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Professor Jang SooCheong gave lecture at PAS
On 13th October, Professor Jang SooCheong from Purdue University, USA, gave a lecture for new international students of PAS, titled ¡°ACADEMIC RESEARCH AND INTERDISCIPLINARY DIRECTIONS¡±. The lecture was hosted by LIU Yinhua, Director of the International Affairs Office.


Firstly, professor Jang started the lecture by asking, ¡°Why do we need research?¡± He explained the significance of research in pursuing a graduate degree by combining his own educational experience. He encouraged students to be confident because their current research results may be included in textbooks 10 or 20 years from now.


Secondly, professor Jang transitioned into the topic ¡°What is Research?¡± by providing its definition: ¡°Research is an unusually stubborn and persisting effort to think straight which involves the gathering and the intelligent use of relevant data¡± (H. M. Hamlin, 1966). In addition, he elaborated on the significance of academic research, which may be divided into original research, secondary research and applied research. Professor Jang also reminded every student to self-examine him or herself by frequently asking ¡°Is my research really academic research?¡±


The third part of the lecture was titled ¡°How to Evaluate Your Own Academic Research?¡± Professor Jang suggested that students should clarify the type of their research and be fully aware if it is either qualitative or quantitative. Students should also consider where their research may fit best, target audience, objectives and its unique contribution.


Fourthly, Professor Jang gave seven recommendations for carrying out academic research: 1. Deciding on a topic; 2. Setting out a timeline; 3. Selecting a good working title; 4. Turning ideas into precise research questions; 5. Checking library and internet sources; 6. Selecting the sources carefully. 7. Checking out or printing about 10-15 total key references (books and articles).


Based on previous content, Professor Jang proposed a more official research process. Methods include: research idea generation, a full literature review, model hypothesis, a plan on how to achieve the objectives, determining if the study is empirical, and results.


Last but not least, Professor Jang specified ¡°How to write an academic paper?¡± The structure includes an introduction, literature review, methodology, results and conclusion. Professor Jang believed that the introduction is a major component of any paper and likely the hardest part to write. In this part, research justification, problem statement, and its unique contribution should be presented. The literature review should include a variety of sources like journals, books, magazines, sources from the library, etc. Professor Jang emphasized the importance of quotation marks and references to avoid plagiarism. For the methodology part, he stressed the necessity of identifying key components like variables, measurements, data collection and analyses. Professor Jang said it would be clearer to use tables and figures to demonstrate the results. He believed that the conclusion should include a specific answer to the mentioned research questions and explain how the findings can be applied in the real world.


After the lecture, professor Jang gave some writing tips for students and answered their questions patiently. The lecture impressed all students and enhanced their writing ability.

The School of Public Affairs, USTC

2016-11-14

 
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