Contributor: Maroof Ahmed | Editor: Supriyono | 2 minutes reading
The Faculty of Education (FoE) at the Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia (UIII) holds each year a writing competition aimed at encouraging scholars to showcase their novel academic discoveries whilst attempting to select the best papers for its flagship journal Muslim Education Review (MER).
Through this competition, the faculty aims to foster an environment of intellectual curiosity and excellence, as well as to contribute to the development of new knowledge, theories, and best practices that can help transform and improve the quality of education for Muslim societies around the world.
This year marks the second year of the annual writing contest, with all winners have been announced consisting of the top 3 and 14 selected papers. Specific to 2023, the competition stood out due to the breadth of topics being explored, from the complexities of teaching marginalized groups to the wide range of educational leadership.
Sharing the tips to win the writing competition, Prof. Nina Nurmila, the Dean of FoE, stated that all participants should follow the guidelines and templates to increase their chances of winning. “The criteria for selection are based on adherence to the template and guidelines of MER,” the dean said.
As for the selection process, Prof. Nurmila explained that two reviewers outside of UIII were assigned to examine all the received research articles. Each reviewer assigned a grade without consulting the other. Then, the administrators at UIII calculated the mean of all the grades and sorted them from highest to lowest.
“The first three winners are selected, and 14 articles are then chosen by eliminating those with similarities exceeding 11%. The remaining articles are sorted again, and the best ones with a Turnitin score below 11% are selected [as winners],” Prof. Nurmila said.
Garnering the tips from the participants, Dhian Sintapertiwi, one of the winners, stressed the importance of teamwork in creating a winning research paper. “The team [all the authors] have to make sure that everyone understood the topic and developed their research questions accordingly,” she said.
Besides the teamwork, another winner Mariam Ulpah emphasized the importance of making sure that the study reflects its scope, whilst also focusing on the basics of good writing. "It is important to ensure a clear correlation between the introduction, research questions, theory, results, and conclusions of [the] paper," she explained.
Meanwhile, Catur Niasari, also a winner, highlighted the importance of identifying trends and choosing a relevant topic. In this regard, her team chose to focus on Gen Y parents and their school culture choices. Here, Niasari emphasized the need to construct a framework related to the field and bring up the issue in a way that helps readers and policymakers understand the study better.
A unique tip was also given by Muhammad Nasir whose secret to winning was to write with enthusiasm. "As an international student [in Indonesia], we have the opportunity to come across many new phenomena every day. So, the key point is to let the mind and body see these things, and then try to transcribe them into something interesting," he said.
As the FoE’s Writing Competition 2023 has ended, there is still another chance for you next year. While there is no such thing as a perfect tip, we hope these collections of tips from the winners and the Dean of FoE could help stimulate your ideas. So, mark the calendars for the FoE Writing Competition 2024, and best of luck with your future endeavors!