In academics, you will encounter numerous papers and two common ones that confuse many students: dissertation and thesis. The thesis vs dissertation debate has been ongoing for many years, mostly because some graduates, even professors, use the terms interchangeably.
If you still don’t know the difference between thesis and dissertation, this post is for you. We will answer several questions such as is a master’s thesis a dissertation, and is it a PhD thesis or dissertation? Read this article to understand the key differences between the two academic papers.
What is a Thesis?
It is an academic research paper that requires a student to demonstrate exceptional writing and research skills and mastery of the subject and topic. A thesis should also be original work that claims a hypothesis. It should also showcase an understanding of industry techniques and existing knowledge of the literature on that topic.
What Is a Dissertation?
Are confused between a thesis and dissertation meaning? A dissertation is an independent research paper where the content has to be original and contribute to that field. The document must have a clear research question and use scientific methods such as observation, surveys, and questionnaires to answer or prove the hypothesis.
In most institutions, a dissertation is assigned to graduates, especially those at doctorate academic levels. On the other hand, a student pursuing a master’s degree course has to submit a thesis.
However, the difference between thesis and dissertation also depends on the country where the institution is located. For instance, in India, Master of Philosophy scholars have to submit a dissertation before they graduate, while PhD students need to submit a thesis.
Thesis vs Dissertation: USA
US dissertation constitutes original research and is a project for those pursuing a doctorate. On the other hand, a thesis also requires extensive research to earn a master’s degree.
A question that most students ask is, “do PhD students do a thesis?” No. Schools in the US assign a thesis to a scholar pursuing a master’s degree. But you can also get some institutions that don’t make it a mandatory requirement for graduate programs to submit a thesis.
Instead, a student has to complete several hours of fieldwork before graduating. Choosing a grad school based on whether or not you will be required to complete an extensive research project depends on your preference.
Students who want to have a deeper understanding of their field are better off going to a school that doesn’t make it mandatory to submit a thesis or dissertation.
Thesis vs Dissertation: UK
In the British education system, is it a PhD thesis or dissertation? UK dissertation is a broader research project undertaken as part of a master’s degree.
A thesis known as a doctorate thesis is an original research project that has to be completed and approved before a student is allowed to graduate with a PhD degree. Overall, countries that follow the British education system refer to a dissertation as a body of work submitted by undergraduate and master’s degree levels.
They then use a thesis to refer to the body of work presented at the end of a PhD. However, regardless of the country, each college or university department will have its own guidelines on what is considered a thesis and a dissertation.
A dissertation is usually longer and much more detailed than a thesis and takes more time to complete because it requires a comprehensive literature review and gathering of information. Most institutions also need the scholar to present their dissertation in front of a committee as a defense. This can take six weeks or more.
The length of a dissertation also depends on the research method used and field of study. Qualitative dissertations in fields like history can produce a document with 400 pages, while dissertations in creative fields can clock 200 pages. Additionally, a PhD dissertation length can exceed 70,000 words or 200 pages, including the bibliography, appendices, and footnotes. However, majority fall between 80,000-120,000 words.
A master’s thesis can cover up to 80 pages, including the bibliography. However, the length of a thesis or dissertation can vary depending on your instructor and institution. Thus it’s essential to read the specifications before you start the writing process. That way, you can allocate a specific word count to each chapter.
A dissertation has 10 main chapters:
- Title or cover page
- Signature page
- Copyright section
- Table of contents
The body section is subdivided into the literature review, methodology, results, and discussion. On the other hand, the basic elements of a thesis are:
- Cover page
- Review of Literature
Both dissertation thesis cannot be plagiarized, require ample time to edit and proofread, and must be submitted within the specified deadlines.
A thesis takes around 3 to 5 days to complete writing and is the last project submitted at the end of a master’s degree program. A dissertation takes several weeks or a month to complete and is presented at the end of a doctorate program.
The better understand dissertation vs thesis its crucial to note that the speed at which a scholar will complete either of the two research papers depends on background knowledge of the topic under investigation, writing skills, and time management. Students who are not able to meet the deadline for these academic assignments can get writing help at a fair price from our reputable writing service.
By reading the above post, students will have the information they need to distinguish between a thesis and dissertation. Both academic projects require a substantial amount of research, exceptional writing and analysis skills. However, the tasks can easily be rejected if you fail to follow all the specifications provided by your course instructor or department.
But when looking at the difference between thesis VS dissertation, each writing task happens at a specific time in one’s academic journey. So knowing how to write both assignments early, including the expected structure and word count early, give you the background knowledge on what is expected.