The woes of being a final year student isn’t just the impending loom of graduating and leaving the comforts of having guided security brought about by school. Instead, it is the last paper that everyone  dreads and mulls over – the Thesis. The Thesis will fast become your best friend and your worst enemy. Till this day, I still warrant my coffee addiction and irregular sleeping habits to that 72-paged monster. I’d describe the day I printed it out akin to the joys of giving birth, but I figured that even by weight, my baby would trump a real baby anytime.

For those who are about to embark on tackling this monster (if you’re anything like me), the next few phases will happen to you too. So just in case you think you’re about to go mental, know that those panic attacks are normal, and there were others before you who went through the same experience.

Just so we get the record straight right from the start, at every one of these phases, you’d think, ‘THIS MUST BE THE MOST DIFFICULT PHASE’, oh trust me young Padawan, each phase gets worse than the last.


The First Trimester

This would consist of everything from coming up with the topic to researching on one: past studies, two: views of various authors, and three: the likelihood of the hypothesis happening. Brainstorm on various topics that you’re particularly interested in and is related to your field of study, then find a few academic sources pertaining to each topic and scan the document to get a feel of what will consume your thoughts for the next year. At this stage, spending hours days and weeks scanning more than a hundred reports is all very common. By the end of it, your eyes will be bleeding but don’t worry it’s normal. Play around with the various ideas, allow it to sit in your head for a bit and consider if you can allow it to call your brain home for the next year; trust me, this visitor really stays. The ultimate goal is to find a topic that you’re genuinely interested in and one that essentially contributes to adding insight onto existing literature regarding the chosen topic.


The Second Trimester

This part would be the entire writing and data-collecting bit. From this phase on, sleeping will be considered a luxury, consider this fair warning. The bare skeleton of a thesis starts with an Introduction, followed by the Literature Review (which would take up slightly less than 50% of your paper), the Methodology, the Results, Discussion, and then a Conclusion. Each of these sections is unique in its own right and can sometimes require very technical knowledge. The goal here is to build your hypothesis logically and present your findings in a way that readers can see a distinct flow. Think of it like a story, the plot has to jive from the introduction right through to the conclusion.


The Third Trimester

This is the proofreading and editing phase, which is strictly mandatory. Don’t take this phase lightly because skipping this step is highly likely to pull your grade down, nullifying any hard work you invested into this study in the first place. This is the time where you scour the document for any illogical idiosyncrasies in logic, accurate citations and also the accurate use of language. Reading your thesis from start to end is going to become a daily affair. By the end of it, you’d safely be able to recite various sections out loud like a Shakespearean dialogue. Don’t be surprised if you wake up with tape over your mouth; sleep talking is normal and might get on the nerves of whoever is in the vicinity of your room. Grammar-check the entire document with something more than a simple word processor. Try online programs such as Grammarly, which has the ability to check for every possible grammatical error and (the best part) for plagiarism with microscopic-like accuracy. Working with this proofreader will make your life a walk in the park, cutting down on precious time that will otherwise be spent finding a needle in the haystack.

The only thing left to do after this phase is to send it to the baby-making factories – the printer. Holding all the words that kept you up all night will be one of the best feelings in the world. Good job and good riddance!




Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown childrens’ novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, travelling, and reading.



About Grammarly:

For your background, Grammarly, makes an automated online proofreader that finds and explains grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes in all types of writing.

Because more than 3 million users have submitted their writing to Grammarly for proofreading, our team has incredible insight into not only how people are writing, but also what mistakes they’re making.

For some examples of past guest posts we’ve written as part of our program, check out the blogs of Jillian Neal, Andrew Jack, and Magoosh.



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