Thesis vs Dissertation Writing

The Difference Between Thesis and Dissertation

The notions of “thesis” and “dissertation” are often found in articles about academic writing. Many people do not see clear boundaries between these terms and consider them to be synonymous. However, in reality, they are two completely different scientific phenomena. What is the difference between thesis and dissertation?

Common Features

Before we start talking about the differences, it is necessary to emphasize the common features of these types of papers. They are connected by the fact that they are quite large in volume and their main goal is to investigate some scientific problem.

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Science Degree

This criterion is the main difference between the thesis and the dissertation. It is known that every tenth citizen of the United States has a master’s degree, while only about 2% of people have a Ph.D. A thesis is a type of scientific work that is written for a master’s degree. Therefore, the dissertation is a paper that is created by graduate students who want to get a doctoral degree. The degree of Doctor of Science is awarded in the following fields of science: physical and mathematical, chemical, biological, geological, mineralogical, technical, agricultural, historical, economic, philosophical, philological, geographical, legal, pedagogical, medical, pharmaceutical, veterinary, military, as well as art criticism, architecture, and psychology.

The Complexity of the Work

It is not difficult to guess that obtaining a master’s degree does not require the same investment of time and resources as a Ph. D. degree. It can be concluded that writing a thesis is a simpler task than creating a dissertation. A dissertation must meet two obligatory conditions: to have high scientific value and to be submitted in accordance with the requirements for dissertations in terms of format, presentation, and evidence.

The thesis should be a scientific qualification paper that meets one of the following two indications that determine the nature of the results of the work. The thesis should contain a solution to the problem that is essential for the relevant branch of knowledge. The author needs to present scientifically based technical, economic, or technological developments.

Such paper should contain new scientific and practical conclusions, recommendations, identify the ability of a graduate student to conduct independent scientific research, to have profound theoretical knowledge in the field and special knowledge on the thesis problem. A characteristic feature of this work is an in-depth study of the scientific issue and the solution to a specific problem facing the local area of knowledge.

The Essence of the Work

In the thesis, a graduate student must demonstrate good knowledge and skills, show that they are an expert in the chosen field. That is why the student must analyze the works of famous scientists and explore existing theories. When writing a dissertation, a young scientist must present own research and examine new hypothesis.

Period of Creation

It is known that the thesis is much shorter than the dissertation. It can be written in a few months (assuming an active research activity), while the work on the dissertation may last for several years and the author will need to study many works of other scientists. When preparing for the dissertation, it is necessary to study a huge amount of materials related to the dissertation topic, and the most important thing is that these sources should be scientific, not ordinary textbooks, since, as a rule, information is more complete and consistent in dissertation research than in ordinary literary sources.

Format and Structure

If you look at the formatting of both works, then the thesis, as a rule, has a content consisting of chapters, paragraphs, and subparagraphs; and the dissertation consists mainly of sections and chapters. That is, the problem considered in the dissertation is analyzed more fully and globally.

For example, it is not recommended to devote the thesis to the solutions to unresolved issues and to consider problems about which public and scientific disputes have been going on for a long time. It is better to leave aside this issue for further investigations of a doctor of science, who already has more than one year of practice in this field. The results that the researcher wants to achieve in the thesis and the dissertation are largely distinguished by the fact that the dissertation is aimed at a wider field of activity and for public benefit.