Is There A Difference Between A Dissertation And A Thesis?

Whether there is a difference between a thesis and a dissertation is a common confusion amongst students going through graduate school syllabi. Although these terms have similarities and often used interchangeably, there is a difference in their technical meanings. A thesis and a dissertation, both have the same structural format. Following are the many ways they differ from each other:

A thesis:

  1. Is usually written for a Masters degree.
  2. It is a smaller study on a proposition (thesis statement).
  3. It is shorter (about 100 pages) in length than a dissertation.
  4. The thesis is proven or supported by studies and research.
  5. A thesis for your Masters program is a research on a subject you have studied and shows your mastery over it.
  6. Requires less depth and breadth of knowledge than a dissertation.
  7. Somewhat similar to a college research paper in that, you are supposed to rely on other people’s research results etc. The originality expected of you goes only as far as analysis and new conclusions.
  8. Demonstrates your critical and analytical skills.

A dissertation:

  1. Is written for a higher degree e.g. PhD and MPhil etc.
  2. It is a larger scale original study and research.
  3. It is double, or even triples the length of a thesis.
  4. A dissertation is an in depth document that contributes something new to your field of study.
  5. In a dissertation, you use other people’s research only as a torch to shine light on yours. You develop your very own hypothesis.
  6. Requires you to have deeper and broader knowledge than a thesis.
  7. Demonstrates your originality, mastery, and critical, analytical, deductive, and other forms of reasoning.

Both thesis and dissertation are forms of academic writing and research projects that can be quite a challenge. Many students give up on the idea of getting a higher degree for fear of research work and writing a thesis or dissertation. Others find the prospect of defending their work too much to handle. If you are one of those who have been stuck in the process of writing an academic work, you should consider asking for help. Your supervisor, colleagues, and even professional academic writing services are resources you can tap into. Using a writing service can take the stress out of your system so that you can concentrate on the rest of the process.