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Dissertation Vs Thesis

Shiv Ratan23 September 2019


When a student is required to obtain a master's/doctoral degree, they would need to submit the assignment or serious paper in a particular field. This is a massive project that requires good ability in writing, in-depth research, and a lot of work with various information from the academic program. Every graduate student must have heard about the thesis and Dissertation. The terms, thesis, and Dissertation are sometimes used interchangeably for the document submission. 


Though there are a lot of similarities between a thesis and a dissertation, we bring you the difference between the thesis and a dissertation. And they are as follows:-


1.    Length – One of the noteworthy difference between the Dissertation and thesis is of the range of the documents. An argument is usually a minimum of 100 pages while the Dissertation is typically more lengthy than the thesis document. The length of the Dissertation should involve a great deal of background and research information. It should include every detail of the proposal and also how you conclude.  A dissertation is intricate work and can twice or thrice or more than the length of the thesis. A thesis on a bachelor degree is usually for 40 to 60 pages and from 50 to 100 pages on the master level, and words range from 10,000 to 50,000 words. A dissertation is much longer than the thesis and usually goes more than 100 pages and words ranging from 60,000 to 1,00,000 words. 


2.    Definition – If the difference needs to answered through the meaning of both the terms _ thesis and Dissertation, then it would be like – An argument comes from a Greek word and means proposition and Dissertation comes from the Latin word and means discussion. A thesis is a erudite written document of a minor study on a particular topic in consistent with every detail of Research Methodology. A Dissertation is an academic document of a more extensive scope on one specific topic consistent with every aspect of the research methodology. And according to the oxford dictionary, the term dissertation means an extended essay, especially one written for a university degree or diploma and the term thesis means an extended essay which involves personal research written as part of a university degree. 


3.    Degree Program – The main difference between the thesis and dissertation difference is the degrees obtained after submitting them. A thesis is generally completed to get a master’s degree, and a dissertation is completed to obtain a doctoral study. Every graduate and an undergraduate student would need to work on the thesis project to share their learning and understanding of the knowledge grasped. But the Dissertation is generally used in higher degrees, and the complete Dissertation looks like an academic book. 


4.    Different Purposes – There is a different purpose for submitting the Dissertation and thesis. A dissertation is an opportunity to contribute to your knowledge, theories, or practices to your field. A dissertation document might add new knowledge to the existing culture, while the thesis is sharing your understanding based on the courses studied in the graduation program. The thesis is just the re-writing of the already considered course while the Dissertation is adding something new to the existing knowledge as there is a point to come up with something new. 


5.    Research content – The purpose of submitting the thesis is to evaluate how well the student has understood the course learned. The thesis work doesn’t require external help or sources to complete the document. However, a dissertation which needs backbreaking work may take several years to complete the report. You may expect to research and look for the external resources to complete the dissertation document. 


6.    Structural differences – The point in completing the thesis program is just like the research paper. In the thesis document, the student is required to research on the particular topic, analyze the text, and then comment critically or share the understanding of the subject. But more in-depth knowledge and hard work are required in submitting the dissertation document. The student is required to utilize other’s research just as guidance in coming up with your unique ideas, hypothesis, or theory.


7.    Counseling and cross-question – The professors usually conduct the advice and ask the different questions based on the document submitted by the student. This happens in both thesis and Dissertation to cross-check the learning and understanding of the student. However, the only difference is the time duration of the process. A thesis counseling may end in half-an-hour or a maximum of one hour. But it usually takes several hours in the dissertation process as it is a more detailed and intense procedure. 


8.    Different countries – The meaning and purpose of the Dissertation and thesis is also varied according to the countries they are being used. For example, In India and UK, the thesis is usually the long document than the dissertation document while in the USA and other countries, the dissertation document is longer than the thesis document. This means that In America thesis is for the master's degree and Dissertation is for the doctorate, and In Europe and India, dissertation document is for the master’s degree with fewer pages, and less research and thesis is a longer document with intense study and double the length of the Dissertation. 


9.    Questionnaire and Survey – The student is not required to have the questionnaire and survey while submitting the thesis document in the USA. However, the sampling and survey are must be included in the dissertation document in the USA. And it is vice-a-versa in India and UK countries. It would be better to understand with your professor to understand what exactly is needed to be submitted according to your country and university rules and regulations. 


There is a fragile line in the differences between thesis and dissertation terms used in academic life. The student would need to carefully examine and understand the differences between the two ends and also according to their country. It should be kept in mind that both the documents are incredibly similar, yet the distinction is essential to obtain the proper degree, whether it is a master’s or doctorate.

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