General Question

bananafish's avatar

How much should someone expect to pay for writing a thesis?

Asked by bananafish (1112 points ) April 8th, 2009

If I am to research (conduct interviews for a Psychology thesis), and then write 50–60 pages of a Masters thesis, how much should I expect to get paid?

I’m being given about 6 weeks to complete the work, and have nothing more than a very bare outline to begin with. The first chapter of the thesis is already complete – I would be writing Chapters 2 & 3 (the remainder of the paper).

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36 Answers

phoenyx's avatar

My integrity is worth more to me than money, so I wouldn’t begin to price this. Again, this is cheating. Consider the consequences.

osullivanbr's avatar

I’m with @phoenyx on this one. Morals and ethics are worth more than money. Don’t do it.

MacBean's avatar

I would charge $1,000 per page, and 50–60% of the income the person makes from any job that they get that’s related in any way to the degree they get.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Honestly, if you are doing the research and writing the thesis, you should charge the same amount as the grad program. I mean, it’s totally unethical and getting anything of quality done in six weeks (no wonder s/he wants to hire out!) will take all your time and attention. Plus, you know, this person has been taking classes designed to help them with the research.

Anyway, you can charge the cost of the program. Or at least the cost of the thesis course plus time and effort money. I wouldn’t do it at all. But if I were desperate for money, I still wouldn’t do it for less than co-authorship and at least $10,000.

Edited: No, that’s still not enough. I mean, you have to do the research too. They’ve done NONE of the important work, you see. The research and analysis are the biggies. I’d charge at least $10,000 for the paper and at least the same again for the research.

(Honestly, even $20K isn’t enough for me, I wouldn’t be able to do it at all without feeling like total shit. Forever and ever and ever and ever.)

Les's avatar

You should expect one to two years of insanely difficult, nonsensical classes, some of which you will take over again because you failed them the first time through. You should expect a general sense of disinterest in what you are doing and inadequacy with regards to your superiors. You should expect three hour long meetings with you research advisor regarding how he sees you as incompetent and not capable of gaining a degree. You should expect countless nights of crying on the phone to your mother about how you made a terrible decision, and how you just want to be done with the work. You should expect missing holidays, friend’s weddings, birthdays and celebrations because you are locked in you cave, typing away.

Anything less than that, and I’d say you were cheated from the full grad student experience.

theluckiest's avatar

I’m not sure what institution would grant a MA without having seen written work from a candidate prior to the dissertation. This seems like a bad idea on the part of the customer.

If you are expecting a good rate I’d make sure not to end a sentence with a preposition, and brush up on the difference between a dash and a semicolon ;) I heard someone speaking to this on NPR recently, and I wouldn’t expect more than $2/page. Apparently you have a lot of competition

bananafish's avatar

You guys are totall right – thank you for smacking some sense into me!!

EmpressPixie in particular really hit home with the idea that I SHOULD deserve co-authorship for that kind of effort. This is ridiculous!

I just needed to get my head on straight and stop dreaming of the money being waved in my face.

gailcalled's avatar

See the answers to this question; Cheating/thesis

If you don’t agree with our answers, don’t repeat the question. Cheating is not a gray area.

gailcalled's avatar

Edit: I take it all back. Your answer just above mine is redemptive. Thanks

bananafish's avatar

@theluckiestHey now! I know how to write properly when I’m doing formal work. Write now I’m typing furiously on a social network. Excuuuuuse me for not putting perfection into every letter I type. (Not every doodle Michaelangelo made was perfect!) ;)

bananafish's avatar

OH MY GOD, I just typed “write now” instead of “right now”. Yabba! I need to go have a drink!

qualitycontrol's avatar

I’ll help you write if I can have some money too ;)

gailcalled's avatar

@ltheluckiest; Given all the misused “it’s,” “definately’s,” homonyoms of “there,” “whose,’’ “people that,” and really artistic punctuation, I’d have bananafish (I like the reference) write for me any day.

No one worries about ending a sentence with a preposition; that’s left over from Latin usage. Maybe it is something up with which you personally can’t put.

And I can’t find any semicolons, much less misused ones. If you want to leap on bad writers, find another question worthy of the attention. This one is not it.

bananafish's avatar

Okay, this goes for everybody on both “thesis” related questions: No more jumping on the bananafish!

