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Language Center www.languages.ait.ac.

th EL21 Writing up Research

EL21 WRITING UP RESEARCH

This course is as an online resource at: http://www.languages.ait.ac.th/wur/content.htm

1. The Research Process: “Begin with the End in Mind”

Graduate students conduct research to make an original contribution to knowledge.


The thesis is a formal document that makes clear why your research topic was
explored, how you conducted your research, and what has been learned from your
research, i.e., your original contribution to knowledge.

The thesis is an end product. With it you show the world that:

• you have identified a worthwhile problem or question which had not been
answered before, and
• you have solved the problem or answered the question.

Your research is judged by examiners who must be convinced that your question or
problem is original and your answer or your solution is useful. The examiners read
your thesis to find the answers to the following questions:

• What is this student's research question?


• Is it a good question? (Has it been answered before? Is it a useful question to
work on?)
• Did the student convince me that the question was adequately answered?
• Has the student made an adequate contribution to knowledge?

The Research Topic: the thesis – a proposition stated for consideration, especially
to be discussed and proved or maintained against objections.

• The topic of your research may be given to you or may be an area that you
have been interested in exploring for a long time. Much more important than a
topic is the research question you pose or the research problem that you will
explore.
• A very clear statement of the problem or a research question is essential to
proving that you have made an original and worthwhile contribution to
knowledge. This is a statement of the problem or thesis statement. To prove
the originality and value of your contribution, you must present a thorough
review of the existing literature on the subject, and on closely related subjects.
Then, by making direct reference to your literature review, you must
demonstrate that your question (a) has not been previously answered, and (b)
is worth answering. You must present the methods you used to collect or to
generate data and then to analyze the data. After this point, you present your
results, you discuss them in light of your analysis and then you conclude. A
complete list of references appears after the conclusion.

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Good Academic Writing

Research involves thinking and writing. The writing you submit should be your own;
it should be concise; it should be consistent in style and format; it should contain no
spelling mistakes; it should demonstrate your professionalism.

1.1 The framework for a thesis is well-established.

In some cases, a researcher must add a special chapter or replace standard chapters
with special ones. In some cases, the review of the relevant literature is part of
Chapter 1. Such variations from the norm are worked out with your adviser.

The Thesis

Rubric Chapter # Page # Tense


Title page page i
Acknowledgments simple present & past
Abstract simple present & past
Table of contents
List of abbreviations
List of tables and figures

Introduction Chapter 1 page 1 simple present & past


Literature review Chapter 2 present but mostly
past
Methodology mostly simple past
Results mostly simple past
Discussion simple present & past
and present perfect
Conclusion simple present and
present perfect
List of references
(Appendices)

WARNING It is absolutely necessary that the introduction matches the


conclusions; for example, if in the introduction three objectives are
stated, then in the conclusion the reader must learn how the three
objectives have been met.

Research is a process that starts with a topic followed by a lot of


thinking and writing. An early writing task is the research proposal.

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The Proposal

Rubric Chapter # Page # Tense


Title page page i
Table of contents
List of abbreviations
List of tables and figures
Introduction Chapter 1 page 1 simple present & future
Literature review Chapter 2 present but mostly past
Methodology Chapter 3 present but mostly future
Timeline/work schedule
/budget
List of references

Notice that the first three chapters of the thesis are different from the
proposal’s chapters but they bear the same names. One tells what happened,
the other what you plan to do. Understand the warning now? These are not
always the same. When the proposal is accepted or approved, the process of
implementing a method to find answers to questions begins. When it is
finished, the process of rewriting the proposal can begin, as well.

1.2 Points to keep in mind

1.2.1 Your advisor / chairperson is your ally. When you go to the committee
for reactions to your proposal make sure your major professor is fully
supportive of you. Spend time with him/her before the meeting so that your
plans are clear and you know you have full support. The proposal meeting
should be seen as an opportunity for you and your major professor to seek the
advice of the committee. Don't ever go into the proposal meeting with the
feeling that it is you against them! Thesis research is directed research. Your
advisor must give you advice. You must do the work.

1.2.2. Style Guides References and referencing


APA – American Psychologists Association: http://www.apastyle.org/

Useful abridged versions of the APA:


http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/DocAPA.html
http://webster.commnet.edu/apa/apa_index.htm
http://www.wssu.edu/library/guides/apa.asp

1.2.3. On-line resources

www.google.com

Dictionary/Encyclopedia/Grammar Checker/Advisor
Other schools and thesis proposal guidelines. E.g. http://theses.mit.edu/

1.2.4. What method do you use for keeping track of all the journals articles,
Webpages, etc. that you have been collecting or will collect for your
research?

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1.3 Good Academic Writing

In academic contexts, whatever you are writing, be it an essay, a report, a


research proposal, a dissertation or a thesis, the writing must be concise, clear
and focused. There are conventions, disciplines and expectations that should
be adhered to.

The following suggestions are some of the dos and don’ts of good academic
writing:

Good Academic Writing Involves:

• originality, innovation, creativity, consistence


• logical development and linking of ideas
• discipline-based conventions
• balanced description and analysis
• evidence and examples in support of claims
• formal academic vocabulary
• gender-neutral language
• accepted grammatical constructions
• uncomplicated grammatical structures
• considered use of passive voice
• paraphrase and summary
• discreet use of direct quotes
• definition and clarification of symbols, words, phrases
• appropriate use of numbers and abbreviations
• appropriate use of text, tables, figures to present information
• signposts to guide readers through text
• claims supported by citations
• very careful referencing and citing
• a comprehensive works cited or bibliography.

