Top 7 Reasons Why Students Fail Their Final Year Project

Why Students Fail Their Final Year Project

It is not surprising news to hear that people fail the final year project as it is just like any other coursework with extra loads of units. In this article, we have provided top reasons students fail final year projects.

Upon reaching the final stage of an undergraduate or graduate course, it is time to do the final year project which is a requirement for graduation. And based on the units attached to it and the level of rigour it requires, it is a more complex research work than those carried out throughout the course, which makes many students see it as a stressful and fearful endeavour. This is aggravated by the fear of doing research work and, in the end, being disapproved of by the examination board.

The fear that many students have of failing the final year project, in fact, can hinder the development of research and harm the student even more. That’s why in this article, we have highlighted the top 7 reasons why a research project fails.

1. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is considered an unethical practice. In addition, it is also an infringement of Law. In many countries, it is a violation of copyright law in those countries. Therefore, when detected in an academic work, it is a clear reason for disapproval. Many people think that only complete copies of texts or works written by other people are considered plagiarism. But that’s not the only way to plagiarize an author. Plagiarism is any type of citation of an intellectual work without its author being properly referenced. Thus, direct quotes that do not have reference to the author or the original publication are considered plagiarism. As well as indirect quotations, written in the form of a paraphrase. The use of another author’s ideas as well as your own also fit the definition of plagiarism when they are not properly credited. To detect any type of plagiarism, there are many free and easy-to-use online software. It is customary that universities submit the work to an inspection in this software even before the members of the board start reading and evaluating. This is to ensure that no plagiarism goes unnoticed while reading.

2. Escape from the theme

When starting a final year project, one of the first steps that must be taken is to define its theme, define a problem and its objectives. Attention and care are essential, as these three elements will guide the development of your research. In addition, doing this can help to avoid a serious problem in the research paper such as topic avoidance.

But what is this? The escape from the theme happens when the academic text completely changes its focus to a theme different from the one initially proposed. By fleeing from the topic, the problem is not investigated, and it is simply impossible to fulfil the objectives proposed at the beginning of the work. And, when there is no focus and rigor in research, it is not possible to build scientific knowledge.

Topic avoidance is also a sign of misalignment between the student and the supervisor. This is because the advisor’s job is precisely to guide and supervise the student during the scientific investigation. Thus, preventing him from diverting his attention to other matters. The avoidance of the theme, therefore, shows that little guidance was offered or that the student decided not to follow the guidelines given.

3. Disorganized text

Scientific knowledge originates from reasoning performed through methods, processes, and analysis techniques. Organization is, therefore, essential for the construction of ideas and reflections in scientific work.

There are cases of final year projects that do a great job in delimiting their theme, problem, objectives. However, the lack of organization of ideas makes the text little coherent and with weak arguments. The most common reason why this happens is the lack or excess of bibliography. In these cases, it is normal for the student to be confused and have difficulty organizing his line of reasoning.

Along with the deviation from the theme, the difficulty of presenting a reflection with coherent arguments is also a sign of problems in the orientation of the work.

4. Inadequacy of referencing standards

It is not uncommon to find students who, even at the end of their course, have difficulties in adapting their texts to referencing standards of their institution. But these standards exist for good reason. They standardize academic work, offering a structure that makes clear procedures and models adopted in writing in a clear and easily understandable language.  In this sense, a student cannot present their research work in the way they want.

If you are unfamiliar with referencing standards or have difficulties in applying them, it is recommended that you send the final text to a professional proof-reader. In addition to adapting the text to the formatting rules, a proof-reader can also detect typos and inconsistencies in the construction of sentences. In some cases, the reviewer can also help you with argument inconsistencies. This allows you to make changes and improve your text before submitting it to the review board. In this way, you not only dodge a flunk, but you also increase your final grade!

5. Having your work done by someone else

There is no doubt that the research project is not a simple job to do. It takes time and a lot of dedication to conduct a survey. And, to get rid of that obligation and the work involved, many students choose to buy a ready-made project. This is another situation that involves an ethical issue. After all, the student delivers and presents a work authored by someone else. This is also seen as plagiarism and is a little harder to detect. However, it is not impossible. While a purchased work can pass through plagiarism detection software without any problems, it is during the presentation that these cases are discovered. Difficulty answering questions regarding conceptual, or text development issues are common among those who purchase the project. When it is proven that the student is not the author of the submitted work, he is automatically disapproved.

6. Not delivering the work on time

In most undergraduate and graduate courses, the final year project is a mandatory element for receiving a degree. Therefore, missing your project deadline could result in a failure and a delay in your training.

When starting your project, check the academic calendar and write down all important dates in a place that is easy to access and view. Then plan every step of your research, distributing the tasks well over the time you have available. That way, you won’t have to get up early the night before delivery to finish the text. And it also prevents missed deadlines!

7. Deliver insufficient text

Finally, the submission of an insufficient text to present a scientific research is another reason for failing a project.  The number of pages depends on what kind of academic text the project in question fits. If it is a scientific article, the developed text must have up to 30 pages. The monograph is usually longer, between 40 and 60 pages. And experimental project reports, 25 to 40 pages long.

Check with your supervisor what the final word count of your research report should be.