oh god I want to cry. this research methods essay will be the death of me. By Tuesday. Any advice PLEEEEEEASE? :(

(25 Posts)
KerryKetosis Sun 13-Jan-13 16:51:38

Post grad research methods essay. 5000 word research proposal.

I've been reading for this blummin essay since December. I have a stack a foot high of journal articles and notes. And a tower of books.

It's due Tuesday 4pm and all I have is a skeleton outline.

I'm just TERRIFIED of the bastard and I don't know if I'm right in the methods I've chosen. Or what to put in the ethics. Or how to justify sampling methods etc etc...

<WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIL>

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 13-Jan-13 16:57:39

How many words have you done so far? Can you speak to the lecturer or someone else on course?

KerryKetosis Sun 13-Jan-13 17:04:27

I only have bullet points. And I can't see how I can stretch out what I know to 5000 words. I'm dead.

What would I say to tutor?

Uni has been closed up until last week. Then I spent last week on another essay (from scratch as I'd spent all my previous time on this bastard) but that was fine because I understood it and it was interesting.

WRT this one, I'm reading journal articles and each one leads me onto 3 more which may or may not be useful but I have to check and it just feels never ending!

Reading the handbook this kind of running out of time type scenario is not acceptable as a reason for extension or anything.

It's basically my own fault. <sob>

So here I am fannying around on MN. Brilliant idea that Kerry hmm

KerryKetosis Sun 13-Jan-13 17:04:54

And thank you for entertaining my whinging.

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 13-Jan-13 20:29:56

2 options I'd say you either go for the minimum word count (10% below I guessing?) and try and meet that by the deadline with lots of coffee and words on paper any words would worry too much about how good
Or
Feign illness and hope you get an extension??

AndMiffyWentToSleep Sun 13-Jan-13 20:34:47

Ah a classic mistake - one I made many times - keep reading and reading as you think it'll soon become clear but the more you read the harder it gets to start!

If I were you, I'd start fleshing out the bullet points. You may be surprised how many words you have. If you are short, you may see which areas you can expand.

Wanna tell us more about the topic?

AndMiffyWentToSleep Sun 13-Jan-13 20:57:36

Oh and if you have a choice, use harvard referencing not vancouver - bumps the word count up more! smile

nellyjelly Sun 13-Jan-13 21:03:26

Do a mind map. Big circle in middle of paper, title of essay, summary of your argument/approach. Then put your main points down, circle them, no particular order. Then number them in order of what your argument is. Keeps it away from a linear approach.

Just get something down on paper, don't be afraid it, you can ediT later.

Good luck.

KatyMac Sun 13-Jan-13 21:06:58

Support and hugs and chocolate

I'm in a similar position (post grad due in tomorrow night.....8400 & it's not finished)

wintersnight Sun 13-Jan-13 21:13:50

I did a similar bit of work last year and it was difficult to get going. I just chose a research method and stuck to it even though it's easy to get side tracked into lots of other methods. You need to stop reading and start writing. If you've read lots then the literature review will fill up a lot of words. I think the lit review is really the central bit as it's showing the gap that your research fills. I think it's very unlikely you'd get an extension so you need to get on with it. And you can do it. If you write 500 words an hour it will take you 10 hours which is perfectly doable and leaves you time to edit.

KerryKetosis Sun 13-Jan-13 22:40:29

oh thanks y'all thanks you're all v kind and wise. Yes, I just need to stop circling it and crack on.

KatyMac, what are you studying? (if you want to say) are you avoiding it like I am? I'm so blimmin TENSE!

It's a research proposal.

I've now got about 800. Like you said, I just started writing. But that was the easy section, giving the background and rationale for the study.

My area of choice is CBT and Social Work. My problem has been that there is a massive gap in the research about this. so limited themes to write about but that's not really the issue.

We've been given a really good guidance sheet of how to structure it, what to avoid etc. It says it needs to be mainly METHODS references, not CLINICAL references, but I haven't been too successful at finding methods references, other than the main text books and maybe 3 articles that I could use.

AGH!

I'm not sure on:

How to calculate sample size - (I've found a website that calculates I need 600 participants?!)

Whether I'm a true experiment or quasi?

Which statistical tests - I think it's just loads of t-tests. Or is it M/ANOVA?!

Ethical approval - I've got some ideas but I bet there's loads of stuff I don't know.

resources. It's a hypothetical study so I can pretend my resources are limitless. But I have NO IDEA what resources a big study (across multiple areas, over a couple of years) would need...

Sorry for all that waffling detail which is probably meaningless to everyone else. I think I'm trying to clarify in my mind.

I just can't see how I can write 2500 words on the method (not background etc). AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK

KerryKetosis Sun 13-Jan-13 22:40:59

oh christ that was a long post.

AndMiffyWentToSleep Mon 14-Jan-13 02:44:39

See that was loads of words and I bet it didn't take long - just do that but on your essay not MN!
grin

Calm down, you can do it!