I get it, I get it. I was crazy for even thinking of taking this job. Understand I am very strapped for cash, and this would’ve been a major windfall for me. So yeah, I was willing to stretch a toe over the line of ethics.

But thanks to all of you (I knew I should put this question out there in the void), I opened my greedy eyes and realize what a mistake this would be.

Send a little karmic lurve though, people! No need to tear my head off and spit down my neck.

gailcalled's avatar

@bananafish: Seymour sends love.

Les's avatar

@bananafish : Just so we’re clear, my hatred is not geared toward you. It is for this grad student. You haven’t done anything wrong. She’ll probably go and find someone else to do it for her who doesn’t have a conscience. I hate her.

bananafish's avatar

@Les, thanks. Yeah, right about now I hate her too.

MacBean's avatar

@bananafish—When you tell her no, you should start out by agreeing, but say you’re charging her what @EmpressPixie or I said. Just to see how she reacts.

jrpowell's avatar

You could also do it how Allie does it.

gailcalled's avatar

@All: If this student does get someone to ghostwrite her thesis, she will pay for it down the line, I promise.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@bananafish: We only yell because we care. About ethics, the state of education, and YOU. Seriously, it’s not a situation I would want you to get into. Both because it’s unethical, but also because the fallout if they found out would probably bar you from any future academic endeavors or cause other problems. Maybe not totally, but in some ways. Very bad. And the chances of them finding out seem pretty good, especially if she has to defend it.

cwilbur's avatar

I’d expect my name on a nice degree saying “Master of Arts” if I wrote a thesis for someone.

Zen's avatar

I hope it isn’t a paper for an M.D. especially someone going into Pediatrics. Oy._

Zen's avatar

Seriously: How much should someone expect to pay for writing a thesis?

I expected to pay about $5000 a year, plus expenses, for my M.A. Actually cost about $50k. I should expect someone to expect this from now on, as it says so right here ^.

gailcalled's avatar

If someone could obtain an M.D. degree by writing a thesis, we are all in deep trouble. Which way to the acupuncturist?

Zen's avatar

@gailcalled Just saw a great show about a Harvard (plus) very serious study on acup. Fantastic results. Google it.

gailcalled's avatar

@Zen: I have tried it and found it emotionally very liberating. At each session (1 hour) I wept uncontrollably. The Chinese Doctor said, after eight sessions and a continuing lower back ache, “You go swim. You go talk someone.” So I joined a pool and started seeing a therapist.

Zen's avatar

I have a pool, @gailcalled and I’m listening. Me no charge you for swim, just talk but cheap cheap.

cwilbur's avatar

@gailcalled: Possibly fortunate that he did not say “You give me all your money,” after using his acupuncturist mind control skills on you?

gailcalled's avatar

—@cwilbur; It would have been futile, in any case, due to present economy and the cost of my new computer. And the psychiatrist already stripped my bank account.

Zen's avatar

Did someone say strip?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Les Agree wholheartedly with you. What is the point of getting a sheet of parchment if you haven’t achieved what it represents? The actual lack of knowledge in the field will be readily apparent in any professional context. I have the greatest respect for those who had to fight hard to get their credentials, as you did. People who just want to buy them are beneath contempt.

While I realize that there may be an economic temptation or even necessity to do what the questioner has been offered, there are more legitimate ways to use the talent. Tutoring a student to achieve academic goals is one way. I find this especially rewarding; to start with someone who was clueless but motivated and work with her/him until that “lightbulb” of understanding flashes on. Actually more rewarding intellectually and emotionally than lecturing to a classroom.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@johnpowell I can understand why Allie did that. There is a great joy in being able to answer a question correctly even though you knowv that you are doing someones homework for them. I do this all the time on Cramster, but dislike the mercenary aspect of it. Therefore I let the points accumulate unredeemed, hoping that they will eventually expire like frequent flier miles.

gailcalled's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land: Read Allie’s answer very very carefully. Then Google heart anatomy.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@gailcalled I see. Dropping a wrench in the works, was she? Teach him to do his own homework next time. ROFL. Biology/anatomy is obviously not one of my fields.

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