Tag Archives: thesis

3MT Competition

Yes, I participated in the 3MT competition. If you do not know what the 3MT competition is about, it is a 3 minutes thesis competition that started at Queensland University, Australia. The intention or aim of this competition is for Ph.D students to be able to present their thesis to a wide range of audience within a limited time.

The moment I saw the opening for the competition, I was excited to participate but I was not sure I would be able to catch up to it due to too many activities I had on my list. As always, I was determined to try. However, I was not able to attend enough training and feedbacks that were organized by the doctoral college at Coventry University but I attended 2 sessions and presented during one of the sessions. The feedback session was very important because I got relevant feedbacks and opinions from both the organizers and other participants, this helped me in restructuring my content to fit the understanding of the audience.

I was glad to be amoung the finalists at the Coventry university finale. The news caught me unaware and I got really good feedback from other participants, lecturers and organizers of the competition.

One mistake I realised I made was that I was talking too fast during my presentation.

The key things I addressed in my presentation are

  1. An engaging topic and introduction. I started my introduction by saying ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’. This is a popular religious phrase, however, I briefly explained the use of that phrase in my presentation. My advice is that when preparing for your 3MT, you should use a catchy topic and introduction.
  2. I involved my personal experience in the presentation and I made the audience feel what the victim
  3. The presentation was simple and straightforward. The presentation had a coherent and consistent flow by explaining why I decided to work on my thesis, what my research is addressing, the methodology that I used and that will be used, the importance of my research and who or what organisations it will be beneficial to.

I hope you enjoyed readng this and you have been able to have a broader understanding about the 3MT competition.


WHAT IS THE WORST ACADEMIC OFFENSE?

PLAGIARISM!!! This is what I believe to be the worst academic offense. According to the University of Oxford[1], Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or idea as your own, with or without their consent. My reference to the university of oxford is an example of how to acknowledge a source. Plagiarism is very common, and it proves a lack of understanding or knowledge in your essay or academic work.

In the past years as both an undergraduate and a postgraduate student, I have been a victim of plagiarism unknowingly and knowingly lol. This was either due to my impatience or lack of interest in a particular essay. However as a research student, I have learnt that the same time I spent paraphrasing a particular term would have been the same time I would have spent to think properly and have a good understanding of the topic. A lot of students are victims of this act, I do understand that as students there are times we can’t meet up to deadlines and want a shortcut but that is very wrong and not an excuse. Apart from the academic sanctions for perpetrators, education is quite expensive which a lot of people/students have sacrificed a lot to be in the academic world, therefore I believe we should be very focused and willing to think or create new ideas instead of borrowing or using someone else’s knowledge.

There are several types and forms of plagiarism, however, I will be explaining the forms in the context of the types of plagiarism, which are:

 Self-Plagiarism: Submitting his/her previous work either it is part of the work or the full work. Using myself as an example, I had my master’s dissertation in the topic ‘Corporal punishment of children in Nigeria’ which is related to my Ph.D. thesis ‘How does the Nigerian government enforce the security of child’s rights? An analysis of corporal punishment in public schools’. I got tempted to use some part of my master’s thesis into my PhD thesis, but it is wrong, and I avoided doing such, this is also to avoid academic dishonesty. YES, I am sure some people will say I can do anything with any of my academic work, sorry, you can’t except in situations where approval is granted. Another example of self-plagiarism is submitting the same work in two different academic institutions or authorities. Even though they are the same or similar topic, the context must be different or referenced properly.

 Direct Plagiarism: This includes word for word quotations without referencing the source, the act of cutting and pasting from the internet is wrong in the academic realm. For example, as a law student, there are several laws that I cannot paraphrase because they are laws, therefore I quote them with inverted commas to indicate that words are exactly the same from the same and then I reference them accordingly.

 Mosaic Plagiarism: The act of using phrases from other sources without using quotation marks or paraphrasing or writing it in halves. Paraphrasing is reasonably essential. However, it is wrong to paraphrase a work with the intention of claiming ownership of the idea.

 Accidental Plagiarism: In instances where the source is not mentioned or is incorrect. It is important to use the correct referencing style, depending on the discipline.

Avoiding plagiarism will help to have an opinion of oneself, instead of relying of other scholarly work or writers. It is difficult to have a personal view or opinion, however, that is why you are in academics.


[1] https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/guidance/skills/plagiarism