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Thesis Workshop 2

Thesis title and statement formulation for 5th year architecture students, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
by

Azari Mat Yasir

on 29 August 2010

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Transcript of Thesis Workshop 2

THESIS WORKSHOP II 30 Aug 2010 1.Formulating Thesis Title
2.Producing a Thesis Statement
A workshop is a lecture when there’s no involvement from the audience. 1.0. Formulating the thesis title Thesis title should be concise yet detailed enough to deliver the message.
It is the first thing people encounter about your thesis.
The way thesis title is written have evolved and is considerably different now than it was back in the 80s.
However, there is no correct structure in writing or formulating the thesis title.
This workshop seeks to explore an acceptable convention of a thesis title.
Fakulti Pengajian Pendidikan Universiti Pertanian Malaysia Serdang Selangor (Mohd Sarofil bin Abu Bakar 1983)

Cadangan Mereka Bentuk Hotel Apartmen Di Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur (Teh Chin Keit 1989)

Merekabentuk Muzium Sains Dan Teknologi Islam Di Universiti Islam Antarabangsa, Malaysia (Alfa Rizal Zainuddin 2002)
Traditionally, a thesis title should contain a description of the end product. Examples: It could also spawn off as an issue specific thesis. Examples:

Menilai Paras Keselesaan Haba Bagi Manusia Pada Waktu Zohor Di Dalam Ruang Sembahyang Utama Di Masjid-Masjid Daerah Pontianmengikut Rekabentuk Pelan Piawaian No : 2789-1jabatan Kerja Raya (Ahmad Nazri Mansur 1988)

Cadangan Rekebentuk Pusat Membeli-Belah Dalam Konteks Pembangunan Semula Pusat Bandar Lama Kuantan, Pahang (Rosli Haji Nor 1990)

Senibina Bangunan 'Interchange' Dari Aspek Rekabentuk Bandar (Tinjauan Projek-Projek Semasa Kajian Kes I : Stesen Keretapi Ipoh Kajian Kes Ii : Kompleks Pengangkutan Awam Butterworth. (Zulkifli Hassan 1997)
However, there is no specific convention established throughout the years. Students are literally free to write whatever they want, producing vague and generic sounding titles like these:

Kompleks Pelajar (Haji Zaiki bin Haji Mohamad 2000)

Pengiklanan Senibina (Khoo Suat Lee 2004)

Ruang Tidak Berfungsi (Zulhailmy Abdul Hamid 2003)

-But bear in mind, some of these vague sounding titles are actually outstanding achievers.
So in this workshop, let’s figure out a way to best convey the message and content of the thesis. In a contemporary thesis, there are always two main things that people convey:

The subject area or matter, which normally a brief description of their issue, problem statement, hypothesis or the likes.
The end product, which normally is the design project, prototype or solution.
This can be seen in the examples below:

Cadangan Merancang Dan Merekabentuk Sekolah Menengah Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru: Satu Pendekatan Terhadap Rekabentuk Ruang Dan Persekitaran Melalui Penelitian Proses Pembelajaran (Fan Len Kuan 1988)

Implikasi Teknologi Maklumat Dan 'Advance Telecommunication' Terhadap Cara Kerja Masa Hadapan : Ruang Kerja Alternatif. (Massrol Nizam Md. Salleh 1999)

Bitstore: Evolusi Dan Hubungan Simbiotik Dengan Dunia Fizikal (See Kwang Li 2001)
In the examples above, we can see that each of them tries to convey two things, the subject matter and the end product, written in the following convention (or a variation of it):

[Subject Matter] : [End Product]

This workshop proposes this to become a guide on writing the thesis title. However, not all thesis can comply with this convention.