Good Academic Writing Avoids:

• pompous proclamation
• long-winded esoteric discussion
• fascinating but irrelevant information
• lengthy convoluted sentences and paragraphs
• complicated words and phrases where simple ones will do
• slang, contractions, abbreviations, clichés
• use of the first person (I, we, my, our)

Based on a handout developed by Jenny Buxton, University of Auckland (2001).

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2. Editing and proofreading to achieve good academic writing


Task 1 Look over the excerpt below from an AIT Thesis (Chapter 3)
carefully. Pay attention to the lists. The object of this task is to
learn to be consistent and to have someone else read your writing
critically.

Excerpt Source: An AIT thesis.


TOPIC: Online Database and Expert System Development
(This thesis was chosen because it is quite well written, but there is always
room for improvement.)
FROM: Chapter 3 Methodology

3.1 Methodology of Database Development


A design methodology is generally based on a top-down approach going from the end users to
machine implementation. The basic phases of a typical methodology is shown followings:
• Capture and abstraction of user requirements.
• Integration of external views.
• Normalization of conceptual relations.
• Optimization of internal schema.

3.2 The Expert System Methodology and Development Lifecycle
The process of expert system development can be compared with the traditional software lifecycle by
identifying six phases in the expert system construction process. These phases are as follows:
1. Feasibility analysis
2. Conceptual design
3. Knowledge acquisition
4. Knowledge representation
5. Validation

3.2.3 Knowledge Acquisition
The knowledge required for performing the task is acquired from a human expert, case histories and
reference sources. This phase deals with the task of obtaining knowledge and formalizing it so that it
can be included in the expert system’s knowledge-base. Since expert systems rely heavily on the
quality of the knowledge they possess, knowledge acquisition is a crucial part of the expert system
construction process.

Users’ views, expert opinions, or operational criteria are used to determine whether the expert system
has achieved an acceptable degree of success. Intuitively, the aim of a validation effort for any system
is to prove the system works properly.

The concerns of validation


• Validation should not be regarded as identical to verification.
• Validation refers to building the right system, that is, determining whether the system does
what it was meant to do and at an acceptable level of accuracy. Validating an expert system
involves confirming that the expert system performs the desired task with a sufficient level of
expertise.
• Verification refers to building the system “right”, that is, determining whether the system
implementation correctly corresponds to its specification. Therefore, verifying an expert
system means confirming the program accurately implements the acquired expert knowledge
as documented.

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Task 2 Paragraph 2.1 in the box below needs editing. It comes from a
section on methodology. Most of the article reads well, but this
paragraph clearly needs revision. Look it over carefully and find a
way to improve it.

Towards the Efficient Communication of Knowledge in an Adaptive Multimedia


Interface
Gonzalez C. S., Moreno L., Aguilar R.M., Estévez J.I.

2- PEDAGOGICAL KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION


Knowledge acquisition is the process of elicitation, analysis, interpretation and transformation
of a human expert’s knowledge to a machine representation or a program. However, the
quality of an expert system depends on the quality of the knowledge acquisition and, thus
knowledge acquisition is a crucial and critical stage in the development of an expert system.

2.1 Acquisition Knowledge Tool


We have developed a software application that helps in the acquisition of the expert
knowledge. We have considered two simultaneous goals. a) To make easier for teachers, the
construction of their own learning activities. b) To register what activities the teacher carries
out in order to explain a particular concept to a specific student, what goals considers, what
kind of media utilizes, and finally, what positive and negative reinforcements applies after the
result of the activity has been obtained.

Gonzalez C. S., Moreno L., Aguilar R.M., Estévez J.I. (2000). Towards the efficient
communication of knowledge in an adaptive multimedia interface. Proceedings of the
workshop on Interactive learning environments for children. Athens: European Research
Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics. Retrieved February 2003, from
http://ui4all.ics.forth.gr/i3SD2000/Gonzalez.PDF

Write your edited version of the paragraph below:

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Documenting your sources is crucial. Do you do it now?

Plagiarism is a crime. Putting the work and words of other authors into your thesis or
assignments without citing the source is called plagiarism. It is considered to be the same as
stealing or theft.

Start documenting your sources as you read. Keep a list of all the articles, books, webpages,
etc. that you skim, scan or read as you plan your research. A list of these references must
appear at the back of proposal, report or thesis. Each item that you read is an entry in your list
of references. This is what an entry for a journal article should look like in the list of
references:

Reference

Bohez, E. L. J., & Thieravarut, M. (1997). Expert system for diagnosing computer
numerically controlled machines: a case-study. Computers in Industry, 32, 233-
248.

Authors’ names [Surname, initials] Bohez, E. L. J., & Thieravarut, M.


Year of publication (1997)
Title of article. Expert system for diagnosing computer
numerically controlled machines: a case-
study.
Title of journal, Computers in Industry,
Volume number and page numbers. 32, 233-248.

This is how to document a journal article using the APA referencing system. Now it is time
for you to try it.

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Language Center www.languages.ait.ac.th EL21 Writing up Research

TASK 3 Read the information in the box below, and write a reference entry for
the journal article. First fill in the table, then write out the reference list
entry.

Authors’ names [Surname, initials]


Year of publication
Title of article.
Title of journal,
Volume number and pages.

Reference

[answer]

Authors’ names [Surname, initials] Kakati, M.


Year of publication 2003
Title of article. Success criteria in high-tech new ventures
Title of journal, Technovation
Volume number and pages. 23, 447-457

Reference

Kakati, M. (2003). Success criteria in high-tech new ventures. Technovation 23, 447-
457.

