Academic writing is a wide concept which aims to enhance students’ writing skills along with critical thinking abilities. Academic writing involves various forms of writing including reports and essays for novice students and dissertations & theses for higher-level students. Dissertations & theses are based on the student’s ability to research. Generally, dissertations and theses are submitted in the final semester of studies like PhD courses, UG, and PG. Dissertations & Theses enhance students’ researching, analytical, problem-solving, critical thinking, and writing skills. Hence, these are included in most higher study courses. People consider dissertations and theses as one and the same subjects. However, there are some differences between dissertations and theses. To understand the difference between them, let’s understand each topic individually.

What is a dissertation?

A dissertation is a lengthy academic writing assignment based on students’ own original study. It is typically made in the last semester of a PhD programme.  A dissertation is considered the lengthiest piece of writing made by a student in their academic life. A dissertation is based on rigorous research, analysis, and writing skills. A dissertation is a structured piece of writing and the structure plays a crucial role in the formation of a dissertation. A dissertation is an original piece of writing conducted to research a specific topic or research question. When constructing a dissertation, you should rely onother’s work as a guide for creating and supporting your own authentic hypothesis, concept, or notion. You are responsible for most of the data in a dissertation. The Word count of a dissertation completed by undergraduate and graduate students varies at a large scale as an undergraduate student must write around 5000-8000 words in a dissertation; on the other hand, a graduate student must use 10000-15000 words for writing a dissertation.                   


What is a thesis?

A thesis is also an academic writing material which consists of two academic requirements– thesis statement and final thesis. A thesis statement summarises what the learner can anticipate in one to three words at the start of an academic essay. It is a position or assertion that will be supported by your study. The final thesis is a long academic writing material that involves the study of a specific topic or context in detail. A master’s thesis includes the kinds of study pieces you are used to writing from your UGcourses. After conducting study on a subject, you assess the information you collected and make comments about how it pertains to the subject at hand. The thesis aims to demonstrate your abilityin terms of critical analysis of a topic and for detailed, informed examination of the information. In addition, when developing a thesis, you typically use this time to explain on a subject that is most suitable to the professional speciality you want to accomplish.   

Difference between a dissertation and thesis

Difference between a thesis and a dissertation

● Structural differences

Structure plays a crucial role in academic pieces of writing. Learners can conveniently gain useful insights from a structured research paper compared to an unstructured piece of writing. A thesis and a dissertation differ to a great extent in terms of structure. Firstly, a thesis is approx 100 pages in length whereas a PhD dissertation is around two-three times more lengthy than a thesis. A dissertation includes a detailed structure which includes a dissertation proposal, grant proposal, research methodology, literature review, and so on. As a result, a dissertation is three times more lengthy than a master’s thesis. A thesis only analyses previously completed research which makes it short and precise compared to a dissertation. However, the student becomes the author of a dissertation and studies a research problem in detail. A dissertation is created to study a unique concept or topic. A thesis is a combination of studies that demonstrate the investigator is knowledgeable about the research subject and has studied it via their academic career. On the other hand, a dissertation offers the researcher the opportunity to add authentic ideas and information to the structure of literature already available on the topic.                


● Research context 

Academic writing is based on the sole purpose of conducting research. However, the research context of a thesis and a dissertation varies widely. A thesis is a short piece of academic writing which is conducted to examine an existing concept or topic. A researcher analyses an existing concept in a thesis whereas a dissertation aims to prove a hypothesis by applying the knowledge and understanding of the researcher. Students act as researchers to prove a hypothesis while preparing a dissertation. A thesis explains newly studied and existing material, but a dissertation aims to build a novel idea and support it with conceptual and practical information. If you are thinking of writing a thesis, you should not stress since it is way easier and more simplified compared to a dissertation. While a dissertation needs a detailed background study, a thesis only needs arguments to support a certain claim. In contrast to a dissertation, which asks learners to extend their findings, a thesis presents an opinion on the findings. You should prepare yourself for conducting thorough research to study a research topic in detail if you want to prepare a dissertation. In some cases, students are required to present their thesis or dissertation orally. Hence, a thesis does not take more than one hour to orally present a thesis to faculty members; on the other hand, a dissertation takes several hours to present to faculty members. Consequently, you will require more time to complete a dissertation compared to a thesis. A thesis can be completed within two weeks as its time length is already specified.        


● Location matters

The above definitions and differentiations are studied from the perspective of the USA. However, the differentiation between a thesis and a dissertation in terms of the perspective of Europe is way more different. In Europe, students who are enrolled on PhD courses need to complete a doctoral thesis to qualify but post-graduate students need to complete a dissertation for qualifying.   


Follow us at : Instagram  Facebook