In this article, the researcher was interested in investigating the differences in procrastination and the motivation between undergraduate and graduate students. It was noted that factors such as age, laziness, fear of failure, indecisiveness, and personal commitment among others contributed to procrastination.
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Summary of the Report
Procrastination is an undesirable practice that students are often discouraged from, but, unfortunately, the practice is becoming increasingly common among learners (Choi & Moran, 2009). In this article, the author was interested in investigating the prevalence of procrastination among undergraduate and postgraduate learners and the impact associated with this practice. The investigation revealed that procrastination is becoming a major problem for both undergraduate and graduate students. A number of factors such as fear of failure, stress, laziness, and love for fun were some of the factors that were identified to be contributing to procrastination among learners (Collins, Onwuegbuzie, & Jiao, 2008).
It was also observed that age is a factor when it comes to postponement of the assignments. The problem of procrastination was more common among the graduate students than among the undergraduate learners (Collins & Veal, 2004). This was partly attributed to the fact that most of the graduate students have several issues to address besides their academic work. Some of them are employed others have families or other commitments that demand their attention. They find it difficult to balance their private life with academic life, making them more prone to procrastination (Chu & Choi, 2005). The author strongly suggests that learners at all levels should know how to balance their private and academic lives to avoid cases of procrastinating.
Purpose of the Study
In this article, the researcher aimed to investigate the differences in procrastination and motivation between undergraduate and graduate students. The author also wanted to know how procrastination affects the academic performance of the learners and to propose ways in which this problem of procrastination can be addressed.
In this study, the researcher used specific questions to guide in collecting the needed data from the respondents. The following are the specific research questions that were used in this study (Cao, 2012).
- How procrastination types were associated with motivation for undergraduate and graduate students?
- Which motivational factors predicted different types of procrastination for undergraduate and graduate students?
- What were the differences in motivation among the different types of procrastinators between undergraduate and graduate students?
Participants of the Study
In this research project, sixty-six undergraduate and sixty-eight graduate students were engaged in the collection of data. Most of the participants were taken from the educational psychology class. Out of the 66 undergraduate participants, 54 (82%) of them were female while only 12 were male. 80% of the participants were White, 15% were African American, and 5% were classified as other. Of the 68 graduate participants, 57 (84%) were female while only 11 were male.
The researcher used a self-developed questionnaire to collect data from the sampled participants in this study. To capture the metacognitive beliefs of the participants, the researcher used a Likert scale that ranged from 1 (not true at all) to 7 (very true). This made it possible to determine the degree with which the participants agreed with or rejected the statements.
Analysis of Data
The researcher analyzed the collected data to respond to the set questions for the study. Analysis involved the use of statistical tools in order to provide an empirical report based on facts and figures.
Appropriateness of the descriptive statistical procedure
The analysis involved a series of statistical procedures to help come up with an outcome that effectively responded to the research questions. Correlation analysis was conducted to determine the relationship between procrastination and factors such as age, laziness, and other commitments. The researcher used a hierarchical regression analysis (three-step analysis) when addressing the second question of the study (Cao, 2012).
A two-step process was used in addressing the third question. Analysis of covariate (ANCOVA) helped in examining differences in the variables related to procrastination, while Bonferroni procedures were used in examining different groups of the participants (Howell & Buro, 2009). These descriptive statistical procedures were very appropriate and comprehensive in analyzing the data. The multi-faceted approach in the analysis ensured that the conclusion and recommendations made were based on detailed facts collected from primary sources and critically analyzed.
The data results
The analysis revealed that there is a close relationship between procrastination and motivation among both undergraduate and postgraduate learners. Some participants believed that procrastination allowed them time to think through their assignments and come up with a better report at a later date after digesting the question and requirements of the assignment. Others believed that through procrastination, they get to have a look at the works of their peers, hence enabling them to come up with superior papers that would earn them better grades. Age was a major contributing factor to procrastination among undergraduate students, with the younger students postponing their work more often than their older counterparts.
The result also showed that there is a correlation between procrastination and performance of the students both at undergraduate and graduate levels. It was noted that learners who tend to procrastinate more often had a lower performance than those who made efforts to address their assignments in time. It was noted that when a learner postpones his assignment, he or she ends up being pressured, hence giving substandard work as they race against time.
Appropriateness of the tables in illustrating the results
The researcher has used tables to illustrate the results from the analysis. The tables are so appropriate in illustrating these findings. For example, table 1 shows the correlation among variables associated with procrastination. Table 2 summarizes the outcome of the hierarchical regression analysis. Including the table in the body of the paper is also appropriate because it ensures that the flow of the report is not interrupted by instructions that require one to go to the appendix before continuing with the report.
After analysis of the data, the researcher came up with a detailed discussion of the report before making conclusions. In conclusion, the report identifies types of procrastination, motivations behind the vice of procrastination among undergraduate and graduate students, and what can be done to address the issue. The conclusion is relatively lengthy but very detailed.
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The report has identified some recommendations that should be observed by both undergraduate and graduate learners to avoid the problem of procrastination. It has also identified areas that should be looked at by future researchers who will be interested in furthering knowledge in this field.
Possible Changes that Can Strengthen the Study
The researcher conducted a very comprehensive research about differences in procrastination and motivation between undergraduate and graduate students. Given the opportunity, I would change the sample collected to ensure that there is a balance between male and female respondents. I would also change the structure of the report to ensure that there is a smooth flow from introduction, review of literature, methodology, analysis, and discussion, conclusion, and recommendations.
Cao, L. (2012). Differences in procrastination and motivation between undergraduate and graduate students. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 12(2), 39-64. Web.
Choi, J. N., & Moran, S. V. (2009). Why not procrastinate? Development and validation of a new active procrastination scale. The Journal of Social Psychology, 149(2), 195-211. Web.
Chu, A. C., & Choi, J. N. (2005). Rethinking procrastination: Positive effects of active procrastination behavior on attitude and performance. The Journal of Social Psychology, 145(3), 245-264. Web.
Collins, K., Onwuegbuzie, A., & Jiao, G. (2008). Reading ability as a predictor of academic procrastination among African American graduate students. Reading Psychology, 29(6), 493- 507. Web.
Collins, T., & Veal, E. (2004). Off-campus adult learners’ levels of library anxiety as a predictor of attitudes toward the Internet. Library & Information Science Research, 26(1), 5-14. Web.
Howell, A. J., & Buro, K. (2009). Implicit beliefs, achievement goals, and procrastination: A meditational analysis. Learning and Individual Differences, 19, 151-154. Web.