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3. The Introduction

3.1 Subheadings

A proposal / thesis introduction may contain the following headings:

Background What is the context of this problem? In what situation or


environment can this problem be observed?
Rationale Why is this research important? Who will benefit? Why do we
need to know this? Why does this situation, method, model or
piece of equipment need to be improved?
Problem Statement What is it we do not know? What is the gap in our knowledge
(Statement of the this research will fill? What needs to be improved?
Problem)
Objectives What steps will the researcher take to try and fill this gap or
improve the situation?
Scope Is there any aspect of the problem the researcher will not
discuss? Is the study limited to a specific geographical area or
to only certain aspects of the situation?
Limitations Is there any factor, condition or circumstance that prevents the
researcher from achieving all his/her objectives?
Assumptions In considering his/her method, model, formulation or
approach, does the researcher take certain conditions, states,
requirements for granted? Are there certain fundamental
conditions or states the researcher takes to be true?
Hypothesis What ideas are suggested as a possible explanation for a
Hypotheses particular situation or condition and will be proved to be
correct or incorrect by the research?

3.2 Checklist

When you have finished writing your introduction, you can either work with a friend
and read each other’s writing using the following questions to analyze each other’s
texts OR work on your own and use the following questions to analyze your own
writing.

• Does the writer establish the field of research/background?


• Does the writer move from topics of greater generality toward a focus
on a specific problem?
• Does the writer situate her (his) research problem in terms of other
researchers’ work?
• What kind of research problem is defined?
• Does the writer indicate clearly what she (he) will do, and how?
• Does the writer give any indications of anticipated outcomes?
• Is the structure of the research indicated?

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3.3 The objectives…

should be expressed in such a way that the reader can determine whether the objectives have
been achieved or not. The best way to achieve this is by writing objectives in the form of a
list. For example:

1. To give a clear description of the mass transit attractiveness factors in


developing countries like Indonesia
2. To develop a model for assessing the attractiveness of mass transit
alternatives
3. To apply the model for assessing alternatives and discuss the implications of
selecting the aeromovel transit system for Indonesia

Possible concrete, finite objectives of research might be, for example,


− to describe the analysis of a phenomenon
− to find out new information about a subject through empirical study
− to create a mathematical model, chart, algorithm, or some other
corresponding description
− to develop a new system, method, process, product, or service for fulfilling a
defined need more effectively than before
− to outline the information concerning the subject and presenting a new
synthesis of this information through literature survey, interviews, or
corresponding methods
− to present practical instructions, methods, and recommended actions for
more effective solving of problem situations
− to present alternative solutions
− to determine the validity criteria for the alternative solutions
− to prioritize alternative solutions
− to identify alternative concrete solutions and evaluate their universal
applicability; to present the risk analysis for alternative solutions and a
concrete action plan

The rest of the thesis should support the achievement of the objectives stated in the
first chapter. If necessary, individual objectives can be repeated later in respective
parts of the thesis.

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3.4 A schema for introductions to journal articles

Move 1 Establishing a field


Step 1 Claiming centrality
and/or
Step 2 Movement from the general to the specific
and/or
Step 3 Reviewing relevant items of previous research

Move 2 Defining a research problem


Step 1a Counter-claiming
or
Step 1b Indicating a gap
or
Step 1c Question-raising
or
Step 1d Continuing a previously developed line of inquiry

Move 3 Proposing a solution to the problem defined


Step 1a Outlining purposes
or
Step 1b Announcing present research
Step 2 Announcing principal findings
Step 3 Indicating structure of the research

Adapted from Swales (1990) Genre Analysis. Cambridge, CUP.

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Task 4 The paragraphs from the introduction in the box below are in the
wrong order. Put the paragraphs back in order.

A/ In previous work [2-5], the author made progress toward solving these rather complicated problems
by developing a window system that combines air-flow windows with built-in automated venetian
blinds and an artificial lighting control system. The system includes techniques to measure and analyze
the solar position, incoming direct and measure and analyze the solar position, incoming direct blinds
and adjust the slat angle to cut direct solar radiation above a certain threshold level, to predict the
illuminance distribution for incoming light, and to control and dim excess artificial lighting.

B/ However, before solar shading and daylighting can come into widespread use for energy
conservation, systems implementing these technologies need to become simple and relatively
inexpensive. There is currently strong demand for systems that are simple and easy to introduce.

C/ If day light entering through windows can be used appropriately, controlled and dimmed, not only
will the energy expended for lighting be decreased, but the air conditioning load can be reduced by an
amount equal to the decrease in heat produced by lighting. Therefore, a very large energy saving can
be expected [1].

D/ TT glass is applied in the present study in combination with float glass as panes separated by an air
gap and with one surface sputtered-coated with a low-emissivity (low-e) coating. The possible energy
savings by solar shading and daylighting are estimated, improvements in the indoor environment are
evaluated, and the appropriate control of heat and light throughout the year is verified.

E/ This system conveys a reduction in energy consumption of approximately 20%, demonstrating that
through the use of sensor, communications and control systems, it is possible to satisfy the complicated
requirements of office windows.

F/ It is widely known that in Japanese offices, the largest proportion of energy is consumed by air
conditioning, followed by lighting.

G/ However, in order for solar shading and daylighting to be accepted by the occupants of offices, it is
necessary for the windows to meet a wide range of requirements relating to not only the thermal
environment but also to the light and visual environment, such as a feeling of spaciousness and a view.

