My learning experience from writing the assignments
After completing the first semester’s research training by submitting four assignments yesterday, I couldn’t believe how much I wrote over the past month; four assignments, each of them around 3000-4000 words! Of course, we attended lectures and sessions during the semester, but I think I have learned even more when it came to the ‘doing-your-own job’. It was a great writing experience for me as an early career researcher, not only because I have learned a great deal regarding research designs and methods, but also how to deal with constraints.
The greatest constraint was the timing. Since my area of research interest is intercultural communication, I selected my multicultural colleagues to be the participants of my two studies. However, I had to do it before the semester ended and before everyone would be too busy with their own assignments. So, I hurried to design a study and research instruments in order to conduct my studies without a clear plan and purposes. The result was that I had to think my head off to explain myself and tried to find any reference texts to back up my justifications.
As the deadline was approaching, I planned to write a thousand words a day (during the festive season!) which worked well for the Qualitative and Quantitative Data Generation assignments because I had had conducted a Nano-scale research for each of them before writing, so I had a lot to include in my writings. But the plan didn’t work with my Critical Reading and Writing (Literature Review) and Planning of Research (Proposal) as I had to do a lot of reading while writing. So, it took me a little longer to finish them.
It was not easy, but I was lucky enough to have supports from my friends and supervisors. When I asked my classmates for their participation in my studies, they never hesitated to help. One of them (name anonymized) said “We have to support you, Khwan.” I was feeling anything but thankful. I also received valuable suggestions and thoughts from my supervisors, even during the holidays. Their guidance on academic writing has changed my view that academic writing has to sound complex. I will write with more confidence as long as I keep it clear, logical and purposeful. Overall, I’m satisfied with most of my assignments but there are still many things I could have done better. I hope that I’m developing and growing as a good researcher and a writer within these four years.