as we enhance academic excellence.

Till I come your way again,

Stay Winning,

-Wunmi Kayode.

Please leave your comments, suggestions, or questions in the comment box below or mail me at wunmi.kayode@gmail.com

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)

 

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