General difference between a thesis and dissertation

After completing the undergraduate level, some people aspire to further their studies by joining graduate schools. Acquiring a graduate degree especially masters or doctorate is not easy as both of them involve advanced units which means students must do a lot of research. Both of these programs imply that one is pursuing the dream of becoming an expert in a certain field.

One of the common things about graduate schools is that students are expected to write comprehensive papers before they graduate. Those papers are known are thesis and dissertation. These two terms are sometimes confusing since anyone new to them may wonder if they mean the same thing. This because they are similar since they follow the same structure of having an Title, abstract, body, literature review, methods used, results, discussion, conclusion and references. Apart from these similarities they do have some differences such as:

The differences are as per the following

1. Purpose

A thesis is usually required by masters students in testing if they understand deeply their field of study. In this case the students are required to formulate theses or propositions based on the previous work they have studied. In the paper the students will analyze the previous work as they argue their cases for certain topic they have been assigned by their lecturers. This paper proves that the student is knowledgeable about the program they have learned.

On the other hand a dissertation is study which is done by doctorate students that aims to empower students to do original research. Students writing dissertations are supposed to come up with new concepts which have not yet been researched on so that they can defend them. The students are then expected to formulate a hypothesis and do research which will prove or disapprove that hypothesis. Dissertations offers students opportunity to contribute to new practices, theories or knowledge.

2. Length

A thesis is shorter in length as students are expected to write at least 100 pages. This will depend on how well the student would have understand the topic and also the kind of research of research done. On the other hand a dissertation can be longer compared to a thesis since it is complex work that involves a lot of background research and detailing everything concerning the proposal. The students are also expected to offer prove for all the ideas they write down. Therefore, it’s expected to the about 2 or 3 times longer compared to a thesis.

When students are writing their dissertation papers they are expected to work with their dissertation advisors(professors) from their respective faculties. The advisors guide the students when they are doing their research so that they can locate appropriate resources to ensure their dissertations are written as expected.

3. Structure

When writing a thesis, students are expected to research a particular topic that they are familiar with and analyze it. They will also comment on the information they would have given out and how it relates to the main topic of discussion. The main aim of writing a thesis is to enable students to think critically so that they can discuss in depth about a specific topic. A thesis can also be the best opportunity for students for students to study deeper about a specific topic which is relevant to a field they wish to pursue in future.

In writing dissertations, students use other peoples research so that they guide them in coming up with unique concepts, theories or hypotheses . Much of the information in the dissertation depends on the students.

4. Data collection

A thesis does not require students to use primary sources of data collection rather depends on secondary ones such as:

* Official or government statistics.
* Existing studies
* Survey reports
* Articles
* Books

Since in a dissertation students are expected to do their original work they will be expected to rely on primary sources of data collection such as:

* Focus groups
* Interviews
* Surveys
* Questionnaires
* Experiments
* Field observation
* Any other methods the employed in collecting data.

However, students can use secondary sources in writing dissertation to back up their arguments and offering evidence for their hypothesis. In a thesis students can decide to include or not to include the primary sources.

Due the nature of research which is required, students will take a longer period in completing their dissertation compared to completing a thesis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *