Articles and Updates
SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTORS & SOURCE TO PROJECT WRITING
The efforts required to write a project successfully must be concerted. In other words, several things and individuals are involved and contribute significantly towards the successful completion of the project-writing. Some of these significant contributors include the following: -
The Student Researcher
The first, and indeed, primary significant contributor to project writing is the student researcher himself. The project-work is meant to be carried out by the student. It is expected that such a student has learnt the rope in his chosen field of study sufficient to enable him carry out the investigation.
This explains why the students are expected to engage in such a commitment only in their final years. Then, they must have read quite extensively on their fields of study to discover areas needing investigation. In addition, it is expected that at that stage, the student had become quite versatile to handle an area of investigation in his subject area that is of interest to him.
Considering the complex nature of conducting an investigation as this, the student is not expected to do it alone in fact. He cannot hope to do it, all on his own. That is why he needs to be under the close and able guardianship of a supervisor who, in most cases, is a professional and of course, a lecturer in the student’s department. The supervisor is directly involved in the investigation right from the beginning; helping to fashion out; shape and re-shape the project title and all that followed there from.
At every stage of the investigation and writing, he contributes by going through the work; making necessary input, effecting corrections, seeking clarifications from the student researcher, advising on appropriate steps to take and even editing the work as he proof-reads it. Thus, one can see that his contribution to the process of conducting a successful investigation cannot be over-emphasized; hence, a significant contributor.
For those who know, the library being a research tool itself, represents a very significant contributor to research undertakings. This is to such an extent that no quality research can be done in the absence of a good library, especially its use. Because it acquires, organises, preserves and disseminates information materials on all area of human knowledge, the library became the first place to visit when embarking on research undertakings. That is, you find the widest range of ideas, opinions, and previous findings on every subject matter. If you must conduct a worthwhile investigation, you need to know what others have done in that area; how they have done it and where they stopped. This is the logical beginning for any investigation and its investigator.
But you cannot find about all these elsewhere except in the library. Otherwise, you stand the risk of either doing it wrongly and therefore failing in getting the desired results. No one individual can claim to be the reservoir of knowledge; as he can only boast of knowing just a little of everything in his own little area of specialization. To this natural disadvantage, the library has helped to present an appropriate alternative.
This, it does by making readily available to all, information sources on virtually all area of human endeavour from different view points. Also significant is that the contents of a given library regarding the various information and knowledge materials have no ethnic, social, cultural, economic, political and even time barriers; as they relate to all people from all places and at all times. That explains the unique place of the library in the conduct of any research or project-writing.
Simply put, the Internet can be described as the global network of networks of computers whose resources are made readily available to all users all around the world. With particular reference to the Library and Information Science profession, the Internet is a good example of a non printed reference source. It is a network of computer networks worldwide, an “Information Highway” because of its capacity to transmit a vast amount of information to anybody anywhere around the globe.
Internet resources could be likened to those in the library except that it boasts of a rather wider coverage as well as a higher degree of recency. The structural limitation imposed on the library owing to its restrictive nature have been offset by the advent of the Internet. While its resources cannot be said to be a substitute to those in the library, the Internet still remains an indispensable research tool. To combining recency with comprehensiveness, the researcher stands better chances with the Internet than with all other information sources and resources put together. This is especially so for researchers in the developing parts of the world; since with minimal cost and effort, they can access the Internet readily, making good use of its resources at will. Thus, the researcher is expected to avail himself the use of the Internet as an extension of the ideals for which the typical library actually exists. It is common today, therefore, to be advised to search on the Internet for relevant literature on a given subject interest, especially after having exhausted the resources in the library. The Internet, according to Aina (2001) provides such facilities as: -
This is a facility through which people can communicate messages electronically to any point in the world. The speed of such communication is so high that the ordinary paper communication is often referred to as the “small mail”.
Through the Telnet facility, on line catalogues or public access catalogues can be accessed.
On line Searching
On line databases world can be accessed and searched using a number of search engines such as Yahoo, Alta-vista, Infoseek, etc.
A number of publishers of books and journals are moving into electronic publishing. An advantage of electronic publishing is that authors who cannot publish through known publishers have the option to publish material directly on the Internet. Some of the electronic journals are peer reviewed. One other advantage of the electronic journals for researchers is that they are available in full-text and more often for no fee. In some cases a simple search can be done at the website.
The Internet also provides opportunities for different groups, students, researchers and academics to form discussion groups on the Internet. This facility promotes collaborative research, co-authorship and consultation in a speedy manner through the Internet. The Internet facilities described above indicate that it has a vast potential of information in its various forms, which can assist researchers in all fields of human specializations. This, to a large extent, will depend on the individual’s research interest. The E-mail facility, for instance, allows for the communication of information. In reference to the Library and Information Science profession, the value of this can be seen within the context of library services such as on line enquiries to the library and reference centres and subsequent valuable responses.
The contribution of the typist - electronic, manual or computer - is of great significance to successful project-writing. Consider that both the student and his supervisor had done a wonderful job so far. The writing, proof reading and editing have all been quite well done. These automatically translates into good work only when and until the typist had done his/her work with all the thoroughness it deserves.
To a critical supervisor, an investigation well conducted and written is not an end in itself. Rather, the ability to come out with a clean copy of the work that has been well typed represents the desirable completion of a project work. That is why the student is expected to supervise the typing of his project with as much seriousness as it was given to the conduct and writing of the report. It will amount to bad finishing for him to abandon the work with the typist at this critical moment, which is the general practice among the majority of student researchers.
This usually has very grave consequences, as it is this final, clean copy that the supervisor assesses. In other words, it is this copy that is used by the project supervisor as the basis for awarding marks to the students. If the work had been subjected to avoidable errors of mistyping, the student, and no one else, pays for it dearly by having all of his efforts, time and resources wasted by earning a very low score on that account.
This becomes particularly painful considering the fact that project, as a course, attracts higher credit units of between two to six, depending on the institution and department. It may be wise therefore, for the student to think of the damaging effects of a low score in such a higher credit unit course on his over-all performance. Only then can he come to appreciate the essence of ensuring a good typing of the project.
Thus, the typist is the student’s partner-in-progress; and so he must see it while the relationship lasts. He must keep on remembering that the typist’s job will either make or mar his. The only chance he has against undesirable finishing is to supervise the typist quite closely and seriously throughout the period of the typing, however difficult this may be. The good outcome expected is the gain, which is worth the pains. After all, if it is worth doing at all, then it is worth doing very, very well.
Posted 2 months ago