The Difference between a Thesis and a Dissertation

Is there really a difference between a thesis and a dissertation? This can be confusing since some colleges and universities use each term interchangeably. Others may have a distinct definition for each term, especially if they are referred to on different educational levels. A few differences may be obvious but to some, they may not be enough to actually distinguish the two. So when it comes to academic minds pondering at each concept, it comes down to looking at what is different between each.

What is a Thesis?

This may depend on the level of education the student is in when they receive such an assignment. Students who complete a thesis may be doing research toward receiving a higher degree. For instance, a student writing a thesis may be on their way to obtaining their master’s degree. This would require the student to research a specific subject to show or demonstrate what they know. Another aspect about a thesis is how data is collected; it usually includes using research of others to help you form your own discovery or analysis.

What is a Dissertation?

This assignment is similar to a thesis but students seeking a Ph.D. or doctoral degree are likely to be required to write one. The twist here is that a student would should something new or innovative within their field. The student would should demonstrate a new discovery or provide original concepts to the subject matter. Like a thesis, you use research completed by others to help you, but it really acts like a guide to help you form a hypothesis that is unique or innovative.

Other Information about Thesis and Dissertation Content

Each of these assignments may vary in length with a thesis for a master’s degree averaging 100 pages. In some cases, a dissertation may be longer than a thesis but it depends on guidelines of the assignment. When writing either assignment you should keep in mind the deadline. Some instructors give students ample time to get their content completed since they both require a considerable amount of research to be completed. Proofreading, editing, and revising your content is important. Many students may not realize how their content comes across to their reading audience when they don’t take time to look over what they wrote. Planning your time may allow you to take steps to revise content in a timely manner.