Thesis Statement for Procrastination Essay

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Introduction

The contents under the first chapter of this research paper cover the background of the study wherein the overview of procrastination, important definitions, and statistics will be shown. The technical terms and their operative definitions as used in the study will be evident under the area of the definition of terms. The significance of the study will also be covered in this area in which the researcher will be discussing the possible beneficiaries of this study and how they will benefit from the outcomes of this research. A graphical organizer of the key concepts will be discussed under the area of the conceptual framework. The scope and delimitation will also be identified in this area wherein the researcher will be elaborating on the focus of this paper, coverage of the study, data to be analyzed, and the respondents that will be involved in the study. Moreover, the research aims, as well as the research questions, will also be a part of the introduction.

A. Background of the study

A variety of studies have shown that study habits have a crucial effect on academic achievements. Procrastination behavior, which is described as one of the negative studying habits has been addressed as a personality trait in some of the studies (Balduf, 2009 135; Zarick & Stonebraker, 2009, 135) and in terms of its negative impact on learning by others (Deniz, et. al., 2009 38-45; Johnson, et. al., 2000, 45-61; Nonis & Hudson, 2010, 78; Özsoy, et. al., 2009, 98-110). Procrastination also appears to be a troubling phenomenon. People most strongly characterize it as being bad, harmful, and foolish (Briody, 1980, 65), and over 95% of procrastinators wish to reduce it (O’Brien, 2002, 65). Steel (2007, 243) states that procrastination consists of the intentional delay of an intended course of action, despite awareness of negative outcomes (Steel 2007), and often results in unsatisfactory performance (Ferrari et al., 2005). According to Tuckman (1991, 56), procrastination occurs when someone neglects a necessary responsibility, often despite good intentions or certain negative consequences. Procrastination is a widespread and well-known phenomenon that refers to the voluntary delay of activities, that are intended, despite the delay may have negative consequences (Klingsieck, 2013, 10).

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'Procrastination is not merely a curious human aberration, one of the many instances in which people fail to pursue an interest efficiently and productively. It represents the dysfunction of human abilities that are important, if not essential, for coping with the myriad tasks, major or minor, that accumulate daily on our desks in our memo books, or in our minds…. When we procrastinate we waste time, waste opportunities, and do not live an authentic life (Milgram, 1991, 1). In the 1971 study of Klein (66), it is evident that all conceptualizations of procrastination recognize that there must be a postponing, delaying, or putting off of a task or decision, in keeping with the term's Latin origins of pro, meaning “forward, forth or in favor of,” and castings, meaning 'of tomorrow.' Procrastination can also be adaptive – students use it as a coping mechanism against anxiety, whenever there is an unwanted stimulus or task approach. Chun Chu & Choi (2005, 40) differentiated two types of academic procrastination: Active and Passive. Active procrastinators are the ones who choose to delay tasks, mainly because they work effectively and productively under pressure; thus, often produce satisfactory outcomes (Morales, 2010, 40). Just like the non-procrastinators, active ones also demonstrated similar self-efficacy levels, coping styles, and academic performance (Chun Chu & Choi, 2005). McFadden and Dart (1992, 44), in their study of time management skills of undergraduate business students, found that study habits and total time spent studying do affect grades.

Different factors appear to contribute to procrastination among university students particularly, lack of commitment, lack of guidance and encouragement, inappropriate time management skills, emotional stress, social problems, over-confidence, and illness. It appears as an attitude or behavioral trait usually associated with (Elmer, 2000, 2) lack of communication skills, inappropriate learning strategies, low achievement, boring or difficult assignments, unplanned study schedule, learning styles, deceptive excuses, anxiety and emotional stress, irrational thinking, low self-efficacy, lower self-control and delayed gratification.

Academic procrastination behavior has negative results such as academic failure (Burka and Yuen, 1983; Ferrari et al., 1995; Knaus, 1998) falling behind class (Rorthblum, et al., 1986, 56), not attending school, and dropping out of the school (Knaus, 1998, 98). In terms of problems, it is seen that there are two basic problems; one of them is that academic procrastination is a common problem among students, while the second is that academic procrastination causes undesired results such as failure, anxiety, failure from courses, and low life satisfaction. It is necessary to cope with these problems and overcome obstacles. To achieve this, it is needed to have significant and objective information. In this context, the goal of this research is to determine solutions and preventions to the said problem.

This research is an initial effort to further define the nature and concept of procrastination, to study the causes & effects of procrastination and as well as its preventions & recommendations.