H/ Here, attention is focused on a new material called autonomous response dimming glass, or
thermotropic or TT glass. Although this type of glass has already been studied from the viewpoint of
daylighting [6], it is examined here in the context of an advanced window system, focusing particularly
on thermal and visual comfort and energy conservation.

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4. The Literature Review


4.1 Purpose of the literature review

The literature review is a critical look at the published research that is significant to
the work that you are carrying out. Some people think that it is a summary: this is not
usually so. Although you need to summarize relevant research, it is also vital that you
evaluate this work, show the relationships between different work, and show how it
relates to your work. In other words, you cannot simply give a concise description of,
for example, an article: you need to select what parts of the research to discuss (e.g.
the method), show how it relates to the other work (e.g. What other methods have
been used? How are they similar? How are they different?) and show how it relates to
your work (what is its relationship to your method?).
So in summary – keep in mind that the literature review should provide the context
for your research by looking at what work has already been done in your research
area. It is not supposed to be just a summary of other people's work!
Here are some of the questions a literature review should attempt to answer:
1. What do we already know in the immediate area concerned?
2. What are the characteristics of the key concepts or the main factors or
variables?
3. What are the relationships between these key concepts, factors or variables?
4. What are the existing theories?
5. Where are the inconsistencies or other shortcomings in our knowledge and
understanding?
6. What views need to be (further) tested?
7. What evidence is lacking, inconclusive, contradictory or too limited?
8. Why study (further) the research problem?
9. What contribution can the present study be expected to make?
10. What research designs or methods seem unsatisfactory?
(Adapted from http://www.languages.ait.ac.th/EL21LIT.HTM)
This is what a former AIT professor wrote about the literature review:

ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESES/LITERATURE REVIEW


Discuss key attempts made by others to address the problem, the conclusions
these attempts led to, and their strengths and weaknesses. Your discussion
should be coherent and given in your own words. You may cite the
literature, but the reader should be able to tell which parts are your own and
which parts come from the literature.
Sum up the strengths and weaknesses found in the literature and previous
attempts and state the incremental improvements your work will make.

(Saeed, K. (Undated) Format for writing papers/theses/proposals, Asian Institute of


Technology)

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4.2 How to write a good literature review?


Remember the purpose:
It should answer the questions mentioned above. Look at how published
writers review the literature. You will see that you should use the literature to
explain your research. Your aim should be to show why your research needs to
be carried out, how you came to choose certain methodologies or theories to
work with, how your work adds to the research already carried out.
Read with a purpose:
You need to summarize the work you read but you must also decide which
ideas or information are important to your research, and which are less
important and can be covered briefly or left out. You should also look for the
major concepts, conclusions, theories, etc. that underlie the work, and look for
similarities and differences with closely related work.
Write with a purpose:
Your aim should be to evaluate and show relationships between the work
already done (Is Researcher Y's theory more convincing than Researcher X's?
Did Researcher X build on the work of Researcher Y?) and between this work
and your own. In order to do this effectively you should carefully plan how
you are going to organize your work.
Some traps to avoid:
Trying to read everything! As you might already have discovered, if you try
to be comprehensive you will never be able to finish the reading! The
literature review should not provide a summary of all the published work that
relates to your research, but survey of the most relevant and significant work.
Reading but not writing! It's easier to read than to write. However, writing
can help you to understand and find relationships between the work you've
read. Also, don't think of what you first write as being the final or near-final
version. Writing is a way of thinking, so allow yourself to write as many drafts
as you need, changing your ideas and information as you learn more about the
context of your research problem.
Not keeping bibliographic information! The moment will come when you
have to write your references page . . . and then you realize you have forgotten
to keep the information you need. To avoid this nightmare, always keep this
information in your notes. Always put references into your writing.
(Adapted from http://www.languages.ait.ac.th/EL21LIT.HTM)

Literature review checklist:

• Do you need a separate section called “Literature Review”?


• If you do need such a section:
• Do you introduce it, explaining what you are going to discuss in it and how it
is organized? [note: do not refer to the literature in this section]
• Are your different sections linked and logically organized?
• Do you end your section with a summary? [note: do not refer to the literature
in this section]
• Do you mention only works that are directly related to your research problem?
• Is your referencing system consistent or not?
• Do all the documents referred to appear in the “References” section?

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PRACTICE 7 Generally speaking, which of these sources do you think are


most important as sources? Which are least important?

The literature might be any of the following:

Books on theory
Textbooks
Edited collections of papers
Papers in international, peer-refereed journals
Papers in national peer-refereed journals
Papers published in refereed conference proceedings
Paper published in un-refereed conference proceedings
Paper presented at a conference
Paper presented at a seminar or workshop
Doctoral dissertations
Masters theses
Graduate level ‘research studies’
Undergraduate level theses or research studies
Websites
Newspaper articles
Reports by international and national government agencies
Dictionaries
Laws

**** Essential sources


*** Usually important sources
** Relatively important sources
* Marginally important sources
- Usually unimportant sources

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Task 5 Examine carefully the following excerpt from an AIT


Master’s thesis proposal. What do you think? Is this an
effective way to present a literature review?

Thesis title: Leadership styles of Construction Managers and their Impact on Project
Performance

CHAPTER II
LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Defining Leadership

Leadership is a sophisticated concept. There are many different definitions of


leadership. Most of the definitions depending upon the writers.

Fiedler (1967) defined a leader as "the individual in the group given the task of directing and
coordinating task relevant group activities or who, in the absence of a designated leader,
carries the primary responsibility for performing their functions in the group"

Gibb (1954) stated a group leadership is "a position emerging from interaction process itself'.