Is this undergrad or post grad work?

Re Ethical approval- are you exploring issues around informed consent? This would include an info sheet and consent form (possibly as an appendix) If resource are unlimited, are you going to offer an incentive? This has ethical implications and you could discuss these for a couple of hundred words.

What sort of data are you going to say you are collecting? I am guessing either scores on a scale or responses to a questionnaire?

A t-test is test for difference between two groups, Anova for three or more. These are both parametric tests ( they assume certain levels of data, and normal distribution) so it may be wise to offer an alternative of a non parametric test as well in case the data collected doesn't meet the assumptions eg Mann Whitney U of Kruskal Wallis.

Hope this helps smile

theowlworrier Mon 14-Jan-13 05:00:42

I feel your pain. I have about 4 and a bit pages of a six page essay written. it is due tomorrow, and it is now midnight here. I also need to do the diagrams. Fuck. why do I always leave it til the last minute?? DH has been on nights this weekend as well, so it's not like I was able to spend the whole weekend working on it. Cock.
I guess one thing I find works is set little rewards (about to employ this now). I write 300 words I break for a few minutes. Reckon I have about 900 left to write. Maybe... irritating that our lecturer just said 'six pages' though. I like to have a number to aim for.
OK. If I can make 600 words in the next half hour, I reckon I can use up the remaining 300 summarising!

KerryKetosis Mon 14-Jan-13 10:12:28

andmiffywenttosleep - grin excellent point well put!

QuickQuickSloe - I really appreciate your reply thanks

To answer your questions:

It's MSc Applied Psychology. Looking at the guidelines re ethics section (with the benefit of a night's sleep), it says not to talk about principles etc but to discuss the risks to participants which actually, I can do. I've done a million risk assessments at work so I don't actually need to panic about that bit.

With regard to stats. It would be depression/anxiety scale scores which I would say is ordinal data (as a score of 9 is not 3x depressed as a score of 3), but then in the literature these kind of scores are treated as parametric data and I'm not sure why confused hmmmmm....I'll have to get googling on that one!

And then I'd want to check them against other data like demographics so some of that would be Chi Square I think? Gah! I need to find a similar study to copy their analysis!

theowlworrier - how did you get on, have you finished yet or have you got a few hours left? I'm sending DP out for more red bulls to see me through the night if necessary.

Anyhoo, I will crack on. Feeling a bit more positive this morning so here goes! And thank you again smile

Re: the depression anxiety scales, you can use them for t tests and anovas of you look at the mean scores rather than the classification a score leads IFYSWIM? I have been trying to link to a study that I worked on that I think will help you but the NRHM HTA site is really slow. If I can get it I will Pm you as my name is all over it and don't want to out myself! Might be a while though as I have bath book and bed to do first.

KerryKetosis Mon 14-Jan-13 18:14:04

Oh QuickQuickSloe yes that makes perfect sense!

and there's a massive sloppy kiss coming your way LOOK OUT!! grin

thank you!

KerryKetosis Tue 15-Jan-13 03:57:36

Just checking in to say I've all but finished it - PHEW! Well, I need to find another 500 words to reach minimum word count, but I'll do that tomorrow by finding another study to write about in my lit search section.

I wanted to say thank you for calming a panicing student.

And now I'm wired on red bulls and not in any danger of sleeping any time soon grin

Wishfulmakeupping Tue 15-Jan-13 06:54:41

Well done that was good going smile

AndMiffyWentToSleep Tue 15-Jan-13 06:59:34

Nice one!

I knew you coukd do it! If you get a chance, read through it before you submit it - can't beat a good proof read.

And enjoy your sleep tonight!
smile

KatyMac Tue 15-Jan-13 08:47:54

Glad it's done

TinyDiamond Tue 15-Jan-13 09:14:50

Ah well done. I was going to offer to proofread it for you. So glad you got it done. Sometimes you get to that meltdown stage and have to just stay up until 4am to get it done! I received my highest Mark of 90% for an assignment done like this. (I don't know why I'm pretending most of my assignments are not done in this fashion wink)

theowlworrier Tue 15-Jan-13 20:18:36

Glad you got it in! I disappeared off to the library in the end, left DH to entertain DD. I did have to stay up til 1, but I got it in! Always a huge sense of relief.
Did get my first piece of work back from that module- 69%. Well chuffed, but there is something intensely irritating about being 1% below a grade boundary. Bah...!

Well done!

I've just been posting on another thread that I really want to get my Post-Grad dissertation proposal in early. I'm studying part time but have a toddler in the house so between sleepless nights and full-on days, there is little time to do anything constructive. Hence, I thought if I started now, rather than next academic year, I might actually get there...

I know the 1% below the grade boundary well - it's really frustrating. I had two pieces of work like that last year, and my dissertation was also on that boundary. I can only advise working on the feedback you get from the tutors/lecturers in order to haul the marks up a notch. At least, that's what I'll be doing! smile

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