Leading the research

Basically I been through a hard day finding my way of continuing my study. I don’t know what kind of research shall I done. What I know is that I want to get PhD in Soil section. That is all what I can think of. I never thought about the how can I get it. I only think When can I get it.

Pityfull of it, now my supervisor had advised me to look for another lecturer to supervise me if my attidute is still like this until the end of the semester. How can I change it? I have no idea right now. What I can do is read, read and read journals. I don’t know what to think of.

Maybe because I was so lazy to think. I should get my head up and brainstorming any sort of questions or inqueries I should be. With that I can find more and more possibilites of what kind of research I will done.

Right now I’m reading book title “How to do your research project.”

The first topic talk about making great introduction. How to make a great introduction? By setting right questions the moment you want to start a research project.

There are mainly four type of questions the author suggest. Fisrt is the enquiry. I must able to have curiosity in doing something. Then Relation question. Relate what will I do with what the consequences will it done if I do the research. Then What x cause y. Kind of cause question. And lastly about hypothesis. Expecting what yes or no the result will be in the upcoming research.

So what kind of question I need to lead me do great research then? I’m confused in it.

I want to do research in soil yet I too need to know what kind of crop I need to relate with the soil. Or else my research will be pointless and I will more like geologist then. What make a soil scientist from agriculture is that he is able to differentiate the nutrients needed for certain plants.

Then I wonder why on earth I don’t read about Petai Belalang? I had read several journals given by my supervisor about Petai Belalang and what most I can found is that Petai Belalang strive most at alkaline soil. The problem I can relate is that soil in Malaysia most of them are acidic which means it contradict with the need of Petai belalang trees.

So how can we improve that? By adding lime. But hold on for a second. That means my experiment will be so easy to find out. Then how can I make it more complicated? I search the use of Petai belalang. What my SV suggest is that Petai Belalang will be the main ingredient at Kerteh Biotech plants in producing bio-methionine. How great is that?

That means Petai belalang contain some sort of methionine that is needed to produce the bio-methionine. So how can I relate it with Petai belalang then?

Hold on for a second. Lynas is producing biowaste which some sort of liming material. It contain sulphur. And you know what, methionine requires sulphur as sulphur is part of amino acid. Methionine is an amino acid then.

Then I can look how the tree absorb the biowaste and produce some sort of methionine in it. But then, how can I relate that with soil? I wonder that. Maybe I can relate how using the amendment of biowaste increase the soil pH and its fertility hence increase the methionine content in the tree then?

Well, I need to do more reading and thinking on this matter.


Reading all sort of journals


Journals can be pain in the neck you know. Trying to figure out what its writers wrote about. Sometimes I just don’t get it what the thing he write. Seriously.

Right now I need to search journals related with L-methinonine so that I can relate it together with my will going research. While googling (yeah, you know what I mean), I found all sort of journals. But then most of them are not exactly the title I want. Could the information in it be useful to me?

From my experience, there will be no such journal. My pot of luck if I get one. What I can do is to match the information in the journals in my hand with the title I want to produce or sort of it.

Sometimes (or I can say most of the time) I stuck with different journals from all sort of country. Like the one I had found, it related with French. Well, you know what it meant. Most of the articles are in French! This suddenly make me frustrated. I want to learn France now!

Oh. I forgot. Google translate was there to help me. Silly me not to use it earlier. Heh.

Searching journals using google can be sometimes hard. So it is better to use Google Scholar so that google with search it specifically  I wonder do google scholar match with Science Direct database?

Most of the time I search journals in Science Direct website. It contains most of the journals I want. And sometimes I hit the jackpot. Quite lucky I was.

I did search at other journals websites but my university library is not subscribing most of the journals in there. Quite frustrating for to know it. Then when the Google Scholar really help me a lot. Just by typing the full title of the journal, I was able to find the exact journal without hassle. Goog google.

After reading the journals, if I find it interesting and related with my topics, I will printed it. This will ease my reading as I had to read it on my laptop. Kind of tiring me out. Also I can scribble on the journal’s pages if I found something unique on it. While in pdf mode, I can just high light it using mouse cursor. It won’t last long and hard for me to refer it back after I closed it. I even need to on my laptop just to read a journal. Lame.

They say save papers but I say save your hassle then. I live in developing country. What do I need to care much for that? So called developed countries have no right to say that when they have technology after they destroy their own forest.

Alright. I do sometimes I agree that we need to save papers (or save my money from overdose printing cost). I will print 2 pages crammed into one page. Then I will choose duplex setting. It will make the journal thinner, lighter, and easy to carry around. I like it. With that I don’t have any hassle to bring it all around the campus to show that I do read journals in my life.

According my experiences, reading all sort of things in journals aren’t that fun. For me what initiate for me to read a journal is just by previewing its introduction. If it has catchy and cramped with information I needed, then I will consider it good. Its result is second for me.

With this age of Google, everything seems so easy with us bundled with so many information all around the world. Journals from all sort of languages can be found yet, it is up to us to choose and relate it with our life.

