With the increasing practical orientation of many courses of studies, so-called project work is becoming increasingly common. These are scientific papers that deal with a specific question or problem in practice. In order to do such a work, academic knowledge and practical references must be united. Many students are afraid of project work – but with some tips it is not a problem to make them work properly.
What is a project work?
First, you should make clear what a project work is and what is important in such a project. Unlike a term paper, a complete topic is not dealt with. The project work deals much more with a smaller aspect of a larger topic, which is related to a practical question or problem definition. So a project work can consist of carrying out a study, carrying out an experiment or putting something into practice.
Probably the most important point of the project work is the documentation. It will not give you a good grade to plan and perform a study unless you document each step carefully. So make sure to write down when planning your project. Write down every idea, every attempt of implementation and every step you take in your project.
Project phases should be formulated
The project phases should be formulated and arranged after completion of the project. Ultimately, there should be complete documentation of each phase of the project, with appropriate explanations on the background of the work and the methodology used. Furthermore, it is important to log the process of the project – ie the implementation – (similar to a summary). Project work is mainly done in the natural sciences. Here the timing of the project is of particular importance. So you should therefore make sure to make a “trial protocol” or a “study protocol”, which records the process in terms of content and time.
The formulation of the project
Before all this can happen, however, you must formulate your project. Surprisingly, many students find it extremely difficult to find an appropriate formulation of your scientific project. However, this description and formulation follows clear rules. First of all, the topic to which the work is to be assigned is described on the basis of specialist literature and other sources. Afterwards the own project will be presented. Please note the following:
- What do you do?
- What is the theme of the topic?
- Why are you doing this project?
- Which methodology do you choose?
- Which theses do you set up?
- What is the project goal?
- What is the specific question?
Be brief within the wording. It is the initiation of your project work.
The main part of the project work
Then you formulate the contents more exactly. At the beginning of the main part, describe the question, the procedure, the methodology, the materials, etc. in detail. In the middle of the main part, you then go to the implementation of your project. This is where the documentation described in the beginning comes into play: Find a “common thread” and write about how you worked on your project, what insights you came across, what problems have arisen, how exactly you did it, etc. Keep the documentation So in formulated form.
It follows the end of the main part. Refer to the introduction and highlight the results of your project. What did you find out? How did the project go? Thematize and discuss your own results. What do they mean? Question the statements and meaning of the results you found. The main part concludes with a conclusion that assesses the prognosis or importance of the project.
Difficulties may arise, above all, from the fact that it is a practical project that needs to be precisely documented. Project work will take up most of your time for a few months. Surely you will also have other interests, have to study for exams and want free time. Project work can not always be reconciled with these wishes. Especially in the natural sciences, you sometimes have to work for your project in the evening at the university. Make it clear to yourself that this is a temporary section of your study and try to use your energy primarily for the project.
In particular, practical students may also enjoy using their project. However, it should also be remembered that every step of the practical work must be documented in order to subsequently write a written paper – what you have to pay attention to, you have already experienced. If you belong to these students, you have to force yourself to take notes during the project. These are crucial for the success of the project work.
Find sources, write table of contents, create schedule
Finally, you are encouraged to take the source and literature research seriously. Wikipedia entries are not scientific sources. Before doing the actual project, spend a lot of time looking for, studying and evaluating sources. After completing the project and making a large number of notes, you should first design a table of contents before you begin the paperwork described above.
Another important tip for the success of the project work: Create a schedule. This will give you structure and help to get everything done on time. Above all, you should be careful to plan realistically and not to “overload” your days. Create your own free time. Anyone who works on his project day and night will soon not be able to enjoy it anymore and will not be able to muster any more strength.