Engaging Postgraduate Students in Preparing Research Proposals (Melibatkan Pelajar Pascasiswazah dalam Menyediakan Cadangan Penyelidikan)

Pramela Krish, Khazriyati Salehuddin, Norizan A. Razak


Both foreign and local postgraduate candidates of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. These students face several problems especially in writing the research proposals. Hence, to facilitate the process of writing a proposal, they are required to enrol in Research Methodology, a course that is made compulsory for all postgraduate students. This article presents a report on an action research that investigates the research skills of English as a Second Language postgraduates and their research journey while undergoing the Research Methodology course. Data was collected from their weekly journal entries and the interviews conducted on them. This data is also supported with the feedback by the Research Methodology course instructors during the proposal defense sessions. The findings suggest that although the students seemed enthusiastic when writing their proposals, they were not ready when faced with questions about research problems and approaches. It is found that these students did not read extensively to identify the gaps in their research and this hence, resulted in them facing difficulties to write a clear statement of the problem. This also led to poor formulation of their research questions. The findings will be beneficial for instructors and potential supervisors who aim to be better at teaching and supervising potential postgraduate students.


Keywords: Research methodology; research skills; research proposals;             supervision; postgraduates



Pelajar pascasiswazah tempatan dan luar negara yang menuntut di Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia datang dari pelbagai latar belakang dan pengalaman. Sebahagian besar daripada mereka menghadapi pelbagai masalah dalam menulis cadangan penyelidikan. Justeru, untuk memudahkan mereka dalam proses menulis cadangan penyelidikan, kesemua pelajar pascasiszawah di Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia diwajibkan mengikuti kursus Metodologi Penyelidikan. Makalah ini membentangkan laporan mengenai kemahiran pelajar pascasiswazah program Bahasa Inggeris sebagai Bahasa Kedua dan perjalanan penyelidikan mereka semasa mengikuti kursus Metodologi Penyelidikan. Data dikumpul dari catatan jurnal mingguan mereka dan sesi temu bual yang dijalankan. Data ini turut disokong oleh maklum balas dari tenaga pengajar kursus Metodologi Penyelidikan sebaik sahaja pelajar selesai mempertahankan cadangan penyelidikan mereka secara lisan. Dapatan menunjukkan bahawa walaupun pada zahirnya para pelajar nampak bersemangat untuk menulis cadangan penyelidikan mereka, namun mereka masih belum bersedia untuk menulis, lebih-lebih lagi apabila berhadapan dengan soalan-soalan tentang permasalahan kajian dan pendekatan kajian. Hal ini terjadi disebabkan oleh pembacaan pelajar yang tidak cukup meluas untuk mereka mengenal pasti kelompangan dalam penyelidikan mereka. Ini menyebabkan mereka menghadapi masalah untuk menulis permasalahan kajian dengan jelas serta membina persoalan kajian yang baik. Hasil kajian ini akan dapat dimanfaatkan oleh tenaga pengajar dan penyelia dalam usaha mereka meningkatkan prestasi pengajaran dan penyeliaan di peringkat pascasiswazah.


Kata kunci: Metodologi penyelidikan; kemahiran menyelidik; cadangan             penyelidikan; penyeliaan; pascasiswazah

Full Text:



Anderson, D. D., & Shore, W. J. 2008. Ethical issues and concerns associated with mentoring undergraduate students. Ethics & Behavior 18(1): 1-25.

Armstrong, K. 2013. Best practice in managing, supervising and assessing post-graduate marketing dissertations. York: Higher Education Academy.

Campbell, J. A. 2011. Bridging the Gap: Mentoring as a Strategy to Prepare Graduate Nurse Educator Students for Academic Practice. Master of Arts in Nursing Scholarly Projects. Paper 52.

Carey, T., Yon, A., Beadles, C., & Wines, R. 2012. Prioritizing future research through examination of research gaps in systematic reviews. Chapel Hill, NC: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Di Pierro, M. 2007. Excellence in doctoral education: Defining best practices. College Student Journal 41(2): 368-375.

Falconer, J., & Holcomb, D. 2008. Understanding undergraduate research experiences from the student perspective: A phenomenological study of a summer student research program. College Student Journal 42(3): 869-878.

