If you are a student in a graduate school, you probably know that one of the requirements to graduate is a comprehensive paper. You are aware by now that the document is either a thesis or a dissertation. But do you know the difference between the two? It’s a good thing that you are anticipating this. There is a big difference between the two terms, but sometimes they are used interchangeably and most of the time confusing. The structures of both papers are the same, as both contain an introduction, body, literary review, bibliography, conclusion, and appendix. Other than there are no other similarities seen on both papers. Let’s go deeper into the definition of the two and how they differ with each other.
The primary difference between a thesis and a dissertation is noticeable after you have completed them. The project that you submit at the end of the master’s program is the thesis, while the dissertation is needed to complete the doctoral study. The two papers differ in their purpose. A thesis is a collection of research that will show how knowledgeable you are about the information learn in the entire program. The dissertation, on the other hand, is your chance to contribute new knowledge, practices, or theories during the doctorate program in your area of study. The idea is to come up with a new concept, develop it and prove its importance.
A thesis and research papers you know when you are still undergrad are similar in some ways. The process of writing start at researching a topic, then analyzing and comment on the data you gathered and how it is related to the specific subject matter, you are working. The idea of the thesis is to display your ability to think critically about a subject and be able to discuss the information comprehensively. Likewise, with a thesis, you can use this to take the chance to expand on the topic that is more vital to a specialty area you want to pursue professionally.
In a dissertation, you use other research work as a source and guide in the future and to prove your hypothesis, concept or theory. The amount of data in a dissertation is credited to you.
Lastly, there is a big difference on how they differ in length. According to Purdue University, between the two papers, the dissertation is much longer, because it includes a right amount of background information and research, together with every detail of your proposal and how one comes up with the data. The thesis is typically around 100 pages in length, or a bit higher. A dissertation involves a complete task. It is two or even three times the range of a thesis. A faculty member will help you and will serve as your adviser. He or she will be around and would guide you in the right direction in case you got lost, can help you find the resources that you need and makes sure that your proposal in on the right path.
Every school and program has their own set of rules and guidelines that you need to include in your thesis and dissertation. You also need to follow the structure recommended by the school.