Knowing by doing it

Recently after reading a book about how to write an article gave me a new look of reading an article. Before this I wonder why an article when I read I feel it is good. I just don’t know where the good is.

Then when I read how to write a quality article, I realized that, writing do requires knowledge of reading and copying other’s work. Not by doing plagiarism but by taking their writing as example for me to write better.

I subscribed to 3 type of magazine. One is Time Mag, second is National Geograpy Mag, and third is Knowledge Mag. The 3 mag are great magazines with great articles. It just not all articles are good within the scope of Malaysian. Most of them are bias with the Western world.

Well, the mag do come from them after all. So they do what ever they please to let the Asian thinking that the Western is the best. That is why I can’t take all the information in their articles bluntly. I don’t want to idolize them. The Western is just the same as us, human.

Anyway, back to the topic. Now when I read, I will find what this author want to talk about and his point of view. Every author has agenda in bringing readers to their perspective. I too need to understand their style. Each author has their own style in writing whether it is new journalism of writing or the classic one.

One thing for sure is that, by reading and analysing their work, I will eventually improve my writing and get a better understanding of English writing. For me, I can read, but how do understand by reading is another question to answer with.

Learning is a long time journey. We will learn until we are no more in this world. So why should I stop learning even I had graduated from school, right?

Improving my English

Yeah, that is what my supervisor had told me just this afternoon. He said that most of his students, master or Ph.D, can’t write well in English. He is concern about it. He advised me to start improving my English. Well, I’ll try Dr.

Now I try to write from Manglish to English. It just sometimes I get confused between the present and past tense. In Malay, it will more easier as there is no word change in present or past tense. This also the same with Mandarin.

Then I understand how can I improve my writing and understanding better of English. First of all, I must read a lot. It doesn’t matter whether it is English or Malay reading materials as long as it improved my knowledge.

Then I need to write more. By writing I will eventually know what I’m lack of. I can compare my writing with any quality articles I read. Of course I need to compare it with the language I read. If I write Malay, then I compare it with Malay. If I write English, I compare it with English. It is as simple as that.

Then I too need to start analysis the situation around me. I need to start reading newspapers. For this, I choose to read English newspapers only. I hate to read Utusan Melayu. Too much propaganda. Most of them are useless for my mind to know about. Boo for them.

Maybe I can read the Star and News Straits Times, if I have time to read both. Then I need to prepare a notebook special for this. Oh, I do have one notebook special for this. I better use it rather than left it there in the cabinet.

With that, I can also practice my mind mapping skill. There is no fast skills to learn than practicing it as what people always said, practice makes perfect.

Necessity is the mother of invention


Now I have a very difficult problem. Where the heck I can funding for my study? My parents do offer to fund me but I have dignity in it. It really make my head spinning around. One of it is for me to write and send it to dewan magazine. But I afraid of what should I write.

Aha! I know. I go to library everyday and read about news in Malaysia to get ideas what to write. Then I use this to write articles. I can interview some lecturers to support my fact and to make my articles look interesting. Convocation is around the corner. Maybe I can write some about it and send to magazine who need my writing.

Alhamdulillah. I don’t know why but when I write, I just got the ideas. Maybe to produce more ideas I need to write and keep writing. That is how my brain work I guest. Reading can be part of my supplement. I can say input. But more important than that is I keep on writing to sharpen my writing skills.

There is no easy way to write good article by not writing at all.

Back to my problem. My supervisor had told me to further my master next semester because he has no grand to give at me. Owh. I didn’t listened and still continued it this semester. And that is what I got for today.

Looks like the necessity for me to get money accelerate my writing, I guest. I need to read and think critical then. I need to find more good articles and keep writing. I need to get rid of that afraid feeling that my articles will be rejected. I wouldn’t know until I write it down.

I need to plan it and start it within this week. Wish me luck.

Reading as part of me

Sometimes when I think about it, I succeed in my life all because of reading. I love to read since my father had thought me to read. I still remember vividly how my father tried so hard to teach me to read.

There was a book my mother bought for me. I love the book because it has pictures and colours. Such a great book. The book was about a family. What they do in their life. Maybe it sort of like a pictorial dictionary.

I love to watch the pictures on it. Then my father came to me and said, “Am, do you want to learn to read?” I just nodded.

“Open the book and I want to hear what you can read.”

I open it and look at the words blankly. Or I can say like I read Chinese words for today time.

I only know the A B C D E F and sort of it. Not the sentence. Then my father whisper the word. I said it according to the whisper. How thoughtful of my father to help me. I was afraid that he will shout at me and said that I was stupid. But it wasn’t like that.

After the occasion, I gradually felt that I can read. I reread the book every single day until I understand what I had read. It was an enjoyfull moment for me in that time.

Later, I read a dictionary I found in my house. It is such a small dictionary. I don’t understand what it means but one thing for sure, I got an A in Bahasa Melayu during my standard one year. I feel proud and now that I was not stupid. I can build my success if I work hard and read more.

Later, reading become part of me. I love reading.