Emotional Dynamics of Postgraduate Students in Completing their Thesis: A Narrative Inquiry

Muhammad Amin, Lalu Thohir, Henny Soepriyanti


Emotions play a crucial role in maintaining motivation, one of the factors which affect one’s learning achievement. The two opposing types of emotions have differing effects on thinking and reasoning; positive emotions facilitate rational thought whereas the reverse is also true. This qualitative study aims at investigating factors affecting students’ emotions in completing their final projects, the thesis. More specifically, the study aimed to reveal factors triggering positive emotions among students and how to maintain them and factors causing the emergence of negative emotions and those exacerbating them. The participants of the study were students of a post-graduate degree in English education program who have written their thesis and completed their study.  Data were gathered using in-depth interviews with the participants and were analyzed qualitatively using Jeong-Hee’s (2016) principles of narrative data analysis. This research found that factors causing the emergence of students’ emotions, both positive and negative emotions, consist of two: human and non-human factors. The human factors can be those relating to academic context (supervisors and classmates) and also familial context (parents, spouse and relatives) whereas the non-human factors are time and place for consultation, examinations, and also resources to support the writing of students’ thesis. Interestingly, the triggers of negative emotions are also those identified as triggers of positive emotions, if accomplished in opposing directions.  It is then recommended that all relevant parties should be aware of the potential roles they can play in relation to students’ emotions; they can be causes of both positive and negative emotions as well as the ones who help to maintain and to worsen them.


Positive and Negative Emotions; Master’s Thesis Writing

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