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Everyone has heard about the thesis and dissertation. When you are a student, the question “Have you started to work on your thesis or dissertation” is so well heard. Because at the end of your studies you have to work on a paper you will later present. You need to put into practice all your knowledge from your years of study.
Even though there are differences between thesis and dissertation, the terms are often mistaken and used interchangeably. But, let’s see the similarities between them.
Why Do People Confuse Thesis with Dissertation?
The confusion is made between thesis and dissertation by a lot of students and not only. They are two kinds of papers that are similar in structure and format. Both have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Also, both have a bibliography and appendix section.
You have to present and defend both of the papers in front of an audience and you must do this within the deadline and with no delay. The topic of your paper is chosen by you and every student must avoid copyright infringement.
But, What Are the Differences Between Thesis and Dissertation?
How can you make the difference? What aspects need to be taken into consideration? Let’s find out!
1. When Do You Have to Complete These Papers?
One of the most important differences between a thesis and a dissertation is the time of completion. It is well known that after you finish your courses, you need to invest time in working on a paper to prove your knowledge.
The thesis is the paper you have to make at the end of your master’s degree and is shorter than a dissertation. Why? Because the dissertation is the paper you need to make at the end of your doctoral studies.
2. Structural Differences
Whether the main structure of a paper is the same, there are other structural differences between a thesis and a dissertation. The length is one of them. So, the dissertation should have at least 150 pages, while the thesis should have around 80 pages.
3. Presenting the Subject
You must choose your study subject for both of the papers, but how you present it must be different. A thesis is similar to a research project and you need to discuss in-depth the topic chosen.
You need to research and show your critical sense when you analyze and present the information. Also, students usually choose a subject it will be helpful for their future career. And also a subject they want to pursue after graduating.
A dissertation is very different from this point of view. You form your hypothesis and use references and studies conducted by others to support your points of view. They act as guidelines in proving your own theory and hypothesis. Maybe the most important difference is that all the concepts, hypothesis and analysis are attributed to you.
4. How to Formulate Topic Statements
It is now clear that a dissertation is a much larger work than a thesis. The differences exist not only between the amount of information presented but also between how you make the topic statements.
A dissertation should have some hypotheses formulated by you. All your work will revolve around supporting these hypotheses. You need to form your expectations based on those hypotheses. You also need to highlight in the conclusion or discussion section how the research made by you supports your statements.
Comparatively, a thesis has a smaller impact. The statement is just a fact or a piece of information that supports your future research on your subject.
For example, if your thesis is on “Transactional Leadership”, your statement could be “Transactional Leadership is a better type of leadership than Transformational Leadership”. And in the body of your thesis, you should present the pros and cons for both kinds of leadership. In the body of your thesis, you should argue in favor of one kind of leadership or another, using research made by others.
This is maybe the biggest and most important difference between a thesis and a dissertation. A dissertation requires more time and effort because you will be doing your own study. The research done by others will help you only to support some points of view. You need to conduct the study, analyze the answers and present statistics.
Making the difference between a thesis and a dissertation might be difficult if you do not know all the details about these papers. Do not forget the most important aspect: the thesis is written at the end of your master’s degree and the dissertation is written at the end of your Ph.D. The papers are different in length and complex structure, although the basic structure is the same: introduction, body and conclusion.
When writing a thesis, you need to make a statement and use resources, research, and studies made by colleagues or specialists to support your point of view. A thesis is more like a case study. You analyze all the facets of the statement and come with a conclusion.
When writing a dissertation, you need to conduct a study. You have a theory you need to demonstrate. You will present different graphics and statistics that support your theory.
But, there are also similarities. No matter what paper you are working on, you need to present and defend it in front of an audience. So you will also exercise your presentation skills.