The difference between a thesis and a dissertation is often confusing with some people generally using the two interchangeably?
If you are planning to join a graduate school or already there, you might have probably heard that a comprehensive paper is required before you graduate. This comprehensive paper has been mostly referred to using these two terms; a thesis or a dissertation. But here is one problem; some find it hard to tell the main difference between thesis or dissertation. Even though they have been used interchangeably most of the times, there is a major difference between the two. It is not, however, easy to tell the difference between a thesis or a dissertating owing to the fact that they have a similar structure. They both have an introduction, literary review, a well-written body, summary, bibliography before you get to the appendix. While they might be similar in those ways, there are certain factors that mark the main difference between the two.
The main difference between a dissertation and a thesis is usually seen when it is completed. It is, however, very important to note that a thesis is a project that is written at the end of a master’s program. On the other hand, a dissertation is done to mark the end of a doctoral program. The difference between the two is also seen when their purposes are reviewed.
A thesis is a collection of research that proves to the learner that he/she has just obtained enough knowledge in the line of study he/she has been undertaking. A thesis is the only document that can be used to determine whether you are much knowledgeable from the course you’ve been undertaking in a graduate program. A dissertation, on the other hand, is your only opportunity during the doctorate program to contribute new practices, theories, and knowledge to your field. The main point here is to create a wholly new concept, develop it and even prove that it has certain values.
If you happen to be an undergraduate student, then research papers are part of your daily college life. A master’s thesis can just be compared to the research papers. You carry out a research on a given topic, analyze and comment on the information you obtained and how it connects to the subject matter that is in question. The main point of the thesis is to prove your ability to critically think about a given topic. But all does not stop there; you should also be in a position of knowledgeably and confidently discuss the information that is contained therein.
With a thesis, you will take such an opportunity to expand upon a given topic and explain how it is relevant to a given subject area. Things are different when it comes to the dissertation, you just use other research for the sole purpose of guidance when trying to create and defend your own special concept, theory or hypothesis as it is commonly known. But it is good not to forget that the bulk of information contained in a given dissertation is usually attributed to you.
Lastly, there is also a difference when it comes to the length of these two main documents. A master’s thesis should not be less than 100 pages in length, or maybe slightly above. A doctoral dissertation, on the other hand, should be much longer. This is because both of them involve a great deal of research and background information.
A dissertation is an extremely complicated work, possibly more than two times thesis’ length. When you are doing a dissertation, there is nothing to worry about. You will get guidance from a faculty member who will double up as a dissertation advisor. The main work of the advisor will be to lead you to the right direction should you get stuck along the way.