Many students don’t know how a dissertation and thesis differ. Additionally, because they are often used interchangeably, many believe they mean the same thing. However, there are multiple differences between a dissertation and a thesis. For example, the average dissertation length is different from thesis length. We will examine the differences between both academic terms. In addition, we will compare both project terms for similarities and why they are confusing.
Dissertation vs. Thesis: Definitions
Thesis Definition: What is a Thesis?
At the end of a college program, undergraduate or postgraduate, there is a project work you have to carry out. That project work submitted at the end of a Master’s degree program is called a thesis. A thesis is a scholarly paper thoroughly researched and critically written. The essence of a thesis is for students to show how much they’ve learned in the program.
Dissertation Definition: What is a Dissertation?
On the other hand, a dissertation is a piece of scholarly writing submitted at the end of a doctorate program. It requires more research and is typically bulkier than a thesis. A dissertation accounts for every research carried out during a doctoral program. A Ph.D. reward is granted upon submission of a dissertation. A dissertation may be an expansion of a new research topic or research on a new topic.
Dissertation vs. Thesis: The Differences
A thesis and a dissertation differ significantly, especially in length and depth of research. Below are significant differences between a thesis and a dissertation:
- The most major difference is their submission time. For example, a dissertation is submitted at the end of a doctoral program, while a thesis is submitted after a Master’s program. Therefore, you earn a Master’s degree for a thesis, and for a dissertation, you earn a Ph.D.
- A thesis indicates the depth of knowledge a student has acquired from researching a topic or subject. Meanwhile, a dissertation offers a researcher a chance to contribute new information to the existing literature in their field. A dissertation requires a thesis that the researcher must prove in the study.
- In a thesis, researchers present what they’ve learned from existing information. Meanwhile, a dissertation requires developing a unique concept and defending it using theoretical and practical facts and results.
- Another major difference between a thesis and a dissertation is the length:
How long is a thesis? A thesis is approximately 100 pages long with few exceptions.
How long is a dissertation? A dissertation is thrice as long as a thesis because it includes the research and grant proposal literature review and a detailed report of research work.
- Some Master’s programs may require that students do an oral presentation of their findings to a panel of departmental or faculty members. Thesis presentations or defense don’t take long – an hour at the most to present and answer questions. Meanwhile, an oral presentation is mandatory for a dissertation, and it can take hours.
Dissertation vs. Thesis: Similarities
A dissertation and a thesis possess some similarities, which is why they are sometimes confused with each other. The similarities include:
- Both research papers are a final project to be submitted at the end of a postgraduate program.
- Both dissertation and thesis require in-depth research of the topic or subject. Both require a research problem and proffering solutions to the problem. There should be adequate knowledge of the research problem to proffer a solution.
- You need good academic writing skills to write a dissertation and a thesis. These are more complex forms of academic writing, and they require following certain writing structures and techniques.
- There are ethical rules guiding both dissertation and thesis to make them adoptable as bridges of the knowledge gap.
- Plagiarism is not allowed in both dissertation and thesis. In addition, both academic writing forms require critical editing and proofreading, more than basic.
In conclusion, if you plan to earn a doctoral degree, you should expect to do a thesis and a dissertation. The difference between both is when you submit both pieces of writing – which you now know. However, don’t get anxious about accosting such complex writing if you’re not there yet; you’ll cross that bridge when you get there.