Thesis It!

My board exam tips continue to be useful to a lot of people. Recently, I have not taken any more licensure examinations so it’s a thing I have put behind me along with my old posts. I still continue to answer inquiries from people who bump into this blog when googling board exam tips. I am incredibly grateful to those people who encourage me to keep writing tips. And so, here I am making more series of tips that will hopefully bring positivity and change.

This time around, I want to introduce a new series called THESIS IT! It’s a series of blog posts I will be making that will give some advice on how to survive your thesis writing struggles.  I am just now sure how long this series will take in between posts but I will do my best to finish it before I give birth. I am planning to do around 7-8 blog posts in this series. It can be more, depending on how my outline will turn out. I am still deciding how to tackle the topic because it covers a lot of issues from deciding on a thesis topic, to narrowing down your techniques, to just getting the willpower to finish it.

Like my board exam tips, I welcome questions from readers and I will do my best to incorporate them in my blog post series for this new topic. 

Informally, I have been assisting friends with their thesis writing and providing critique and the much-needed encouragement when they are feeling particularly crappy or demotivated to finish the final stretch. I also find people asking for general writing help like essays and articles and PR pieces, but the thesis project is extra special because friends tend to need extra long-term support until they prepare for their dreaded panel or defense.

A disclaimer: I won’t really call myself a thesis coach, but I think that observing these friends I have helped along the way gave me some insights that I think are worth sharing in this blog.

Occasionally, I get paid for thesis or academic writing assistance, too. I usually just get offers and I don’t actively seek them out. Specifically, I successfully assisted one businessman finishing his master’s degree in urban planning with a 200-page thesis about using iPhone sensors to detect road roughness, one high school teacher finishing her master’s degree in education with a 150-page thesis about an avant-garde curriculum approach (I was in high school when I began assisting her for this), one particularly feisty client who had to turn in something about first and second tier exclusive economic zones in China (he’s basically a nasty human being who treated me like a slave so I forgot the details of his work),  and some online friend who needed to turn in a term paper for his doctorate that involved proving a calculus theorem using words.

Through this, I got used to charging per page, per hour, or on an agreed lump sum basis for my consultation services. I continued to provide support after defense panels have pitched in their correction or revision requests. If you are in this industry and you want to know how much the going rates are, just leave your email address and we’ll talk. 😉

This year, I provided super friendly support to three key people in my close friend list: one who created a heroic land data model in his thesis, another who created this cool Boracay predictive land use scenario, and another who is using econometric models to help shape the future of the Philippine education sector. The first two are finished already. Really cool stuff. That’s how I learn about different things in various industries outside of engineering. I like picking my friends’ brains so I enjoy knowing what they do, what they are passionate enough to write about in this academically challenging manner, and where this research can eventually take them.

Friends usually just feed me with my favorite food after they’re done with their gruelling ordeal with their manuscripts. 😀 It’s really nice to do things for my friends while I am on my bed rest. Right now, I am also assisting two friends who are setting up their travel and food blogs, respectively, but it’s not as intense as the assistance required from thesis writing. Helping people is more fun than twiddling my thumbs until I give birth.

Back when I was a struggling working student in college, I survived famines of contributing for magazines by ghost writing for one of those foreign term paper websites. It helped get me a more regular income. Eventually, I stopped doing them because I felt like I am assisting lazy students to turn in their homework and get grades they don’t deserve. I was reprimanded heavily by my spiritual mentor about the repercussions of doing other people’s work. In the working setting, though, outsourcing writing work is not a crime. It’s efficiency.

Now, I have other options, writing-wise. But I did these projects long enough to survive my own college semesters so that I have money for basic student needs like food, books, and transportation. Occasionally, I go to the spa to treat myself for my sanity. I only get projects like this when I need to earn a considerable amount. These days, I have a range of options to write professionally and I just pick what I want to do. If anything, though, thesis assistance is a really lucrative form of income generation if you want to earn big in writing. I’d typically use it as a last resort when I am running low on funds and I need a quick boost.

Having explained that, I think that although I never really studied the science of writing a thesis formally, I may have some particularly specific and useful ideas for people who are writing their thesis. All these years of assisting people with their thesis writing struggles eventually ended up with me creating my own system that makes it faster and more achievable. I don’t particularly flinch with the volume of writing work required, in the way some of my overwhelmed friends do. Not because I am better than they, but simply because I’ve seen so many of these in my lifetime. Most people only have to do it once or twice in their lives and it can drive anyone mad to produce such volume of writing work.

My recent approach in assisting my friends involves enabling them to write their own thesis and not have me ghost write for them. I can do both, but I prefer encouraging people to find their own writing voice and just be the nagger/guardian angel pestering them until they meet their deadlines for graduation.

I really hope that this new series will also help people in the same way that my board exam tips has.  I look forward to hearing about your thoughts, too, if you find this post somewhere in my lair. 🙂








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