Sherif and Sherif (1956) suggested that leadership is "a role within the scheme of relations
and is defined by reciprocal expectations between the leader and other members".

Cooley (1902) stated the leader is "always the nucleus of a tendency, and on the other hand,
all social movements, closely examined, will be found to consist of tendencies having such
nuclei".

Gordon (1955) defined leadership as "an interaction between a person and a group or, more
accurately, between a person and the group members".

Stogdill (1974) defined leadership as "the process of directing and influencing the task-related
activities of group members".

Walker (1989) suggested that leadership is "an intrinsic part of management. It is the manner
in which the manager conducts himself in his role in order to obtain the best performance
from the people he is managing".

Szilagyi and Wallance (1990) stated that the leadership is "a process in which one person
attempts to influence another to accomplish some goal or goals".

As we can see that there are many different definitions of leadership, but there are similarities
among these definitions. After reviewing the different definitions of leadership, leadership
can be summarized as the art or process of influencing people so that they will strive willingly
and enthusiastically toward the achievement of group goals.

From the definition above, we can see that leadership is not a one way process, but a
reciprocal process of influence between the leader and the group.

The process of leadership can be subdivided into four stages of influences. The first stage,
assignment, consists of activities such as planning and direction. The second stages,
implementation, requires leadership activities that guide, monitor, delegate, and support
subordinates in their work.

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Language Center www.languages.ait.ac.th EL21 Writing up Research

Task 6 Carefully examine the following excerpt from an AIT


Master’s thesis proposal. What do you think? Is this an
effective way to present a literature review?

Thesis title: Applying system dynamics methodology to the management of large


construction projects.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Table of Contents ............................................................................................................................................ 1


List of Figures ............................................................................................................................................. 111
List of Tables.................................................................................................................................................. iv

CHAPTER 1.......................................................................................................................................................... 1
INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................ 1
1. 1 Background .............................................................................................................................................. 1
1.2 Problem Statement .................................................................................................................................... 2
1.3 Objectives.................................................................................................................................................. 3
1.4 Scope of Work........................................................................................................................................... 3
1.5 Expected Contribution .............................................................................................................................. 4

CHAPTER 2.......................................................................................................................................................... 4
LITERATURE REVIEW ..................................................................................................................................... 5
2.1 General ...................................................................................................................................................... 5
2.2 Characteristics of Construction Industry .................................................................................................. 5
2.3 Construction Management ........................................................................................................................ 5
2.3.1 Important Elements of Construction Management ............................................................................ 5
2.3.2 Multiple Project Objectives and Their Trade-Off .............................................................................. 6
2.3.3 Characteristics of Traditional Approaches in Construction Management......................................... 7
2.3.4 Factors Affecting Project Performance .............................................................................................. 8
2.3.5 Causes and Costs of Rework .............................................................................................................. 9
2.4 Applications of System Dynamics in Management ............................................................................... 10
2.4.1 The Roles of System Dynamics........................................................................................................ 10
2.4.2 New Paradigms for Complex Projects.............................................................................................. 11
2.4.3 System Dynamics in Project Management....................................................................................... 12
2.4.4 System Dynamics in Construction Management ............................................................................. 14
2.5 Summary ................................................................................................................................................. 16

CHAPTER 2

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 General
This literature review consists of various aspects regarding to construction industry, construction management,
and applications of system dynamics, especially in project management. Critical characteristics and other factors
of construction industry as well as construction project management will be briefly identified so as to explain
why system dynamics must be needed in construction management while traditional approaches have exposed
inadequately. Moreover, previous studies and their applications of system dynamics will be outlined to advocate
system dynamics as a promising approach for managing construction projects at strategic level.

2.2 Characteristics of Construction Industry

It has been known that the construction industry is usually characterized by its complexities, reluctance to change
and resistance to innovations (Oglesby et al., 1989, and Palaneeswaran and Kumaraswamy, 2000). Construction
is inherently risky; its projects are generally unique and prototype (Wantanakom et al., 1999 and Kale and Arditi,
1999). Oglesby et al (1989) pointed out some constraints peculiar to construction. They include:

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a) Construction operates differently from other industries. Most construction projects are unique,
fast-moving.
b) The contractual structure is seldom conductive to cooperation among participants.
c) Traditional hierarchical management structure within each organization blocks free discussion
and exchanges of ideas.
d) The usual attitude of construction people is to get on with the job.

In addition, Kale and Arditi (1999) summarized several unique characteristics of the construction
industry: (1) fragmented industry structure, (2) fragmented organization of the construction process, (3)
easy entry to the construction business, (4) post-demand production, (5) uniqueness of projects, (6) high
uncertainty and risk involved, (7) high capital required for constructed facilities, and (8) temporary
nature of the relationships between parties. They all must hamper new philosophies for performance
improvements in construction organizations. It therefore requires more commitment of time, effort,
talent and money (Oglesby et al., 1989).

2.3 Construction Management

Practices and philosophies such as benchmarking, concurrent engineering, customer driven, supply-
chain management, integrated information systems, integrated performance measurement, just-in-time,
lean production, reengineering, total quality management, and six sigma have played vital roles in
manufacturing and business sector (Palaneeswaran and Kumaraswamy, 2000). To some extent, they
have been also applied in constructional all levels: business, project or construction process. However,
as mentioned earlier, due to the unique characteristics of construction industry, construction
management must bear its own particular traits to cope with performance requirements and
improvements.

