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Dissertation vs. Thesis: Similar or Completely Different?

You have to defend your dissertation or thesis to graduate from your university. No one ever said that getting an education would be easy. Obtaining a degree is even more challenging. Final qualifying work must show your readiness for independent professional activity. But which one to choose – thesis or dissertation? Read on this blog post to find out significant differences between these two final works. We have described in detail the peculiarities down below!

Dissertation vs. Thesis

So what is the difference between dissertation vs. thesis? Many students ask this question in their final years of study. Some universities treat them both as identical, but there are several distinct peculiarities you should keep in mind. But first, let's look closer at the essential differences between these two works.

Thesis and Dissertation Have Different Degree Levels

Degree level is one of the key differences between these two types of works. There are three levels when you are asked to write research:

  • Bachelor
  • Master
  • Ph.D.

Typically, you will need to present a thesis for a bachelor's and master's program. Meanwhile, Doctorate degrees are only awarded to those students who defend their dissertation.

Study Samples are Various for Thesis and Dissertation

As in any research paper, you should test a hypothesis or method that's called empirical research. For that, you should analyze data and results. Your bachelor's or master's paper should cover a sample of 30-40 applicants. But your doctoral research should provide answers to 100 people and more. Figuratively speaking, in the first case, you should study the group-level sample. In the second one, you should claim the whole region or population group. For example, you may explore all countries, all sellers from separate countries, or all 9th-grade students.

Thesis and Dissertation are Different in Volume

Both thesis and dissertation require a massive amount of effort. Unlike other types of academic projects, these ones have probably the bulkiest number of pages. For bachelor's or master's work, it is enough to prepare material of around 100 printed text pages. Ph.D. students should prepare longer layers of work for at least 150 to 300 pages.

Sources Variation between Thesis and Dissertation

Your scientific work should be based on a list of sources mentioned in the body and conclusion. This requires you to choose a specific topic and rely on references that cover them in detail. In this writing assignment, applying theoretical knowledge is optional, and you may skip this part. When preparing it, you should process up to 50 scientific sources.

In dissertations, students should present an authentic idea that hasn't been researched before. You should conduct in-depth topic research and study it from different angles. Since your doctorate work is more comprehensive, you should add a practical part that is backed up by existing theories. You may even want to design a theoretical framework that will keep you on track. Besides, you should design a much more extensive list that will include around 200 or even 300 books.

Originality is Different in Thesis and Dissertation

Both thesis and dissertation have to be original in content. It means your work should have unique features that are not present in other studies. Less critical work requires a lower percentage of uniqueness is allowed. An indicator of work's originality reflects your own text to the actual work's volume. The uniqueness ratio depends on each schools' requirements. If 65-75% can be sufficient for theses, then Ph. D. works must be 90% authentic.

Thesis and Dissertation Have Slightly Altered Structural Elements

A practical part is necessarily included in dissertations. A conclusion should be followed after each chapter. In your thesis, you should emphasize all valuable outcomes of your study but not empirical components. Results serve as summaries and are placed once in the last part.

Bottom Line

Let's sum up all the main differences between dissertations and theses. Basically, students present theses at the end of their bachelor's or master's degrees. While dissertations should be defended at the end of Ph.D. In the first case, you should just synthesize existing literature. But in the second one, you should conduct thorough research, introduce your own contribution (a.k.a. practical part), and add it to the present literature background.

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Joe Eckel is an expert on Dissertations writing. He makes sure that each student gets precious insights on composing A-grade academic writing.

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