For every college-going student, thesis and dissertation are important assignments as they make a great impact on their academic career. By the end of their respective course, they have to submit a thesis or a dissertation. But it is advisable to begin the preparation as early as possible. You can write down the ideas you have in your mind, read books and published work so that it becomes easy for you to write your thesis or dissertation successfully on time
However, both the papers are not the same. Although they inherent a few similarities but mostly are different from each other. Talking about similarities, both the papers are prepared in a written form, based on some research on a specific topic or problem. Apart from this, some points set them apart from each other. In the following paragraphs, you will come to know about the differences but first, let’s know about their meaning in detail.
The thesis is a very important academic paper, especially for final year students that is prepared based on research over a specific problem. The thesis is a scholarly paper in which students put forth the knowledge and expertise they gained in a specific subject matter they have been studying in their course.
Unlike a thesis, a dissertation is a long piece of writing that involves native research on a new or existing problem. In the dissertation, students don’t have to just discuss already existing knowledge rather, they have to add some new findings to the research done on a specific problem.
Thesis and Dissertation: History
Both the terms ‘thesis’ and ‘dissertation’ come from different languages. ‘Thesis’ is derived from the Greek language that means “something put forth.” Whereas, ‘dissertation’ is derived from the Latin language that means “discussion.” However, different regions have different terminologies for the long assignment that is required at the end of the course.
For the seventeenth century, in the United Kingdom, the long piece of writing done in the final year of the master’s degree was traditionally called a ‘dissertation’. Whereas, a long piece of writing done during Ph.D. was called a ‘thesis’.
In Canada, a long piece of writing presented after the completion of the course is known as a ‘major paper.’ Therefore, the major paper submitted at the end of the master’s degree is called ‘thesis’ and the major paper that showcases the student’s research in the subject area of doctoral course is called ‘dissertation.’
Similarly, all the regions like India, France, Germany, Italy, etc. have different approaches towards the terminology of the long assignment. Therefore, knowing the differences between the two- thesis and dissertation, will help you understand what exactly you are supposed to do and at what level of your course.
Thesis and Dissertation: The Difference
Before enlisting the differences, make sure you know the useful tips to write your thesis or dissertation as both of them demand a lot of time, energy, and effort. It can be exhausting for you if you are preparing it for the first time, hence, take help from the sample papers, your supervisor, or professionals. Now, let’s know the key differences:
Availability and Assessment
Long essays prepared during under graduation are often called a dissertation. These dissertations are usually assessed by the internals, i.e., by the respective supervisors. No one from the public, even a student has the access to these dissertations. In case of someone, want to have access or to read them, they will need to request or borrow from the student who had prepared it. Similarly, a dissertation prepared during a master’s course is also assessed internally. However, students who want to go through these dissertations can have access by visiting the library.
Unlike dissertations, a PhD thesis is assessed by the externals, i.e. and a supervisor from other universities. Also, the thesis is kept in the libraries of respective universities, so that they can be easily assessed by the students or anyone who wants to read them. Therefore, it is believed that the more thesis or dissertation is accessible to the public, the more importance they hold.
Structural Differences between Thesis and Dissertation
In a master’s thesis, the process of writing the paper begins from researching a topic to analyzing the data you gathered during the research process and putting across your opinions and suggestions through an argumentative discussion with the readers. The main purpose of thesis writing is to bring out your potential of critically thinking about a topic and to discuss it in detail with valuable pieces of evidence. Also, most of the students willingly extend their research upon a subject that they want to professionally pursue in the future. Whereas, in dissertation students make use of other people’s research as their guide to come up with new and unique ideas, theories, and concepts.
Coming to the proposal part, both thesis and dissertation have different proposals or statements. In the thesis paper, the purpose of the proposal is to explain to the readers how you are going to prove your arguments. Whereas, in the dissertation, you need to define what kind of findings you are expecting from the research work.
Apart from the process and purpose, there is a difference in the length of both the thesis and dissertation. Master’s thesis is supposed to be written on at least 100 pages, however, the more the better. Whereas, a dissertation is much longer than a thesis, i.e., around twelve thousand to forty thousand words. The reason being, a lot of research information is supposed to be gathered for preparing it, along with explaining the proposal in detail and what methods or tools were used to conclude. The dissertation is three to four times the length of the thesis. Therefore, a dissertation is a much complex than a thesis.
Every university and degree have its guidelines and format to be followed for preparing the thesis and dissertation. You can know the key differences- meaning, purpose, length, and structure of both the research papers to understand what research paper is expected from you to write and what all is required to include in it.