2.3.1 Important Elements of Construction Management

Wang (1987) (cited in Chang, 1990) proposed important elements of construction management. They
consist of (1) planning, (2) organizing, (3) motivating, (4) directing, (5) communicating, (6) controlling,
(8) coordinating and (9) forecasting. Thanks to the elements, construction management transform input
including materials, equipment, manpower and finance into the facilities in such a way as to meet
stakeholders' satisfaction. Therefore, project performance evaluation has often included the satisfaction
of parties involved as a criterion for measuring the success of a project (Ashley et al., 1987; Pinto and
Slevin, 1988, cited in Liu, 1999).

2.5 Summary

The literature has highlighted that construction industry bears its own several unique characteristics in
comparison with other areas. Such uniqueness has been challenging construction management at any
levels, from corporate to process levels. Many methodologies, techniques, tools, and initiatives as well
as management styles have been created in the industry and/or adopted from manufacturing or business
sectors to improve both organizational and project performance. They have played vital and
indispensable roles to deal with the challenge. It has been, however, recognized that the traditional
approaches have exposed their inadequacies in coping with complex dynamic systems such as large-
scale construction projects and uncertain and ever-changing today business environments. To solve the
problem, many methodologies must have continued being created, among them, system dynamics has
been generating its significant role since it can help executives, managers and academics in systems
thinking and continuous learning. In the project management arena, system dynamics has been applied
so as to improve project performance. Nevertheless. its applications have been limited and fragmented,
in construction, for example. Further studies must be therefore needed to advocate and prove system
dynamics as a promising approach in construction management as strategic and holistic overviews.

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4.3 Examples of how authors refer to the literature

Some examples using the APA

Gallent (1998) suggests that the decline in cycling reflects…


A MORI survey (1999) found that people thought…
Banister (1999) points out that women are likely to be targeted…
Root and Schintler (1999a) suggest this is leading to an increase…
Banister and Gallent’s (1998) analysis of the 1991 UK census demonstrates
that…
The British Medical Association (1992) states that journeys of less than 3
miles…
In support of this, Jones et al. (1996) presented …
Potter et al. (1999) found that UK employer attitudes were not entirely
positive…
McClintock and Shackloek (1996), however, suggest that cycle facilities have
little impact on …
Kale and Arditi (1999) summarized several characteristics…
Thomas et al. (2002) identified that the availability of resources is …
Wang (1987, cited in Chang, 1990) proposed …
Rodrigues (2001) recommended that system dynamics …
Chang (2000) developed a model …
Ford (2002) constructed a system dynamics model …

Some examples using the number system

Lee et al. [1] defined ‘diagnosis’ as …


The goal of diagnosis was defined by Genesareth [2] as …
Krishnamurthy [3] concludes that …
Lee et al. [1] commented that …
Reiter [8] presented a strategy based on Lee’s [3] framework …
In previous work [2-5], the author made progress toward solving …
Although this type of glass has already been studied from the viewpoint of
daylighting [6], it is examined here in the context of …
Reiter [8] carried out similar work …

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5. Referencing

5.1 Which Referencing System to Use?

Ask your advisor.

Look at published works in your field and see which system they use.

The following Web site gives a clear overview of the different referencing systems
possible: http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/Documentation.html

At AIT, the 2 most common systems are:


• the APA (American Psychological Association). See below.
• the number system (used in Prof. Bohez’s paper attached to this handbook.).
For more information about this system, check this Web site:
http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/DocNumberedReferences.html

Whatever system you choose, follow those basic rules:

• For journal articles:


Family name(s) of author(s) followed by initials
Date of publication
Title of article
Emphasized name of journal
Volume number and issue number
Page number

• For whole books:


Family name(s) of author(s) followed by initials
Date of publication
Emphasized title
Place of publication and name of publisher

• For documents found on the Internet:


Family name(s) of author(s) followed by initials
Date of publication
Emphasized title
Retrieval date
Place it was retrieved from
URL

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5.2 APA Style Guide

The list below includes entries for documents AIT students commonly referred
to. If you cannot find how to reference a certain document from the list below,
try these Web sites, they offer useful abridged versions of the APA style
guide:
http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/DocAPA.html
http://webster.commnet.edu/apa/apa_index.htm
http://www.wssu.edu/library/guides/apa.asp

Brief introduction to the APA style guide

In-text, the name of the author and the date of publication should always
appear. The page number is needed in the case of a quote only.

E.g. … globalization will “force the third world into serving as a cheap
labor pool for the West” (Oster, 2000, p. 9).
See below in this handbook the excerpt from DeAnne K. Hilfinger Messias (2001).
Globalization, Nursing, and Health for All. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2001;
33:1, 9-11.

All the works referred to in your text should be listed in a list of references at
the end of your paper. Your reference list should follow a specific format:

Title Type the word “References” at the top of a new page, centered.
Spacing All entries should be double-spaced.
Indentation The second and following lines of each entry is indented. This is
crucial for readability.
Capitalization Capitalize only the first word of titles of books and articles and the
first word after a colon.
Italics Use italics for:
• titles of books
• titles of journals and volume number
Punctuation Use a comma to separate:
• surnames from initials
• a newspaper title from p. or pp.
• a journal title from volume number
• a volume number from page numbers
• when given, an issue number from page numbers
• (Ed.) from book title
• city of publication from state

Adapted from The Writing Center. (2003). Create an APA reference list. Retrieved June
5, 2003, from University of Wisconsin-Madison, The Writing Center Web site:
http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/DocAPAReferences_Format.html

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Books

Bathe, K. J. (1996). Finite element procedures. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.


