Owing to the generalized definitions of thesis and dissertation by most universities, many students think that they are the same. Whether you are planning to write a dissertation or thesis, it’s important to remember that these are two different concepts in academic writing. Although both involve research, there are elements that make them different in terms of contents, structure, format and even writing tone.
Here is a dissertation vs. thesis 8 basic differences guide that you should keep in mind when writing.
Dissertations are smaller in Size than Theses
The length or size of dissertations and theses is one of the main aspects of disparity. Generally, dissertations are required to be about 30 to 50 pages long. Theses on the other hand, are larger in size. They can be up to 200 pages or more.
Dissertation and Thesis Writing Play Distinct Roles
The aim of writing a dissertation paper is to instill research skills in the individual handling the project. However, a thesis is usually considered a contribution to society. It is used in the implementation and improvement of various policies.
Each Requires Different Data Collection Approaches
When writing a dissertation, it is not compulsory that the researcher has to go outdoors to collect data. In thesis writing, the individual handling the project is required to engage people on the ground and gain proper insights into the actual situation.
Dissertations and Thesis Require Unique Statistical Data
Since both are research tasks, writing dissertation and thesis from start to finish stipulates that the writer provide credible evidence to support their arguments. In dissertations, the researcher is free to use pre-existing data while a thesis requires that you give your own original data.
A Dissertation is Simpler than a Thesis
Judging by the sizes, theses are usually more detailed than dissertations. This is because theses require a more in-depth analysis of the research topics than dissertations.
Theses Require Questionnaires and Surveys
Due to the detailed nature of theses, a proper study requires that the researcher prepare and use questionnaires and surveys for data collection. Dissertations on the other hand, require none of that.
Dissertations and Theses are for Different Academic Levels
When seeking clarification on dissertation vs. masters’ thesis, it’s important to note that they may be for different academic levels. A thesis is for the completion of a doctorate degree while a dissertation is usually for Masters or M Phil. Degree.
European and American Context
You can rely on a dissertation and thesis database or fellow students to understand the disparities between the two. However, you will find out that the American context is quite different from the one in Europe. In America, dissertation is for doctorate degree and thesis for Masters Degree. In Europe, theses are for doctorate while dissertations are for Masters.
To properly understand the disparities between a dissertation and thesis, check out dissertations and theses database free online.