Garcia, P. & Nelson, C. H. 2003. Engaging students in research: the use of professional dialogue. Review of Agricultural Economics 25(2): 569-577.

Kamler, B. & Thomson, P. 2014. Helping doctoral students write: Pedagogies for supervision. Routledge.

Knight, N. & Zuber-Skerritt, O. 1986. Problems and Methods in Research: A course for the beginning researcher in the social sciences. Higher Education Research and Development 5(1): 49-59.

Kuo, Y. H. 2011. Applying a proposal guideline in mentoring English major undergraduate researchers in Taiwan. Online Submission 9(1):76-82.

I’Anson, R.A. & Smith, K.A. 2004. Undergraduate Research Projects and Dissertations: Issues of Topic Selection, Access and Data Collection amongst Tourism Management Students. Journal of Hospitality Leisure Sport Tourism Education 3(1): 19-32.

Lajom, A. J. & Magno, C. 2010. Writing your winning thesis. The International Journal of Research and Review 4 (March): 28-36.

Leedy, P. D. & Ormrod, J. E. 2005. Practical research: Planning and design. Eighth Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Li, S., & Seale, C. 2007. Learning to do qualitative data analysis: An observational study of doctoral work. Qualitative Health Research 17(10): 1442-1452.

Lizzio, A., Stokes, L. & Wilson, K. 2005. Approaches to learning in professional supervision: supervisee perceptions of processes and outcome. Studies in Continuing Education 27(3): 239-256.

Mapolisa, T. 2013. Challenges affecting intake 35 – diploma in education students progress and success in action research projects: Perceptions of research students at Morgan Zintec teachers College in Zimbabwe. International Journal of Social Science and Education 3(4): 1170-1181.

Marlyna Maros. 2007. Penyelidikan Lakuan Bahasa: Pemulihan Kaedah dan Pola Penemuan. Akademika 71 (Julai): 91-115.

Murtonen, M. & Lehtinen, E. 2005. Conceptions of research and methodology learning. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research 49(3): 217-224.

Pietersen, C. 2014. Content issues in students’ research proposals. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 5(20): 1533-1541.

Pramela Krish, Khazriyati Salehuddin & Norizan A. Razak. 2014 Examining Research Competencies among ELS Doctoral students. Paper presented at Kongres Pembelajaran dan Pengajaran 2013, February 25-26, Sama-sama Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

Ruzy Suliza Hashim, Imran Ho-Abdullah, Noraini Md Yusuf & Farah Azizah Omar. 2011. Inculcating Scientific Approach in Research Methodology.

Research Journal of Applied Sciences 6(1): 1-9.

Rosli Ismail & T. Subahan Mohd Meerah. 2011. Evaluating the Research Competencies of Doctoral Students. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 59 (2012): 244-247.

Samara, A. 2006. Group supervision in graduate education: a process of supervision skill development and text improvement. Higher Education Research & Development 25(2): 115-129.

Todd, M.J., Smith, K., & Bannister, P. 2006. Supervising a social science undergraduate dissertation: staff experiences and perceptions. Teaching in Higher Education 11(2):161-173.

Winn, S. 1995. Learning by doing: Teaching research methods through student participation in a commissioned research project. Studies in Higher Education 20(2): 203-214.

Wisker, G. 2012. The good supervisor: Supervising postgraduate and undergraduate research for doctoral theses and dissertations. Palgrave Macmillan.

Wisker, G., Robinson, G., Trafford, V., Creighton, E., & Warnes, M. 2003. Recognising and overcoming dissonance in postgraduate student research. Studies in Higher Education 28(1): 91-105.

Yarnal, B., & Neff, R. 2007. Teaching global change in local places: The HERO Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 31(3): 413–426.

Yusuf, M. 2013. Students Problems In Writing Research Proposal: A Case Study of The Fifth Semester Students of English Education Department, State Institute For Islamic Studies Sunan Ampel Surabaya. Doctoral dissertation, UIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya.

Zuber-Skerritt, O. & N. Knight. 2010. Problem definition and thesis writing. Higher Education 15(1-2): 89-103.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN: 0126-5008

eISSN: 0126-8694