Author (year) Title of book. Place of publication: publisher

The Author is the publisher:


Oglesby, C. H., & Howell, G. A. (1989). Productivity improvement in
construction. Washington DC: Author.

One chapter or article in an anthology:

Little, S. E., & Sauer, C. (1997). Organizational and institutional impediments


to a problem-based approach. In D. Boud, & G. I. Feletti (Eds.), The
challenge of problem-based learning (pp. 81-88). London: Kogan
Page.

No place of publication:

Peral, J. (1988). Probabilistic reasoning in intelligent systems: Networks of


plausible inference. (2nd ed.). Morgan Kauffman.

Corporate (organization not a person) is the author:

Asian Development Bank. (2003). Asian Development Outlook 2003. New


York: Oxford University Press.

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Journal articles

One author:
Davis, R. (1984). Diagnostic reasoning based on structure and behavior.
Artificial Intelligence, 4, 347-409.

Two authors:
Hmelo, C. & Myo, Z.N. (1998). Problem-based learning: Effects on the early
acquisition of cognitive skill in medicine. The Journal of the Learning
Sciences, 7 (2), 173-208.

Six authors or more:


(If a work has six authors, cite all authors. When a work has seven or more
authors, cite the first six followed by “et al.”)

Thomas, H. R., Moloney, W. F., Horner, R. M. W., Smith, G. R., Handa, V.


K., Sanders, S. R., et al. (1990). Modeling construction labor
productivity. Journal of construction engineering and management,
116 (4), 705-726.

Magazine article

Kanok-Nukulchai, W. (2002, December). Khlong Prapa: A bridge over raw


drinking water [Electronic version]. Asian Infrastructure Research
Review, 4 (2), 10-19.

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Lecture notes

Vongvisessomjai, S. (2002). Engineering mathematics. (Lecture notes, Course


No CE01.11, School of Civil Engineering). Bangkok: Asian Institute
of Technology.

Conference Proceedings

Edited proceedings:
Millan, E., Perez-de-la-Cruz, J. & Suarez, E. (2000). Adaptative bayesian
networks for multilevel student modeling. In G. Gauthier, C. Frasson
& K. VanLehn (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fifth International
Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems (pp. 534-543). Heidelberg:
Springer-Verlag.

Un edited proceedings (write ‘In’ before the title):

Murray, W. (1999). An easily implemented, linear time algorithm for


Bayesian student modeling in multi-level trees. S. Lajoie & M. Vivet,
In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Artificial
Intelligence and Education (AI-ED 99), (pp. 153-162). Amsterdam:
IOS Press.

Dissertations, Masters Theses or Research Studies

Chang, C. L. (1990). Applying R&D project dynamics concepts to


construction management. (Masters research study No IE-90-1, Asian
Institute of Technology, 1990). Bangkok: Asian Institute of
Technology.
Chritamara, S. (2001). System dynamics modeling for design-build
construction projects. (Doctoral dissertation No. ST-01-1, Asian
Institute of Technology, 2001). Bangkok: Asian Institute of
Technology.

Electronic Information – Internet

Paper posted on a university web site:

Urbain-Lurain, M. (1996). Intelligent tutoring systems: An historic review in


the context of the development of artificial intelligence and educational
psychology. Retrieved June 2003, from Michigan State University,
Division of Science and Mathematics Education Web site:
http://www.cse.msu.edu/rgroups/cse101/ITS/its.htm

Internet-only journal:

Quinlan, K. M. (2000). Generating productive learning issues in PBL tutorials:


An exercise to help tutors help students. Medical Education Online, 5,
4. Retrieved June 4, 2003, from http://www.med-ed-online.org

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Task 7 This is what a list of references following the APA style


guide should look like. For each entry, try to find out the
type of document it is: book, journal article, dissertation, etc.

References

Asian Development Bank. (1997). Emerging Asia: Changes and challenges. Manilla:
Asian Development Bank.

Barnett, O. (1995). Information technology and medical education. JAMIA, 2, 285-


291.

Barrows, H. S. (1986). A taxonomy of problem-based learning methods. Medical


Education, 20, 481-486.

Ha, V. & Haddawy, P. (2003). Similarity of personal preferences: Theoretical


foundations and empirical analysis. Artificial Intelligence, 146, 149-173.

Mackenzie, E. (1997). Combining distance learning & problem based learning with a
multimedia approach. In J. Willis & D. Ritchie (Eds.), Technology and
teacher education annual 1997 (pp. 155-157). Charlottesville: Association
for the Advancement of Computing Education.

Rich, E. & Knight, K. (1993). Artificial Intelligence. Singapore: McGraw-Hill.

Sharples, M., du Boulay, B. Teather, B. A., Teather, D., Jeffrey, N., du Boulay G. H.
& al. (1995). The MR tutor: Computer-based training and professional
practice. In J. Greer (Ed.), Proceedings of AI-ED’95 (pp. 429-410).
Charlottesville, VA: ACCE.

Sivagurunathan, B., Ahmed, K. M. & Rajatheva, R. M. A. P. (2003). Integration of


terrestrial and satellite based cellular systems for rural mobile
communications. Electronic Journal of the School of Advanced
Technologies, 3 (1). Retrieved June 2003, from http://www.sat.ait.ac.th/ej-
sat/

Ventana Systems. (1996-2002). Vensim PLE (Version 5.1b) [Computer software].


UK: Ventana Systems.