Thesis using Graduating Design Project approach wouldn’t always have an issue that governs the thesis. Hence in such case, it is sufficient to write the End Product only as the thesis title.
Guideline for writing the thesis title:

Title should be concise and straight to the point.
Title should convey the message or content of the thesis as informative as possible.
Title should not be long and winding that it becomes a paragraph on its own.
Title has to make sense both in Bahasa and in English and more importantly carries the same meaning.
It is perfectly acceptable for a thesis title to change throughout the process. However, it should maintain within the scope of the subject matter, or at least branching out from the initial idea. Let’s look into an example of how a thesis title could change and evolve:

Crit 1, 2 & 3
Corporate Battle Arena

Crit 4
Corporate Battle Arena: Downtown KL

Crit 5
Battlefield Kuala Lumpur

Final Crit Sem 1
Parasite Habitat: Battlefield Kuala Lumpur

Crit 1
Corporate Battle Arena: Parasite Habitat

Crit 2 & 3
Building Assimilation: Parasite Habitat

Crit 4
Assimilative Parasitism

Crit 5 & Final Crit
Corporate Battle Arena: Assimilative Parasitism

Keeping a record of the changes could show the extent of progress one has achieved during the whole process.
Exercise:

Get into pairs. Preferably with those outside your own thesis panel.
Write down the Subject Matter and End Product of your thesis in the suggested convention.
Switch with your partner.
Try and figure out if what your partner wrote makes sense.
Share.
2.0.Producing a Thesis Statement A thesis statement is a brief description of what the thesis is.
It is an expansion of the thesis title. Both should relate with each other.
It forms the basis of writing the abstract.
Let’s look at an example:
Thesis Title:

Kompleks Permotoran Lido
(Ahmad Firdaus Shafiai 2010)

Abstract:

The field of automotive and motor sports is one of the major branches of economic growth to a rapidly developing country. It also can determine the extent to which a country's progress in the field of engineering. This descriptive study aimed to identify factors related to the effectiveness of the design of motor complex on the environment and local development around the city of Johor Bahru, including matters involving issues of social, economic, political and socio-cultural. Development of motor complex is intended to revive the Lido shore with a variety of activities such as recreation, entertainment and domestic needs. This is a continuation of the development of popular tourism center of Danga Bay. Overall, the development of this complex will help direct the pace and progress of the city and to generate income for all involved. Finally, some recommendations have been suggested as an alternative for the future.
Firdaus’ abstract begins by establishing the background.
Then it talks about what the study is and its aim.
Next it mentions the end product and its outcome.
Following that, it describes the effect of the end product and how it can benefit the society.
Finally, it concludes with the future potentials of the study.
The instance earlier exemplifies how a good title and abstract could be enough to elaborate about the thesis without having to turn to the next page.
It is important to first establish what you want to say in a thesis before writing an abstract.
It can be very easy to over-explain the thesis and deviate into talking about unnecessary things.
This workshop seeks to utilize the skill to write an abstract as a tool for thesis students to understand their own work.

Keeping a series of changes of the abstract keeps track of its evolution.

Students would then be able to reflect on their work from time to time and reassess their situation.
One way to formulate and write the thesis statement/abstract is by answering a series of questions:

What is the background issue that initiated you to venture into the subject matter?
What is the problem that you’re trying to tackle?
What is the solution you propose in order to tackle the problem?
What is the potential of the solution you propose?

By answering these questions, you will force a structure to your thesis even if you’re not sure what you’re doing right now.
Let’s look into several examples of thesis titles and abstracts from last year: Ecology Crisis – Ecology Awareness Center, Respond to Deforestation in Malaysia
(Mohd Hazman bin Hassan 2010)

This writing is part of the thesis project which attempts to create an architecture that will focus on to promote and express awareness about ecological crisis happening today and in what way it can actually be done. The aim of this design exercise is to help people appreciate the ecology and at the same time educate them to be aware of what is happening to the environment nowadays. The thesis is done by going through several stages of process which are based on literature, case study, site selection and experimentation with architecture. The writing will describe the current issues related to the topic and how it is analyze and synthesize to form the architecture program as the development and progress goes on. Data and information basically are derived from many sources that include websites, institution, and journals/books and became a good supporting material for the thesis project. Taking Bukit Nanas as the site which itself reflect the issues and combining it with The Department of Forestry as the client makes this whole project as one.
Juru Brackish Water Fish Knowledge Centre
(Fakhrul Razi bin Mohamad 2010)

