How Anxiety Affect Students’ Confidence In Research Project Writing

Undergraduate students have a great deal to create anxiety, especially in research project writing process which affect their confidence. Other factors that are likely to create anxiety among undergraduate students are difficulty of subjects, new roommates, identity crises, cultural shock, and relationship problems. Anxiety disorders keep rising among students as the day goes by. Anxiety has a way of interrupting with students’ performance especially when it comes to research project writing. Individuals in high anxiety levels tend to experience poor academic performance throughout their years in the university. Anxiety has demonstrated to have detrimental effect both on the health and academic performance of students.

High level of anxiety also interferes with concentration and memory, which are critical for academic success. However, most of students would lack the concentration of study because of exam anxiety, social anxiety, mathematic anxiety, and many anxiety sources. Feeling discomfort and anxious in the classroom does not enhance learning of any kind. The anxiety’s psychological symptoms among students include feeling nervous before a study class, panicking, going blank during a test, feeling helpless while doing assignments, or lack of interest of subjects difficult whereas the physiological symptoms include sweaty palms, racing heartbeat, or an upset stomach.

Anxiety is a psychological and physical response to treat a self-concept characterized by subjective, consciously perceived feelings of tension. Anxious students have experience of cognitive deficits like misapprehension of information or blocking of memory and recall. Study anxiety is not only due to the lack of study motivation or to insufficient skills, but is also due to misperception about courses and negative experiences in previous study classes. High level anxiety is more closely associated with lowered performance in low-ability students than in high-ability counterparts. At the global level, anxiety is viewed as a permanent trait, as some people are predisposed to be anxious.


Anxiety is a basic human emotion consisting of fear and uncertainty that typically appears when an individual perceives an event as being a threat to the ego or self esteem. Anxiety is defined as an emotional state consisting of feeling, tension, apprehension, nervousness, and worry with activation or arousal of the autonomic nervous system, these are differentiated as state and trait anxiety. Individuals with high levels of anxiety generally hold heightened levels of trait anxiety, but in evaluative situations, the state anxiety also elevates.

Anxiety is also an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry.

Anxiety is a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one's daily activities. Examples of anxiety disorders include panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Symptoms include stress that's out of proportion to the impact of the event, inability to set aside a worry and restlessness.

Treatment includes counseling or medication, including antidepressants.


Although early exposure to stress and the experience of trauma are important risk factors for anxiety disorders, evidence also highlights biological causes, such as issues with the regulation of neurotransmitters and heritable genetic causes.

Stress – and particularly continued exposure to stress has been linked to anxiety, as well as having a negative impact on the body’s immune, cardiovascular, neuro-endocrine and central nervous systems.

Physical health problems -can also cause or perpetuate anxiety disorders. In patients with a malignant disease, for example, a response of anxiety is understandable; however, in some patients, anxiety may increase to a level that is disproportionately high and that, if it does not improve, can lead to functional impairments.


Generalized anxiety: You feel excessive, unrealistic worry and tension with little or no reason.

Panic disorder: You feel sudden, intense fear that brings on a panic attack. During a panic attack you may break out in a sweat, have chest pain, and have a pounding heartbeat (palpitations). Sometimes you may feel like you’re choking or having a heart attack.

Social anxiety disorder:  Also called social phobia, this is when you feel overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. You obsessively worry about others judging you or being embarrassed or ridiculed.

Specific phobias: You feel intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as heights or flying. The fear goes beyond what’s appropriate and may cause you to avoid ordinary situations.

Agoraphobia: You have an intense fear of being in a place where it seems hard to escape or get help if an emergency occurs. For example, you may panic or feel anxious when on an airplane, public transportation, or standing in line with a crowd.  

Separation anxiety:  Little kids aren’t the only ones who feel scared or anxious when a loved one leaves. Anyone can get separation anxiety disorder. If you do, you’ll feel very anxious or fearful when a person you’re close with leaves your sight. You’ll always worry that something bad may happen to your loved one. 

Selective mutism: This is a type of social anxiety in which young kids who talk normally with their family don’t speak in public, like at school.

Medication-induced anxiety disorder: Use of certain medications or illegal drugs, or withdrawal from certain drugs, can trigger some symptoms of anxiety disorder.


Undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. Undergraduate project is an academic assignment (or research) undertaken by a student towards the completion of his/her academic pursuit of a first degree as stated in his first degree curriculum.

Undergraduate project topics can be designed to fit a variety of class constructs and to promote student learning at all levels of undergraduate education. It is also a task undertaken by student(s) within a given period of time in a given subject area aimed at making the student have independent capacity for inquiries and to supplement and as well complement formal teaching in his area of study. This enables the student hone-in the theoretical course work in the university. There is no doubt that the exercise will reveal to the lecturer who is assigned to supervise the student, the student’s area of strength and weaknesses. When these weaknesses are corrected during lecturer – student interaction, the student comes out to be the pride of the university – the alma mater.

Undergraduate research projects can be student or faculty initiated, and students can either participate in a work in progress or enter a project at its start. Undergraduate research is the exploration of a specific topic within a field by an undergraduate student that makes an original contribution to the discipline.


Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life, whether it is about preparing for a job interview, meeting a partner’s family for the first time, or the prospect of parenthood. While we associate anxiety with alterations to our mental state, experienced as worry or apprehension perhaps, and physical symptoms such as raised heart rate and adrenaline, we also understand that it is likely to affect us only temporarily until the source of our anxiety has passed or we have learnt to cope with it. Anxiety is therefore one of a range of emotions that serves the positive function of alerting us to things we might need to worry about: things that are potentially harmful. More importantly, these emotions help us to evaluate potential threats and respond to them in an appropriate way, perhaps by quickening our reflexes or focusing our attention.

Therefore, when students have a feel of anxiety especially when writing research project, they tend to lose their confidence because of fear of what and how the project will turn out and most of this cases are seen where undergraduate students have strict and unsupportive project supervisor. So the fear of not wanting to disappoint their supervisors or the fear of whether they can write an excellent project that will be accepted without much criticism bothers them which eventually turns into anxiety. And when students begin to feel this way, there is every tendency that they lose their self confidence which may lead to poor research project.


Fear is probably the most basic of all emotions. Not only do all humans experience it, but fear responses have been found in all species even animals right down to the sea slug. Experiences of fear vary tremendously in their severity, from mild anxiety to extreme terror and panic. The experience of fear can also vary in duration from a brief, almost fleeting flash, to a constant, all day experience. While anxiety and panic, by their nature, are unpleasant, they are not in the least bit dangerous.

It can be concluded that anxiety is manifest by disturbances of mood, thinking, behavior, and physiological activity and accompanying disturbances of sleep, concentration, social and/or occupational functioning. Also, it is associated with restlessness, feeling keyed up or on edge, being easily fatigued, difficulty in concentrating or mind going blank, irritability, muscle tension, and irritability. And all of these can make one lose his/her self confidence in anything which may or may not turn out excellently well.

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