This is an entry by request from Wardah Puteh. Although she's currently a third year student who will start the project by next year but she asked me to write this entry for her reference later. However, to all other juniors out there, you may take this entry as your reference also.
Before the project
- Set and bear in your mind, it's a 12-credit hour course. Whatever grade you'll get in the end of the project covers both semesters although it's actually divided into 2 parts - FYP I and FYP II. Once you have correctly configured your mindset, you're ready to go.
- Search as many as possible journals that would help and support your project. However, you also have to know your own limit. Having said that, it doesn't mean you cannot stop from searching because too much information would cause your time to be wasted whereas you have something else that need more attention than journals.
- Ask the lecturer which online database is the best to search for journals related to your project title.
- Prepare yourself with some knowledge about statistics. This is most applicable for projects that involve using the statistics for generating results from the data collected.
- Of course, most importantly, you must have knowledge and interest about the field that you're going to do research on. Don't just randomly select topic or field that you have no knowledge nor interest at all. You must know what you're about to do, or at least you must have rough idea about what you'll go through throughout the year for completing the project.
Preparation for the project
- Arrange your project accordingly and schedule it in a proper table so that your project will run in an organized manner and you know what to do and when to do it.
- About booking of chemicals and animals, you must state clearly how much you need and why you need that much. If possible, name also the company you wish the things to be bought from. Don't forget to explain also in written form why you need the things at the expected time (of course since you have your own schedule and the lab management also has theirs).
- Always update the status of purchase of your bookings. Therefore, it's advised to keep all documents sent to the management for future reference.
During the project
- Follow your schedule accordingly. You have to push yourself because no one would but yourself.
- Never expect that you'll get the admired results with only one trial. You may be surprised with the findings.
- You may need to reset your procedure or method of your project. Maybe you need to change your project title totally even! This is why it's always best to start the project as soon as possible once you get your equipments, materials, chemicals, animals etc to prepare yourselves for any worst case scenario.
- Never forget to update with your supervisor at least once a week and seek for his/her advise regarding your project. Never be malas or malu to do that since they are the ones who propose the titles in the first hand and quite a proportion of the FYP mark comes from them.
- Prepare a special log book for your project in which you write everything related to your project.
After the project
- When you're done with the lab work/field visit/data analysis, it's time to write the report/thesis. Therefore you have to know the right style for writing a scientific thesis. You may refer from the seniors' thesis or you may ask your supervisor directly. The latter is the best and again don't be malas or malu to do that.
- Never expect your draft have everything needed as a great thesis. You're in learning process and making mistakes are common and thus you must learn from it.
- Do not be surprised if everytime you see the supervisor he/she'll always make correction again and again and he/she'll add/suggest more and more things to make your thesis better.
Keep on reading this post since I may add new tips from time to time. Should you also have anything to add, leave it in the comment room.