The Grey Chronicles

2008.October.21

How to Write a Masteral Thesis, Part 1


For the past two years, I was busy writing my thesis, a requirement for graduation for my Master in Business Management [MBM] degree, major in Production Management. The thesis proposal on December 2006 was simply titled: "Flat Carbon Steel Production of National Steel Corporation (NSC) from its Privatization in 1995 to its Liquidation in 1999." I presented this proposal to the MBM faculty and it was approved to proceed with the thesis writing. A Doctorate in Chemical Engineering was my former Thesis Adviser. He was also a former employee of National Steel Corporation. Two months after that proposal, this adviser resigned his position from the university and even brought with him my approved thesis proposal.

For the succeeding months, I was writing the thesis without an adviser, although I re-enrolled for the semester for residency. The MBM Coordinator search the whole university for a thesis adviser, and finally found one on 09 November 2007, that is after eleven months. By this time, I have already completed the thesis conclusion and recommendations chapter.

My new thesis adviser, a former Dean of the College of Business Administration, is a Ph.D. in Economics from the San Jose Recoletos University. I gave her a copy of the first three chapters in November, but she was hospitalized in December and spent the holidays in the U.S. By the end of December, my family went home to the provinces for the Holidays. When we came back on January 2008, my wife got sick followed with my almost two-year old son. I was only able to attend to my thesis, met my new adviser on February 2008. Then she claimed that I only made an alibi of a sick wife and a sick son, just to postpone meeting with her!

During this meeting on in February 2008, my thesis adviser claimed "Your thesis is no longer significant because NSC is no longer in the picture. You should focus more on the new owner." I asked her if she read the whole Chapters 1 – 3. She replied: "No, I did not. Anyway, NSC is no longer significant!" She even suggested that I could include in my study the Price Elasticity Demand of NSC’s Raw Materials, and that the Theoretical Framework of Chapter 1 to become a separate Chapter 3. She also commented that I had the tendency to mix-up my rhetoric on supply and demand. I reviewed my writing, but found that my arguments were solid and the theoretical framework was not mixed-up. She gave me back Chapters 1 to 3.

I appealed to the other guidance committee member, Engr. G., a former employee of NSC, who is also a lecturer at MBM. He talked to the adviser. A few weeks later, the adviser called me up. This time a new position emerged. She suggested that she will only be advising me on the thesis form and structure, while Engr. G. would act as the content advisor. She also suggested a change in the thesis title, to read: "An Evaluation/Assessment of Flat Carbon Steel Production of National Steel Corporation (NSC) from its Privatization in 1995 to its Liquidation in 1999 and its Implications to the Steel Industry in Iligan City." I argued that the steel industry in the thesis IS not only applicable to Iligan City but rather it encompassed the whole of the Philippines and even tackled issues regarding ASEAN steel industry. She suggested that I have to tackle this issue with the other guidance committee members, which they agreed to the change. Thus, the title was revised to: "An Evaluation of Flat Carbon Steel Production of National Steel Corporation (NSC) from its Privatization in 1995 to its Liquidation in 1999 and its Implications to the Country’s Steel Industry."

I gave a copy of my thesis to Engr. G, the content adviser, and another copy to the thesis proposal lecturer, Dr. A, the incumbent Dean of the College of Business Administration. This time the copy consisted of seven chapters–including a separate Chapter 3: Theoretical Framework–plus Chapter 4: Research Methodology, Chapter 5: Results and Discussions and Chapter 6: Conclusion, Recommendations and Suggestions. Both of them, read the whole thesis: Chapters 1 to 6, page by page and suggested improvements as to content and form, such as the inclusion of tables of statistical data to the text, the results of Multiple Regressions and Correlation.

How to Write a Masteral Thesis, Part 1

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