Yue, C. S. (1985). The role of foreign trade and investment in the development of
Singapore. In W. Galenson (Ed.), Foreign trade and investment: Economic
development in the newly industrializing Asian countries (pp. 112-134).
Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.

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Task 8 The list of references below needs proofreading and editing.


Make corrections to the list; follow the APA style guide.

References

Adam, L. (1993) Rural families and earthquake disasters. International Journal of


Rural and Regional Development, 6(3):pp.253-279.

ATC, (1996). Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Concrete Buildings, ATC-40 Report
Number, Applied Technology Council, Redwood City, California:ATC.

Bartlette, P. 1995. Information in the New Age. Berlin: Mouton de Guyter

Garside, R. (1987). The CLAWS system in R. Garside, G. Leech and G. Sampson


(Eds.), The Computational Analysis Applications Anthology, 30-41.
Longman:London.

International Rubber Study Group .1998.RubberStatistic Bulletin. Vol 53 No.3


London, British: 60p.

Sampan, S. (1982). Engineering Geology of the City of Chiang Mai. (AIT Thesis. GT-
81-24, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, 2001.) Bangkok:Thailand.

Tokimatsu, K. (1997). Geotechnical Site Characterization with Surface Waves. In


Proc., 1st International Conf. on Earthquake Engineering, 3, pp 1333-1367.

Dellarocas C. (2003) Efficiency and Robustness of eBay-like Online Feedback


Mechanisms in Environments with Moral Hazard. In Center for eBusiness at MIT
Working Papers (Working Paper #170). Retrieved on June 11, 2003:
http://ebusiness.mit.edu/research/papers/170_Dellarocas_Moral_Hazard.pdf

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6. Academic, scientific and technical writing: analyzing what is


written

6.1 Standards
There are literary standards of organization and precision that apply to all reports
of and proposals for research work. Professional technical organizations specify
the standards for research writers in their respective fields, but despite some
variations, the standard journal format of published research reports is always
reflected or detectible, i.e. the report format contains the following elements: title,
abstract, introduction (often containing a literature review), method, results,
discussion, and conclusion. The proposal format is generally restricted to a title,
introduction, literature review, method, and research plan with a budget.

A. To help researchers critically evaluate their own and others’ research


writing, the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics has provided a useful
table at their website, which is adapted here:

Title Does the title give you insight as to what the article is about?
Does the title tell you what, whom and how?
Does the title entice you to read further?
Abstract Does the abstract contain a brief statement about the purpose, method, results,
conclusion and relevance?
After reading the abstract did you learn the essence of the article without details?
Is the problem clearly stated?
Introduction Is the literature complete, current and appropriate?
Did the author identify a gap?
Is the purpose clearly stated? [clearly stated objectives]
Is there a hypothesis? [proposal for a solution to the problem]
Method Are the subjects well-described? How was the sample selected?
[field How large was the sample? Was a control group used?
specific]
Is the instrumentation well-described? Calibrated?
Is the procedure laid out in detail? Could someone replicate the study? Is the data
analysis well-described? Is there internal validity?
Results Are the measured data summarized? Are results statistically significant? [How
significant are the results for this field of research?]
Discussion Was the hypothesis accepted? Rejected? Does the author identify the
weaknesses of the study? Is further literature cited to address the findings? Are
the results applicable in a real world situation?
Conclusion Are the results briefly restated? Do the conclusions follow from the results? To
what extent have the objectives been met? What lies ahead? Are suggestions for
further research indicated?

Table 1. Guidelines for evaluating a research article.

B. There are a wide variety of reasons to use literature from establishing a


gap to supporting claims. Some claims are so general and widely accepted
that there is no need to cite a specific source or sources. In addition to
quotation where the citation is required, there are two other types of
citations and these are illustrated below.

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6.2. Parenthetical vs canonical citations

1. Parenthetical citations

• Are used to support a claim made in a background or narrative (telling the


story of…) sections. These claims are non-controversial ones, or ones the
author wishes to be treated as uncontroversial.
• Therefore, can appear in all sections of a report but tend to occur in the early
sections of an introduction or literature reviews.
• Are frequently used to support summary generalizations about several
research reports. (See the second example below.)

E.g.
i. … However, the millimeter-wave band spectrum is characterized by
obstruction by buildings and other structures and by transmission loss in the air
(Pl attner, 1994).
ii. …To select the cutting parameters, properly, several mathematical models
(Abuelnaga & El-Dardiry, 1984; Oxley, 1988; Chryssolouris & Guillot, 1990;
Yao & Fang, 1992; Zhou & Wysk, 1992; and, Chua et al., 1993) based on
statistical regression techniques or neural computing have been constructed to
establish the relationship between the cutting performance and the cutting
parameters.

2. Canonical citations

• Are used when discussing a research report itself, i.e. when presenting a
definition, development, findings, etc. attributed to a particular study reported
by an author or authors.
• Therefore, tend to occur less in introductions but more commonly in the later
sections of literature reviews where one study’s findings are compared with
those of another, or contrasted with the current study.
• Are a form of reported speech, which requires you as author to make a choice
of verb to report on the research of others.

E.g.

i. … Basically, the experimental design methods (Bendell et al.,1989) were


developed originally by Fisher (1925).

ii. …Under the assumption of deterministic demand, several authors have


suggested iterating solutions that are not necessarily guaranteed to be optimal,
and not easy to implement. Silver (1976) presented a simple alternative
procedure, … based on a periodic ordering policy. …Goyal and Belton (1979)
improved performance of Silver’s model (1976) by modifying the first step of his
algorithm.

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