This thesis topic is to do the development on the brackish water fish research center and fish park. The thesis will focus on the research facilities and the fish park will act as an awareness centre for the public. Because of the polluted river, the villagers of Kuala Juru Fishing Village have lost their only way of life that is fishing. They depend on fishes for their daily expenses and nowadays they just can do the cockles business only instead of fishing. The research center will become a role model for the others. All the data will be derived from the case study, books and also the expertise opinion. This study will help to determine what is the most suitable development on research centre that will revive back the importance of the fish existing the fish to the fishermen. This thesis study can be an example for the future development and for the sustainability of surrounding ecosystem.
Pusat Budaya dan Seni di Bandaraya Lama Johor Bahru
(Muhammad Idzan Effendy bin AB Malek 2010)

The thesis is about recuperating the Old Town Johor Bahru area by connecting the local activities and encourage cultural and art in order to create a successful cultural hub. The issue is derived from the condition of the site which is declining in term of economic and social. Johor Bahru City Council and other non government bodies had done a lot of endeavor to enliven back the Old Town. This brings to the next issue which is the acceptance of Malaysian of cultural and art activities. The Cultural Art Centre proposed contains program and activities as a solution to attract people and bring back the people into the Old Town as to regenerate the economic and social state of the area. Literature review and case study is to be done to search for a better approach to design the Cultural Art Centre. The thesis is to revitalize OLD TOWN Johor Bahru area by linking the local activities to achieve a successful cultural hub.
Kompleks Permotoran dan Litar Lumba Tertutup Johor Bahru
(Muhammad Iskandar bin Rohale 2010)

This study made to focus to development of the motoring sports in Malaysia from grassroots. In other words, inculcate awareness among society motorcycle world and sharpening and pick young talents so that can be proposed to be carried to world stage. Like those we know our national motoring sport quite left behind contrasting other developed countries among them we can see for example Negara Brazil had produced champions in Formula One sport (F1). Economically, our country shall be equality and likely further good contrasting country they if according to GDP value. But why we from a bit farther sports aspect last? This not only seen from one field of sports aspect only even football also we still far. We ask our self, why the matter could come about? Where wrong it? If viewed most those who venturing this motoring sport, all started from below from sport “go-cart”. An example can we made “role model” is Dari there they step by step achieve success until crowned to be world champion. The issue is, why we have various infrastructures enough does not get is comparable to they? Why we still at the same level, walhal government already many investing in this motorsport development. In this matter, infrastructure and facility not the issue, major issue is awareness on this motoring sport and early care since grassroots need to be carried out so that young talents can be found and being nurtured in order to be racer professional. Penang Peace Memorial
(Ng Kheng Liang 2010)

Penang Peace Memorial is the topic of design proposal in the thesis stage. The reason for creating a peace memorial park lied on the aim of seeking peace through architecture. It is meant to deliver the message of peace to public in the architectural manner. However, it is one of the hardest trials in delivering massage to people by a static artifact, since all may perceive it personally. Therefore, the key of creating a meaning making architecture as evocative tool lies on the concepts of experiential and referential spatial quality. The architecture is meant to create a journey which drive people escape from reality to memory, a journey of interpreting the past. This research will conducted in comprehensive way in order to establish a profound understanding in all related fields through literature, case and site study, interview, and personal redevelopment of the architectural concept.
Exercise:

Get into pairs. Preferably outside of your own thesis panel.
Try to briefly answer the questions posted earlier.
See if you can convince your partner about what you’re doing.
Full transcript