B. Definition of terms

The following contents will emphasize defining some of the technical terms that will be a part of this research paper. The succeeding technical terms are the following:

    • Aberration. A departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically one that is unwelcome.
    • Conceptualization. The action or process of forming a concept or idea of something.
    • Dysfunction. Abnormality or impairment in the function of a specified bodily organ or system.
    • Coping mechanism. An adaptation to environmental stress that is based on conscious or unconscious choice and that enhances control over behavior or gives psychological comfort.
    • Satisfaction. Fulfillment of one's wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this.
    • Self-efficacy. One's belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task.

C. Significance of the study

The contents dealt within this section will be a discussion concerning the possible beneficiaries of the study and how each may benefit from the outcomes of this research paper.

The results of the study will be of great benefit to the following:

Students. It encourages students to be aware of their procrastination problems and the negative consequences of procrastination, for example, decreased subjective well-being, weak performance, and reduced achievements (Schouwenburg, Lay, Pychyl, & Ferrari, 2004). It enables students to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that heighten procrastination.

Department of Education. Studies on contributing factors of academic procrastination provide a suggestion for the Department of Education (DepEd) which in turn would filter down to improve the quality of education provided to students, and to the extent of reducing procrastination. Since educators play a role in students' procrastination, DepEd should develop some specialized courses, seminars, or training that require instructors to be involved in it. The courses should teach educators skills of how to help students set a behavioral goal to achieve, as setting behavioral goals appears to be a good start to defeat procrastination (Burka & Yuen, 1983).

Future Researchers. This study would help the student researchers to be aware and knowledgeable of the areas and studies of procrastination. It would help them to be a better analyst and it can be a help as a future reference for more studies in the future.

Parents. It helps parents of children to be more aware of their problems in school. It stated that parenting style plays a significant role in those who procrastinate due to perfectionistic thinking (Pychyl, Coplan, & Reid, 2002). Research indicated that parents' high expectations and criticism were positively associated with socially prescribed perfectionism (Frost et al., 1990; Frost, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1991). Constantly criticizing parents will also cause them a lack of motivation to do things. Therefore, the present study helps them to create a consciousness that parenting styles have a primary effect on students' development of procrastination.

Throughout the study, it helps parents to understand the importance of supportive behavior on their children to increase their motivation and thus, make changes in their parenting styles.

D. Conceptual framework

In Figure 1, a graphical framework of the plan for how the concepts in the research paper will be developed will be seen. The researcher plans to tackle the topics concerning the overview of procrastination and its causes and effects as well as solutions to the said problem. Under the overview of procrastination, topics about its nature and definitions will be discussed. Types of procrastination including academic and chronic procrastination will also be tackled, as well as the two types of academic procrastination (Kandemir, 2015, 188). Historical roots and contemporary definitions will be elaborated under the definitions of procrastination (Ferrari, 1995, 71) Different sources and origins of procrastination including perfectionism (Jadidih, 2011, 534), poor time management, and organizational skills, the feeling of being overwhelmed, fear of failure, lack of focus (Kachgal, 2013, 14), and school burnout (Cakir, 2013, 654) will be evaluated under the causes of procrastination. Topics under the effects of procrastination will be elaborated such as low academic performance (Kandemir, 2014, 188) damage to mental health, stress & frustration, and having low self-esteem and poor decision-making skills (Klassen, 2007, 915) Lastly, under the preventions and recommendations of procrastination, topics about improving time management, maintaining good health (Conclon, 2016, 109) and motivation & encouragement will be discussed (Hussain, 2010, 1665).

E. Scope and delimitation

The focus of the study is mainly to discuss the topic of procrastination. In particular, the study focuses on the academic procrastination of students under USTJHS (University of Santo Tomas Junior High School). The study will further determine the causes, and effects as well as the preventions and recommendations of the said problem in USTJHS students. The research will cover procrastination in the academic area only. The target population will only be students so that the research goal does not become impossible to manage.

F. Research aims

This paper aims to:

    1. define the nature and concept of procrastination.
    2. explore the main factors that cause students to procrastinate.
    3. discuss the effects of procrastination on students' academic performance.
    4. formulate recommendations for students to prevent procrastination.

G. Research questions

The proponent aims to provide answers to the following questions:

    1. What is the nature and concept behind procrastination?
    2. What are the main factors that lead students to procrastinate?
    3. How does procrastination affect the academic performance of a student?
    4. What are the possible preventions that can be done to avoid procrastination?
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